My Ex Broke Up With Me & That’s When I Really Started Living

I just got out of a six-month relationship and although it was short-lived, I completely changed my life to suit my partner without even realizing it. When you’re in a controlling relationship, you don’t even notice how much you change yourself to please your partner and it was only when he broke up with me that I started to live for myself.

  1. I reconnected with friends I hadn’t spoken to in months. After I started dating this guy, I quickly drifted from all of my close friends and started prioritizing him and the relationship over everything. I rarely hung out with my friends and had no idea what they were doing with their lives, nor them with mine. Once I was free from my controlling ex, I reached out to my friends, caught up over coffee, and I soon realized how much I needed them in my life.
  2. I regained my independence. I learned to enjoy my own company and no longer felt the need to go out every weekend. When I was with my ex, I didn’t know what to do with myself when he wasn’t around and I hated the thought of not having some fun activity planned at the weekend. I’m now comfortable spending time alone and I don’t feel lonely being by myself.
  3. I wear less makeup and dress how I want to. I’ve started to look how I actually want to look and I don’t feel the need to look perfect all the time. I felt a constant pressure to be a trophy on my ex’s arm and look the part at all times, with perfect makeup and hair and a cute outfit. If I want to roll out of bed with no makeup and have messy hair and wear gym clothes these days then I do that because it’s what I want to do and I don’t need anyone to tell me otherwise!
  4. I’ve stopped comparing myself to everyone else. I don’t see every girl in the room as competition anymore and I don’t feel like I have to compete with anyone. I used to always have to fight for my ex’s attention and his wandering eye made me extremely self-conscious. He would eye up every girl in a bar while I was standing next to him! Now I can go out my with my girls and feel fabulous about myself without having to compete for attention or go to the bathrooms every 20 minutes to check my makeup.
  5. I’ve started planning my future by myself. I’ve made plans to travel across the world and enrolled in a course in a different city. I put off all my travel plans to stay with my ex because I felt obligated to be with him. Once he broke up with me, I realized I had the world at my fingertips and I can go anywhere and do anything I want. I don’t feel guilty about traveling to the other side of the world and I know I’ll meet amazing people and make great memories.
  6. I put all my energy into hobbies I’d given up. I started writing and playing music again and finally learning that instrument that I started so many months ago. Before, I put all my own interests to the side so I could spend all my free time with my ex. I lost interest in everything that actually made me happy and the main way I stayed focused after the breakup was by improving my skills through my own hobbies.
  7. My self-esteem started rebuilding itself. I stopped stalking his social media to see which girls he’s followed on Instagram and how many of their photos he liked today. I don’t give a crap anymore about who he’s added on Facebook and how I look nothing like the girls he’s gawking at on social media. I started to feel good about myself and my body again and I couldn’t care less that I wasn’t enough for him. My confidence slowly started to come back once I didn’t have to please the standards he got from social media.
  8. I stopped idolizing the relationship. I accepted the relationship for what it was and moved on from it, even if it took two months. Straight after the breakup, all I could think about was how good the relationship was and how lucky I was to be with that guy. I went over everything I did wrong and what I could change, but after a few weeks, I realized the problem didn’t lie with me but rather with his toxic behavior. I realized it was a controlling relationship and that it was a blessing that I got out of it when I did. Once I saw him for what he really was, I was fully able to move on with my life and cut all ties with him and the relationship.
  9. I ate whatever the hell I wanted and worked out when I felt like it. If I feel like an extra slice of garlic bread, I’m going to eat that damn garlic bread! If I don’t want to work out tonight or tomorrow, I’m not going to beat myself up for it. When I was with my ex, I watched my diet and tried to work out 4/5 times a week to keep in shape for him. Now that I’m not with him anymore, I do what makes me happy and I don’t limit what I can and can’t eat or work out like a crazy person.
  10. I got my life back on track. I felt like I paused my own life for six months to be with this guy and once the relationship ended, I pressed play again. I went back to the drawing board, started from scratch, and took a long hard look at what I had in my life without him, which wasn’t much. I started doing all the things that actually make me happy and started making plans for my long term future without my ex. Frankly, being dumped by him was the best thing he could have ever done for me.
Writer, thinker, storyteller, and lover. Emma is a freelance writer, editor, and owner of