I Asked 11 Independent Young Women All They Accomplished After Leaving A Toxic Relationship

I Asked 11 Independent Young Women All They Accomplished After Leaving A Toxic Relationship

"My grades have gotten better, my mental health has improved overall, and I'm just overall happier with my existence now that I'm in a healthy environment."

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We live in a culture that thinks that after a relationship ends, no matter how toxic and draining that relationship was, we need to be devastated. We clearly never loved the person if we don't experience heartbreak. However, I believe that isn't true. Sure, we are heartbroken by the love that didn't make it, but most of the time, leaving a toxic relationship is our saving grace.

I am so sick of watching strong, wonderful, beautiful young women allow a toxic relationship to hold them down. There is SO much more to life than feeling stuck with a partner that makes you feel like crap. You can truly thrive after leaving this relationship and you can accomplish everything you've always wanted and more.

I decided to highlight the stories of 11 strong young women and all that they've accomplished since ending their relationship. This goes to show that the heartbreak will not be your end — in fact, it will likely be your beginning.

1. Since I left this bad relationship, the self-love and accomplishments just keep growing.

"I stopped being nervous about leaving for school, I didn't worry about him pressuring me to do things I didn't want to, and going to school with that lack of worry allowed me to blossom. I've been on the Dean's list twice (round three coming in a few weeks), joined an organization that allows time to grow into a better leader, I volunteer with kids who need me, work with kids who appreciate me, and have made friends who support me. The positive effects of focusing on me just keep on coming." - Anon, 20

2. My dreams came true.

"After I got dumped by my ex, who was cheating on me with my best friend's roommate, I got accepted to my dream grad program and started a business." - Elizabeth, 22

3. I got myself in shape.

"After dating around in college, one guy hit me. I was so devastated that I allowed someone to do that to me that I decided to hit the gym so that way in case I needed to defend myself I could and I could feel good about my body!" - Sarah, 19

4. Now, I am myself.

"I was able to finally just breathe and be myself. I was always forced to do everything his way and please him so I never considered myself. I grew so much as an individual and became stronger because of it!" - Anon, 19

5. I found my passion.

"I got accepted into my school's honors college and discovered my hidden talent/passion for makeup." - Sara, 21

6. I'm in a healthy environment, and because of that, I am happy.

"I learned what toxic behaviors looked like in even the most subtle ways. I was able to learn what I really believed, which didn't really fit with what he believed, or even what my hometown as a whole believed. I became more empowered, believing in myself more and strengthening my voice and opinions. I was able to learn that I needed to treat myself better and hold others to the standard of treating me better, too. I've become more social since I'm no longer restricted from going out or hanging out with friends. I've grown to love my body more now that what I'm allowed to wear isn't dictated by someone else. My grades have gotten better, my mental health has improved overall, and I'm just overall happier with my existence now that I'm in a healthy environment." - Emily, 21

7. Since leaving my toxic relationship, I have...

"- changed my major

- gave up on pursuing a toxic ex-friendship

- got accepted to intern abroad

- turned 21

- met the one

- discovered my own self-worth" - Maria, 21

8. I'm loving every minute of my life now.

"A two-year relationship just ended a little over two months ago. The first few weeks I was a complete and utter disaster. I didn't really know what to do with myself. Now, I am working on school like I haven't before. I didn't let myself enjoy college in my relationship because he was constantly putting me down for coming to college. I am truly enjoying my college experiences especially academically. I have succeeded in so many things and have joined so many new organizations. I am so busy, but so happy and feel more like myself than I ever was in my relationship. I am not 100% better or healed, but that will take time. I am, however, learning so much about myself and loving every minute." - Caitlin, 20

9. I am now ready for the love I truly deserve.

"I learned so many things and it grew me tremendously as a person—but I think the most important things were that I began to see who truly loved me, I developed a higher sense of self-respect, I no longer had someone sucking the life out of me, I learned how to obtain closure and healing inwardly from myself, and I opened myself up to the possibility of gaining the type of love that I am worthy of." - Anna, 19

10. I'm thriving without them.

"At first I didn't want the communication to stop because the attempt at a relationship ultimately ruined a 5-year-friendship, but eventually I just got used to not having them in my life anymore. My mental health has really improved. That relationship was mentally and emotionally draining and wasn't necessarily productive or empowering. Since then I have really enjoyed not getting caught up in what others think of me and have really enjoyed focusing on myself rather than pleasing someone else. Months after not having any contact, they decided to request to follow me again even though they were the one originally wanting to cut all communication. I accepted it, but I've mentally decided not to reach out or make any communication they attempt to be short. I've realized I don't need them in my life and they didn't want the part of me I was offering months ago, so they don't deserve me now. They can watch me thrive and living my life, but they don't get to be a part of it." - Anon, 18

11. I learned so much from this experience, and for that, I'm thankful.

"I became my own person again, I learned how to be happy on my own, gained friends and confidence, overall, I lost a lot during my toxic 4-year relationship and am so appreciative of how I've matured and developed since then. I'm thankful as to how much I've learned from the experience and who I have become today." - Jennifer, 19

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

I Am A Hopeless Romantic Living In A World Where One-Night Stands Are The Norm

It's the little things.

