Third Culture Kid Dating; adults who have spent their developmental years outside their parent's culture

Breakups and your self-concept

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There’s no doubt about it.  A bad break up can feel incredibly painful and can make you question everything about yourself.  It seems that a number of research studies have focused on how the dissolution of a relationship changes the way you view your identity.[1] It was interesting for example to find a study that showed that women only a year or so after their divorce described themselves as “not a part of life”.[2] Reading that study made me realise how much of a detrimental impact a breakup can have on the way we view ourselves. Before the person you were with, you were living. You had friends. You had hobbies. You had a career. Why is it that we can feel that we are ‘not a part of life’ after a breakup?  How can a bond with another person have such intense consequences on self-concept?


What is it about a break up that makes us question who we are as people? And how can we avoid not relying on someone else to make up our identity? My belief is that when you fall in love or choose to let yourself fall in love, you succumb to vulnerability. You allow yourself to trust the other person and take a leap of faith that they will be there for you in the hard moments of your life and there to listen to you when you tell them about the amazing things you’ve achieved that day.  You share time, insecurities, success stories, new experiences, and space with that person.  It seems inevitable that they would start…

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