Love And Rejection: Breaking Up Essay, Research Paper
Love and Rejection: Breaking Up
Some felt they were a modern day Romeo and Juliet. The reality,
however, is that they were a heartbreaking example of what can go wrong with
Christian Dalvia, 14 and Maryling Flores, 13 were sweethearts who were
forbidden by Flores’ mother to see each other. In early November, 1995, the
young couple met one last time. Standing at the edge of a Florida canal, they
joined hands and jumped 15 feet into the cold, murky water to their deaths.
Their deaths may sound romantic, even heroic to other teenagers when, in
actuality, it’s just plain stupid. There were probably many other reasons for
their deaths, but ultimately, the thought of not being together tortured to the
point of wanting to take their own lives. This is a very extreme example of
what can go wrong with teenage heartbreak. One minute they’re inseperable -
sharing their most intimate thoughts and details – the next minute they are
faces across a crowded room or polite acquaintances at best. These are the
consequences that come along with a breakup.
We teens hear about love all around us, in music and movies, on TV, in
stories. We hear that love will make us happy. We hear that single people are
lonely. We are told that if we are not part of a couple, we are not complete.
We all want to be part of this thing called ?love’.
Okay, we get a boyfriend or girlfriend, now everything should be perfect.
But, it’s not perfect, because life never is. It is easy to become
disappointed. Feelings can change. One person may decide to say good-bye.
When that happens, the one left behind will feel rejected.
Rejection means choosing between one thing and another. The one who
feels rejected thinks as if they are not good enough. It hurts. When the
person you love decides to leave you, it is even more painful. Does rejection
mean failure? No. The end of a relationship means that the boyfriend or
girlfriend decided that s/he wanted a change. The reasons for this are within
the ex – not within the rejected person. No one is a less valuable person
because their boyfriend or girlfriend’s feelings have changed. What To Expect
There are nine stages of rejection that almost all ?dumpees? must go
through. The pain may be awful, but each stage is part of the healing process.
The stages may not follow in an exact order, but they will all be experienced.
The Denial Phase: ?This can’t be happening.? During this stage, people may
find themselves waiting for the phone to ring and not believing that the
relationship is over.
Solution: Acknowledge your feelings about what has happened. Accept, but do
not dwell on shame and embarrassment, and all the ?shoula/woulda/coulda’s’.
The Bargaining Phase: Driving yourself crazy, thinking that, ?If I get my hair
cut,? or ?If I don’t call her for a week,? s/he will change his/her mind.
Solution: Accept that it’s over.
The Loneliness Phase: Feeling as if no one understands or cares.
Solution: Surround yourself with people who do care, and those who openly say
so. Remind yourself often that you are loved.
The Heartbreak Phase: Feeling like your heart is really breaking. You may even
feel pain in your chest, or want to throw up when you think of the person or see
the person with someone else.
Solution: You can go on. If you’re feeling really bad, snap your fingers to
interrupt the thought.
The Blame Phase: Pointing the finger at you or at your ex for what each of you
Solution: Decide that neither of you are at fault and both of you are
responsible for the breakup.
The Depression Phase: Feeling sad, worthless, and foolish. You have trouble
eating and sleeping and you may imagine you’ll never love again. Solution:
Allow yourself to feel pain but don’t wallow in self-pity. Keep busy with
exercise or projects.
The Anger Phase: Feeling furious for being rejected.
Solution: Experience the anger, but don’t exaggerate it. Don’t let yourself
The Acceptance Phase: Finally believing that it is over. You no longer expect
your ex to call and you begin to feel at peace.
The Healing Phase: Getting your life back. Ready to meet new people and you’re
no longer dwelling over your ex.
These phases are all healthy ways to recover from a breakup.
The Wrong Moves
Just as there are ways to properly cope with ending a relationship,
there are also unhealthy ways that some of us are drawn to do.
In trying to cope with a breakup, many use manipulative methods to
require personal power (the freedom of choice and movement). Some of these
manipulative methods are by going through the ex’s best friend and playing
detective (is he seeing anyone? is she still upset?), threatening
incapacitations (I won’t be able to concentrate, do go or you’ll make me
depressed), making impossible promises (I’ll do whatever you ask, If I ever lose
my temper, just snap your fingers and I’ll calm down) – your ex doesn’t believe
these, you don’t believe these, so don’t say them. – and finally, by threatening
revenge. A personal example of this is a friend who we’ll call Christine. When
school started, Christine was dating Tom who eventually left her to date their
mutual friend, Megan. Christine was extremely upset and she told Tom she would
get back at him. She told him she would tell his mom he’d been doing drugs.
