Because I’d been in relationships from the age of 18 to 28, I’d never really lived on my own or been single.
And when I found myself alone for the first time, I realized it was super hard.
I’d lost my identity in my relationships, and being alone for the first time in years felt alien to me.
I was devastated.
But I learned to love myself being single.
It wasn’t easy.
Because I had invested so much, my last partner and I had believed that we would be together till the end of time. Waking up to that harsh reality of being alone felt like the carpet ripped out from under me.
It took me a little time, but I was determined to crawl out of that difficult space because I felt I owed myself that much after years of putting myself second.
The first few weeks were honestly hell.
It was the worst kind of emotional pain I had ever felt. I honestly didn’t think I was going to ever come out of that.
I felt betrayed, alone, and I was downright depressed.
But after a couple of weeks of non-stop crying and throwing myself pity parties, I decided to move forward.
There is only so much time you can spend crying over what you’ve lost.
And I knew that there was a life lesson in there for me somewhere. I just had to distance myself from the situation enough to be able to see it.
And looking back on it now, I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that it’s going to be okay.
Because that’s the thing…
No matter how hard it is, you will get through it.
You will find your way back into the world, and you will be happy again.
I’ve been single for a while now, and I’m honestly happy.
I don’t feel like anything is missing in my life. I do still want to be in a relationship if I was given a choice, but I understand that I haven’t found the right person yet, and it is okay.
In this post, I want to cover everything that has helped me get to this point of happiness.
Before I do that, I want to answer a few questions I get asked a lot.
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Is being single a bad thing?
No, it isn’t.
Just because you’re single doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you.
The media and society, in general, have formed a construct that being single after a certain point of time is undesirable.
This has led us to attach a bad social stigma to being single.
But there are lots of single people at every age.
I am 29, and I am single right now after 2 long-term relationships.
There is nothing wrong with being single.
Being single means that you’ve not found the right person yet. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not tainted if you are single. So, stop attaching your self-worth to your relationship status.
And you cannot force yourself to be in a relationship with the wrong person just to be committed. You won’t find happiness that way.
You need to be okay on your own and love yourself as a single person.
Is it okay to be single and still desire a relationship?
Just because you’re single doesn’t mean that you hate relationships or plan to be alone forever.
It simply means you haven’t found the right person yet, and you’re living your life to the fullest until that moment comes when you do meet the right person.
It would be best not to pause your life or keep it on hold till you find the person you want to spend eternity with.
That’s not the right way to go about it.
You will not find the right person for you until you start loving your life and you fall in love with yourself as a single person.
How can I love myself and be single?
1. Fall in love with being alone
This is not going to happen in 1 day. I have written an extensive post on how I conquered loneliness and learned to be happy living alone.
Basically, you need to be okay with being by yourself.
It takes a while to get used to, especially if you’ve always been in relationships.
But it is possible, and it will happen.
Understand that you are whole. You are enough.
You are complete, just the way you are.
Another person is not going to complete you. They may add to what is already there, but they can’t do that if you yourself feel empty and unhappy.
You need to be happy with yourself because the longest relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.
If you’re having difficulty living alone, here are a few posts that might help:
- The survival guide: How to live alone for the first time
- How I conquered loneliness and learned to be happy living alone
- How to make each day count
- 43 self love journal prompts to help you heal and rediscover who you are
- 7 self love books that will help you heal from the pain of losing your ex
2. Forgive but don’t forget
Don’t go crying back to your ex when you feel pangs of loneliness.
Never, ever do that because it is just going to delay your healing. Keep in mind that it’s okay to miss the person because they did play an important role in your life – but that’s it.
Close that door forever, and don’t look back.
And release the negative feelings of anger, hurt, and resentment, not for them, but you.
Understand that the relationship didn’t work out because one of your needs was not being met.
If it were meant to be, it never would have ended.
That’s the simple truth.
Learn to let go of the past so that you can start living in the present and return to a place of joy and happiness.
Breakups are really hard. Because you’ve built a whole life with that person in your head, and you have to get used to living without them.
But time does indeed heal all wounds, and you will re-emerge stronger and better than before.
Stop idealizing your ex and the relationship. It’s very normal to do this right after the breakup.
When you are in love, you cannot see a person’s flaws. But with enough time and distance from the situation, you will be able to see it for what it was.
Just trust the process and keep going.
3. Do more things that make you happy
In the beginning, you’ll not feel like moving much. It’s normal.
Try to do more things that make you genuinely happy.
I had always wanted to play the piano, so right after my breakup, I got a keyboard, and I started learning.
I could only play for 5 minutes a day in the beginning because I was mentally not strong enough.
But with time, I started enjoying it. And now I play for almost 40 minutes to an hour every day.
Start engaging in hobbies that make your heart sing.
Find the meaning of life again by doing the little things you probably never had time for when you were in a relationship.
