Relationship Bootcamp

What your “Break Up” Style Says About You


Let’s face it: Ending a relationship can be one of the most difficult things you have to go through in your life. As a relationship expert and psychotherapist, I’ve seen many people’s reactions to a relationship that just didn’t work out (some pretty, and some not!), and I’ve learned that the way a person reacts to this hardship really says a lot about them. I’ve compiled a list of 4 types of break-up personalities I’ve seen and my take on what’s really under the surface.

The “Everything’s Fine, I’m Going to Party” Person:

They break up, go on drunken binges an immediately start hooking up with other people to ease the pain. They are constantly searching for a rebound. They don’t want to talk about their break up because they “don’t care.”

If you’re this kind of person, you may have a sensitive side, but your friends and family have yet to see it after a break up. You deal with break up pain by trying to ignore it – immediately going to parties, hooking up with other people, and brushing off the memories of the person you’re mourning. You also have a tendency to throw yourself into work overload or hobbies, in hope of avoiding other problems in your life, eventually causing severe burnout. The problem is that this approach, while it may lead to temporary pleasure and avoidance, will only prevent you from dealing with any actual anger or resentment you have towards the relationship. Take a time out in the present and focus on what you need for closure in the relationship. Focus on yourself, your values, your confidence, and your goals instead of on forgetting or replacing your relationship too soon.

The Heavy Mourner/Stalker:

They play sad music, cry a lot, take time off work, hang onto stuff of their exes, won’t date anyone else for months or go out and have fun. They text and message their ex a lot of stock them via social media constantly and talk about their break up to anyone who will listen. They don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and are constantly thinking about how to get back with their ex.

“Get over it, it was six months ago!” Does this sound familiar to you? That’s because your break up persona is all about ‘hanging on.’ You’re the type of person who is sensitive, loving, and loyal – but you also lack the confidence and self-esteem to realize that you’re deserving of other relationships that might be waiting in the wings. In relationships, you’re so invested in not losing what you currently have, that you don’t realize how capable you could be to find someone new if things didn’t work out. When a relationship goes wrong, it causes such devestation to you go into hibernation mode: staying inside, listening to sad music, and stalking them on social media. But don’t fool yourself into thinking this is good for you: It’s important to get out and remember your joys! You had a life before your partner and you started dating – and a dating break is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself.

The Angry Ex:

This person burned all of their exes stuff, complains or trash talks them to anyone and is plotting revenge. They constantly post updates showing how they are having the time of their life without their ex (it’s all staged). They’ve been listening to Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill on repeat for weeks and going to the gym every day to let off steam. Hanging out with them isn’t fun because they’re in such a bad mood and down on love.

Does the thought of your ex raise your blood pressure? Do you feel you need to trash your ex’s reputation when their name is brought up? That’s because you have so much resentment in your breakups you had that you let them affect you in the present. It’s important for you that other people are on your side, and that you don’t ‘lose face’ in the midst of a break up. You’re a sensitive person at heart, and you remember the hurtful things that people say to you – no matter how little. You’re the type of person who secretly likes a bit of conflict, and the thought of hearing that your ex is miserable brings up a secret kind of pleasure in you. But watch out: reacting this way to a break up shows a significant lack of closure. Try (even for a second) to find happiness in the situation. This break up might just have been the ideal situation and will lead you to bigger and better things — ask yourself if it would it really be so bad if they found happiness one day too.

The Balanced Person Break Up:

They cried when it happened, but now want to go out and meet new people. They occasionally miss their ex and slip up with a drunk text, but also know the reasons why they broke up and are looking to date someone else who is worth it–when they are ready.

Break-ups are hard, and naturally, they cause pain. Your break up style enables you to feel the pain, find closure, and move on from the relationship in the best way you can. In work and career situations, you’re able to adjust well to new situations and adapt to change well. You’re the type of person who simply can’t understand why someone would obsess over their ex on Facebook, or angrily rant about them at parties, and although you know that break-ups aren’t always pretty, you realize that hanging onto the pain simply isn’t healthy.