Mariah Carey never walked down the aisle with ex-fiancé James Packer, yet somehow still secured a healthy 50-million dollar bag. Due to the split, Ms. Carey felt owed an "inconvenience fee," legal jargon for "you wasted my time."
Mariah Carey didn't just want an inconvenience fee to be petty, although I'm sure that was part of it. She, like many of us after a tough breakup, felt owed something. Anything.
When the relationship ends, we want ALL the things back. From that old, red scarf we left on their couch 6 months ago, to our peace of mind. We want it back. We want - nay, deserve! - an explanation. Or at the very least, some semblance of closure. But what we really want, and what typically doesn't register until much later, is security. Feeling secure in who we are without the special someone beside us is important. We need to know that we will be alright on our own.
While us mere mortals lack the means to gain financially from a breakup, it does bring up an interesting idea of reclaiming what is rightfully ours once the tears have dried.
How do we reclaim our sense of self after giving so much of it to someone else?
Building a relationship is time-consuming. We make a choice to open our hearts, to peel the layers of our most intimate selves, and to share our energy with another human being. We become so engrossed in our relationship that me becomes we. Therefore, it's only natural that once a relationship ends, particularly one that ends badly, that we mourn the loss of ourselves just as much as the loss of our significant other.
After the initial sadness dissipates, anger generally follows. That's where the gut punch happens. That's when we realize the last couple of months or years were overwhelmingly shaped by our connection and closeness to another person. And now it's over. And then we ask ourselves, "Was all of that a total waste? Should I have responded to more DMs?"
Gaining back that sense of self requires unpacking what we have "lost."
We're forced to rediscover ourselves as well as the other relationships or interests that we may have unintentionally put on the back burner. Because let's be honest, being boo'd up can give you tunnel vision. Road trips with besties get replaced with baecations and all of a sudden we're watching more Sunday Night Football and less TGIT. (Okay, no one would give up their weekly dose of Shonda shows for a man, but you get my drift).
So now that we're in our own company, let's examine what made us feel full before and jump to get back there. Here are some steps to regaining that confidence:
Spend Quality Time with Yourself
According to a Huffington Post article in 2014, 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. dread being alone. This statistic, while startling, is understandable. Having a partner is a wonderful and natural part of the human experience. But the single life is truly underrated.
Once we're single, our days belong to us! We should push ourselves to do activities on our own. And no, binge-watching Stranger Things does not count. It may seem awkward to dine at a nice restaurant or to go see a good movie solo, but doing so helps us understand our innermost self. We get to forgo our dependence on someone else's presence and instead embrace the person inside.
There is power in solitude.
The key is to love your own company so much that the addition of a significant other is a bonus, not a necessity.
Rekindle Your Friendships
As we're getting more acquainted with ourselves, make the effort to re-acquaint with your tribe. No one wants to be the girl who totally drops her friends the minute she gets a man. But whether we mean to do it or not, our girls inevitably become secondary characters to our love stories. So it's time to promote them back to the main stage.
A good group of girlfriends is crucial. They will cry with us, dance with us, sing badly to the radio with us. We can eat pizza, ice cream, and cookies together - at once - without judgement. They will listen to us voice our fears, our insecurities, our hopes, and our dreams, only to be hugged and uplifted in the end.
The love of a great friend is immeasurable.
So, we should return that immeasurable love back.
Don't Fake Happy
Now that the relationship is over, we have a responsibility to start making healthy, selfish decisions.
Unfortunately, what we do far too often is create the illusion that we're thriving post-breakup. A good friend of mine, weeks after a particularly bad breakup, decided to throw a house party in hopes her ex would show up. He didn't. Instead, she saw him snapping his life away and popping bottles at the club with girls he most likely just met. We won't reclaim our time with ostentatious displays of happiness.
True happiness is not performance art.
Remember YOU Decide Your Self-Worth
I know, I know. "You can't love someone else without loving yourself" is an adage as old as it is cliche. But this maxim holds true for a reason.
A breakup can really injure an ego. Depending on the circumstance, we may blame ourselves for the unraveling of our relationship and question what we have to offer. Our self-esteem often gets compromised by the sudden lack of romantic love. But our self-worth shouldn't be shaped through the lens of someone else.
The only person to decide our value is us.
We are the only ones in charge of our joy, our peace, and our self-confidence. We must remind ourselves daily that no love holds more weight than the love we have for ourselves.
Although it may seem otherwise, after a breakup, we have to accept the idea that our time was not wasted at all. What we had with that person was real. The laughs, the memories, and the love shared shouldn't be disregarded. Rather, they should propel us to the next level of self-discovery. While our ex owes us nothing, we owe it to ourselves to be the priority.
Ultimately, we must rediscover our sense of self and, in the words of Auntie Maxine Waters, reclaim our time.
Featured image by Giphy
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Anndi Jinelle is a part-time creative and full-time corporate cog in the machine living in Brooklyn, NY. This 20-something spends most of her days going from coffee to wine, moving closer to her truth, and watching way more TV than is humanly possible. Catch her on Twitter @seranndipity.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images