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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

did wrong.

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

become bitter.

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

overwhelming emotions.

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