Obviously, Tom got angry and told Christine to stay away from his family.
As it turned out, Christine never followed through on her threats. They
were just an underhanded ploy to make Tom upset. This is not a mature way of
handling a breakup, which is true for most teenage heartbreak.
Another incorrect method of recovery is harassment. The harasser is the
person who, for example, is obsessed with driving by the ex’s house or place of
work, calls the other just to hear his or her voice and tries to cover it up
with lies like, ?I was just in the neighborhood,? and ?I think I dialed the
wrong number..?. The severity of the obsession is measured by the time that is
spent on it, the degree of stress it causes, lack of control, and interference
in one’s life and responsibilities. In severe cases, medications can help. As
many as one in forty Americans have some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder.
Along with harassment, physical abuse is yet another extremely wrong way
to handle rejection. Physical abuse includes such things as slapping, kicking,
hair pulling, shaking, and arm twisting. People who are being abused are
advised to avoid all possible contact with their furious ex. People who are
abusing are urged to seek help and break off all contact with the person they’re
Extreme depression cases due to heartbreak may also lead to physical
violence towards oneself. The teenage suicide rate is up nearly 200% in the
past twenty years. Teens must realize that no matter how bad things seem,
everyone goes through it and everyone gets over it.
All of the above methods are completely wrong ways to regain personal
power. When attempting to let go, one should break contact and avoid hanging
around places where you know he or she will be. You should accept that it’s
over, stop asking why, realize and accept your emotions, decide to let go of the
past by staying away from emotional traps, by learning from your mistakes and by
looking forward to the future.
Repairing The Hurt
What makes breaking up so traumatic? Often, there are many unresolved
emotions and unfinished business. If you see an ex too soon, you risk
triggering those unresolved feelings and fantasies, which will prevent you from
moving on. But when the time is right, such reunions can also be a valuable
opportunity to work through the unfinished business. Sometimes you’ll discover
that all of the feelings of unworthiness or rejection that you’ve been
harbouring are overblown. Such realizations allow you to move on to new
Don’t rush a reunion with your ex – give yourself plenty of time for the
wounds to heal. When you are both ready, get together and review what happened.
Explain the things that hurt you, what you wanted, what you feared, and what you
miss. With distance and a fresh perspective, any lingering pain may ease, and a
new love may emerge.
Many of us entertain the fantasy of seeing an ex and having him or her
say, ? You were right all along, take me back!? This would restore your feeling
that you and your love mattered, but it actually only happens in a few cases so
you shouldn’t let your hopes skyrocket.
If all of these steps are both followed and avoided, the dumped
individual would’ve gone through all the tearful, sorrowful, raging, self-
blaming and forgiving feelings that compromise the emotional progression of
ending a relationship, and they’ve come a long way towards their emotional
On The Other Hand…
Now, we’ve concluded that teens can sometimes overreact when they’ve
been dumped (suicide, depression, obsession, etc). As compared to adult
breakups which tend to be more civilized on average, teens really have no reason
to be severely depressed due to the fact that they have their whole life ahead
of them. Adults on the other hand, have much more to worry about than teenagers.
For example, adults have to worry about taking care of finances that were
previously shared, the effect the breakup will have on their career, and how
their children will react. In most cases, they don’t have the time to waste on
harassment or obsession. Sure, they’ll be upset, but not to the suicidal point
as teens too often are.
Because children look to their parents to keep them safe, the lack of a
family member could heighten their sense of vulnerability. The parent who
remains with the child or children has to assume the role of the other parent in
the financial, physical, and emotional aspects.
From a personal viewpoint, adults have a lot more to worry about than
teenagers do so logically, they should be the ones overreacting, but they’re not.
It probably all boils down to the teenage self-esteem issue. It’s way up when
they’ve got a boyfriend and when a breakup occurs, it plummets down and they
lose control of their emotions. This is when the ?wrong moves? come into play.
If there was only a way to ensure high self-esteem in today’s teenagers we
wouldn’t have to worry about teen’s being pushed to the limit by their