Join a class.
Learn something new.
4. Don’t put your life on hold
Yes, you’re single and no longer in a committed relationship.
It doesn’t mean that your life is over.
Remember, it only means that you haven’t found your partner yet. This is okay.
Learn to fall in love with life and open your heart and mind to new experiences.
This is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn so many things about yourself, your environment, and what truly makes you happy.
Explore. Visit new places. Make new friends.
Live a little on edge.
Do things that you’ve always wanted to do.
Don’t keep your life on hold in hopes that you will find someone. Stop waiting and focus on living.
Nobody is going to love a person who’s sad and lonely.
You have to become bright, positive, and happy again. You have to become okay with being by yourself. And when you are ready, life is going to send you someone.
Remember, you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy.
All the happiness you are looking for can be found within you.
Truly happy people have already discovered this secret, and they’re living in the moment.
5. Work on your social life
When you’ve gone through a painful breakup, you may not feel like seeing people for a few weeks. It’s common.
You may not even want to hang out with your closest friends and family, and the natural tendency for us human beings is to withdraw and become aloof.
As much as it hurts, start going out.
Even if it’s for just 1 meal with a friend or a coffee with your sibling or parent.
Do not sit all day indoors. It is not going to help you heal.
Listen to conversations; you don’t need to participate. But surround yourself with some noise and chirping.
It will help you take your mind off things.
Once you start feeling better, start participating in local events. Use the meetup app to see what events are taking place in your local area and join them.
Call your friends. Visit your family. Hang out with your co-workers.
Get out there and meet people.
It is just what you need to start falling in love with life again.
Do not keep your weekends empty. Make plans during the week so that you can avoid staying indoors on the weekends.
6. Learn to enjoy your own company
Ditch the idea that it’s weird to be alone.
Make plans by yourself and step out.
Go to your local bookstore and enjoy a cup of coffee afterward.
Go to a park with your dog.
Learn to eat alone in a restaurant without fear of feeling uncomfortable.
Go to movies, go to pubs, go to social events by yourself.
In the beginning, you may feel slightly conscious or awkward, but that feeling will most definitely pass! And you’ll learn to be confident and brave.
7. Don’t start dating immediately
You’re going to want to date to find your future partner right after a breakup to replace those feelings of hurt and loneliness.
Don’t do this.
When you’re hurting and lonely, you’re going to attract similar people. You’re also going to settle for less because, at the moment, your mind and emotions are not in the right place.
Don’t bring someone into your world of pain. It isn’t fair to them.
So, do your healing. Learn to be okay by yourself and love your single life, and then when you’re ready – start dating.
8. Take control of your life
Start setting personal goals that actually matter to you. Keep long-term plans for yourself.
Remember, your life is worth so much more than your relationship.
Your relationship was just 1 part of your story.
Enjoy being single for now and start taking your life into your own hands.
Do things that matter to you.
You no longer have to answer to anyone or run things by your partner because you are free to do as you wish.
There is literally no one and nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams.
You can have different sets of goals – like physical goals, social goals, career goals, mental and physical goals, etc.
9. Be patient with yourself
Learning to love yourself as a single person isn’t a 1-day process.
This takes time, and the progress isn’t always linear.
You are going to have bad days and good days.
Take some time for yourself on the bad days. Be kind and patient to yourself because you owe yourself that much after what you’ve lost.
It’s okay to brood, to feel pangs of regret or pain, not to want to mingle.
These feelings are valid. It’s completely okay not to be okay.
Remember that your feelings and thoughts don’t define you. They are all passing, and you will be okay after a while.
Continue to take care of yourself and practice self-love and self-care until you feel alright.
10. Know that this is not the end
Please remember that something and someone good is going to come your way eventually.
Just because you’re going through a bad phase doesn’t mean it’s going to last forever.
You’ve lost 1 person. And right now, it’s going to feel like the end of the world, but I guarantee you it is not.
You will get through this. You will come out of this dark and gloomy phase, and you will smile again.
Keep an open heart and continue to focus on yourself and your life in the meanwhile.
Just focus on getting through it.
Take it 1 day at a time. Stop thinking about the future. Just for now. Just for a couple of months.
And things will slowly fall into place.
Being single is not a crime.
And although it can feel brutal right now, you will get through this. Loads of people have crossed these very waters and reached the other side – rejuvenated and stronger.
You will too.
Just give it time and learn to love yourself as a single person.
If you have recently found yourself single, here are a few more posts to help you:
- 13 signs of unrequited love and how to let go
- How to stop letting things bother you
- The ultimate guide to getting over heartbreak and finding happiness again
- 35 honest ways to get your life together
- How to trust the process and just let go
- How to live alone and not be lonely
- How to let go of the past
- 15 ways to get a fresh start this year
- How to create a plan and stick to it