How A Breakup Can Affect Your Appearance

by Jen Marie

Everyone handles the end of a romantic relationship differently. Some of us wallow with our best breakup playlists, while others have an insatiable urge to go out on the town and celebrate. For some folks, the internal and external changes going down even translate to some not so subtle breakup beauty changes. That's right, I'm talking about the time you decided super short bangs were absolutely your new look.

In the days, weeks, and sometimes even months after a particularly painful breakup, many people have a tendency to go through cycles. Obviously, these vary a bit from relationship to relationship, as well as person to person, but there are some pretty standard stages that most of us have experienced. Because guess what? Broken heart syndrome is real.

Whether you're the type of person to shake it off (or act as though you have) or you're more inclined to spend a week at the spa, pampering yourself into a state of bliss, your actions after ending it with your ex are bound to have an effect on your outward appearance. If you just can't see it for yourself but are wondering if maybe you've unwittingly stumbled into a telltale breakup beauty change, here are a few potential eye openers to be aware of.

1. Feeling Apathetic About Fashion & Beauty

In the face of great change, it can be easy to shut down emotionally. It can also be easy to shut down in just about every other aspect of life. Laundry? Eh, maybe tomorrow. Curling your hair for work? That's laughable; it's ponytail season.

If you see where I'm going with this, or are currently glancing down from the screen of your phone, noticing an odd, subtle stain that slightly resembles last night's pizza sauce on the mildly wrinkled dress you threw on before rushing out the door on the way to the office, you may be suffering the effects of some heavy post breakup apathy.

Take a deep breath, my friend, it will be OK. Step one is noticing how far down the rabbit hole you've stumbled. Step two is doing some laundry, giving your hair a good scrub, and maybe doing a nice facial mask while you're at it. Sloppy happens, but when you're ready, turning that train of indifference around is really going to help you move forward.

2. Becoming A Frumpy Duckling

Frumpy duckling is a move some of us pull when life drags us down. It's not as extreme as full out apathy, and usually involves clean laundry. However, if you're playing the frumpy duckling card, most of your nights have probably been spent curled up on the couch in the comfiest clothes you have, under your favorite blanket, either chilling out with Ben, Jerry, and your fave take-out, or having a marathon of girls nights that involve the potential for copious amounts of booze, hot cocoa, cookies, or whatever other snacks and tasty beverages you can get your hands on.

And you know what? Good on you. There's no shame in that, and everyone needs some frump in their life. However, if that's not normally how you roll, your friends and family might eventually begin to raise an eyebrow, so keep an eye on your timeline. Do what you need to heal, but don't forget your personal style during that time spent in the land of comfy and cozy.

3. Looking Wilted From Wallowing

If your coping mechanisms include an excess of or lack of sleep, high sugar intake, lowered exercise, or extra alcohol, your body could really be feeling the effects of a breakup. Heightened glucose levels, disrupted sleep patterns, and dehydration can cause uneven complexion, tired looking eyes, and even muscle degeneration.

Getting back into a regular eating schedule, upping your water intake, setting down your favorite glass of wine, and working on sleeping at regular intervals again will go a long way toward perking up your physical appearance after the ravages of a breakup binge, which might just help you heal mentally as well.

4. Pampering Yourself To Perfection

Not all breakup side effects are negative. Some people take the interim after a relationship ends to pamper themselves in very healthy ways. If you've opted to shower yourself with spa days, massage therapy, yoga classes, and the fresh food you've been longing for throughout the relationship you knew was going nowhere, it could be that you're looking better than ever post breakup.

Pampered perfection isn't about fitting into a certain body type or dieting to change yourself; it's about feeling absolutely excellent in your skin.

5. Going Makeover Mad

You're single. It's time for a change. Your friends have taken you out, or maybe you're at home, staring at your reflection in the mirror. And that's when it hits you: You should cut your hair into a bob. OMG, how did you not see this sooner? It's going to be the best! You'll look so fresh and revived and ready to start this new, beautiful chapter of your life.

OK, well, hold up for a second. Yes, doing the makeover thing after a breakup is almost a tradition. It can be an incredibly liberating feeling to do something a bit drastic after a big change. However, in order to avoid the double whammy of a haircut you hate paired with the still lingering sadness of your recent split, take things a little easy.

If this change is something you've considered for a long time, then yeah, maybe now is the time to leap. But if you've loved everything about your look right up until this moment, you may want to play it safe and stick to trying some new eyeliner styles or a different shade of lipstick.

6. Reevaluating Your Style

One of the healthier side effects of exiting a relationship, IMO, is the opportunity to reevaluate your personal style preferences. From matters of interior design to the type of fashion you gravitate toward, your relationship tends to influence your style more than you realize. Once those ties are cut, you might just find yourself taking the time to get back to the roots of what you love.

Style influences us on a daily basis, sculpting our mood, forming our visual world, and reflecting the way we feel about ourselves internally. If you invest in a style change during a post-breakup period, you may find yourself reinvigorated and ready to explore other opportunities the world has to offer.

7. Feeling Charismatic And Confident

Yes, some breakups are really tough. They drag you through the mud and spit you back out wondering what the heck just happened to your life. But sometimes, emerging on the other side of a good (or even particularly bad) breakup is precisely what you need. When circumstances change for the better, most of us end up wearing our uplifted outlooks on our sleeves, appearing brighter, lighter, and much more confident than before. While it may be strange to think of a breakup as a positive addition to your beauty regimen, sometimes that change of pace is exactly what the doctor called for.

No matter where you are on the spectrum of post breakup beauty changes, stay strong. Sure, you're solo now, but you're not alone. Your close friends and fam have your back, and by the time you've managed to get through the last of your dirty laundry and moved forward in embracing the lovely, confident human you are, you'll probs be feeling just fine.

Images: challengart, bagusghufron, dahiana, chrisjoelcampbell, nwphoto, chne_, quanlightwriter /Unsplash