The One Thing I Bought Myself After Every Breakup

A simple tradition, with a powerful takeaway.
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I know most girls wait for a man to put a diamond ring on their finger... but I've never believed that's the only way it should be done.

After my college boyfriend and I broke up, I was devastated. I was living by myself in L.A., had zero friends, and felt so far from home. And there's nothing like the blow of a broken relationship to make you feel truly alone. It was around that time that I started saving up for a diamond ring. We're not talking a 2-carat rock for my left hand, but a small reminder of how capable I was of being on my own.

I saved up for it for about four months, and went to one of my favorite jewelry stores, XIV Karats to pick it out. It was the first thing I'd ever put aside money for each week and when I eventually made the purchase, I felt empowered and proud. Because I wore it every day, it also served as a visual reminder that I was better alone than with a man who didn't truly appreciate me

It's become a bit of a tradition I've since passed on to other friends after break-ups and something they've all embraced. That single stone represents hope and a small, but sparkly pick-me-up after a tough loss. It's been twelve years since I bought that ring and I've never taken it off. It reminds me of that timid girl who believed in herself, even during her shakiest times, and to never stop taking care of ourselves.

I'd love to hear: How do you recover, then feel empowered, after a breakup?