This "Reverse Breakup Hair" Style Is How I'm Dealing With My Latest Heartbreak



I've always had this theory that, spiritually speaking, being in a long-term relationship is sort of like being single in the way that after years and years with the same person, you are so over making a good impression that you can just be your truest, unmitigated self. You can dress how you want, do your hair how you want, hang out when you want with whomever you want, and not even care what they think because you've been together so long that they just have to accept it. At the same time, I also have this theory that if you've become so separate from your partner that you feel as though you might as well be single, then, well, you should probably just break up.

Admittedly, I did not come to this latter realization easily. Three months ago, after over a year of feeling incredibly disconnected and lonely in our relationship, my boyfriend of almost eight years and I decided to part ways. The breakup itself was done with kindness, compassion, and even a little humor, all of which came in stark contrast to the last couple years we spent together, which were filled with isolation and resentment. It sounds kind of backward, but the moment he and I decided to officially break up, we were both overcome with such relief that we were actually able to be nice to each other again.

Now, like most breakups, mine came with a sudden feeling to want to embrace a whole new side of myself, and that included a revamped hairstyle. "New hairstyles or color can be associated with making a fresh start, with new beginnings and optimism," couples therapist Vivian Diller, PhD, told Byrdie last year. But because the emotional journey of my breakup was sort of inverted (i.e., very painful during and virtually pain-free after), so was my vision for my new, single-me hair. Indeed, my version of a drastic breakup haircut was not to chop it all off; instead, it was actually a desire to grow it longer.