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In today's society, it can certainly start to feel like no one takes love seriously anymore.

Whether it's that one couple who has broken up and gotten back together more times than you can count, the two friends-with-benefits no one can figure out, your local womanizer, or just hookups in general, love and lust are a huge part of specifically college life and culture.

As a hopeless romantic, being part of a generation that "just wants to have fun" can be really frustrating, especially when you just want to find something real. It is so easy for people to put on a fake act just to get what they want and sometimes this can be extremely hard to see through. I'm sure we've all had some kind of incident with someone who played nice but had ulterior motives and the sad truth is that it can be impossible to recognize a person's artificiality.

I am a hopeless romantic.

I have always classified myself as such, and it has remained true. Sure, I can make the most of the freedoms I have as a single college woman, but deep down I just want to find my person.

I've had my fair share of letdowns, and I think we all have, but being a hopeless romantic makes it that much more difficult to get past the "what ifs" and fantasies that come along with starting something with someone new. We may already have our hearts set on a person when they decide they've gotten what they wanted and leave.

For me, I find myself caught up in the little things that someone does. I have always been someone who picks up on small details in situations, and sometimes this works against me.

I pick up on the small facial expressions that he may not even realize he is making; the ones that tell you when their guard has been let down, even just for a split second.

I pick up on the way he sits our two cellphones side by side on the nightstand, taking care to line them up perfectly as if that's just their spot.

I pick up on the short moments of laughter where he actually lets himself laugh and forgets about the act.

I pick up on things, and sometimes I end up hurting because of it.

When it comes down to it, though, I wouldn't change the way that I am. I wouldn't change the fact that I find myself in the search for more in a society that mostly only offers me less.

The trait that tends to hurt me most is also the one that I value most. Even if noticing all the little things is something that contributes to my own heartache, I love those moments. There is something beautiful about those tiny things shared by two people, even if the connection ends there.

Sure, it can be hard. But so can everything.

It's just a matter of finding the beauty.

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Dedicate Your Summer To Bettering Yourself For Yourself, Not Your Ex

Why waste energy on an ex who doesn't care about you anymore?

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I'm single for the summer (yet again, no shock there) but this summer there's something in the air that just feels different. It's the feeling of true acceptance of my single status.

Last summer I was single when I really didn't want to be. My heart with still holding out for a guy who wasn't interested in anything more than my friendship. It took me from late March all the way until Halloween to get over those feelings. However, while working through those tough feelings that summer, I came to enjoy my time on my own and not talking to anyone except my best friends. I didn't have to worry about when I'd get a text back, or if I'd be left on read, or who he'd be out with since I wasn't around. The only thing I needed to worry about was my paychecks and tan lines.

Sometimes after breaking things off with someone who you put so much effort into, whether it was a boyfriend, an almost relationship, or even a friend with benefits, it's easy to want to show off on social media and make them regret ever hurting you or ending things. Why? It's a nice little ego boost, sure, but after those few seconds of glee from the fact that you know they've seen and maybe even liked your picture or your tweet, or saw your story on Snapchat, do you still feel happy? No, you go right back to feeling like crap, whether you want to admit it or not. Stop making yourself all about them when that ship has sailed and start being all about you.

Your ex is off doing their own thing, maybe thinking about you, but obviously not enough to want you back in their life the way you used to be. They are probably out there finding a new person to take your spot because they don't have you at their beck and call anymore. If they're also showing off to show you how much better they are without you or to make you jealous...why are you still following them or still participating in this sick little game for attention? Grow up and block them so you don't have to keep seeing their posts, or be adult enough to stop if you're doing the same as well. If it's only you posting, chances are you just look stupid, so stop before you really embarrass yourself. I was that person, and I know first hand how embarrassed I am for acting the way I did.

Summer is synonymous for doing whatever the hell you want. Wear what you want, say what you want, and be the best version of yourself that only a high dose of Vitamin D can bring out. Your ex is an ex for many reasons. You have to set aside the summer for you and what benefits you only. Don't concern yourself with an ex who doesn't care in the least about you anymore. Coming from someone who posted thirst traps aimed at a specific person along with countless shady AF stories on Snap and Insta in the hopes that this one person and their friends would see it, just stop and save yourself the energy as well as regret.

We're all adults, it's time to stop the petty posts and photos. Post your thirst trap for yourself because you're a sexy queen who doesn't need anyone but herself. Once you start focusing on yourself this summer, instead of your ex, you'll realize just have great it feels to truly be free.

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