Learning to be alone after a relationship is one of the most challenging things to do. Sure, there are some moments of relief, but for the most part, you're going to feel lonely for a while.
As a society, we tend to downplay a breakup’s impact on a person. On top of losing someone we once saw as part of our future; we have to come face to face with the things we’ve lost in the present. Often, this leaves us feeling like there are holes in our life that need to be filled as quickly as possible, so we look outside of ourselves for what has been lost. Unfortunately, that mindset makes us more dependent on others, which really makes us vulnerable (and not in a good way).
That’s the first important thing to know if you want to learn to love being alone after a breakup: It’s hard to get fulfillment from other people or things when you’re not grounded in yourself.
If we’re going to learn to love being alone, the first thing we need to do is heal. Even if the choice to break up was mutual, there are still emotional wounds we must work through. We must shift our mindset from one of weakness to one of strength.
Okay, but how?
Step One: Remind yourself that every ending is also a beginning
Sometimes when things come to an end in our lives, we forget that endings can’t come without beginnings. Yes, this is the end of your relationship, but it’s also the start of an exciting time in your life: a time of independence. Sure, it may be intimidating at first, but it’s no secret that relationships come with sacrifices, so try to see this as an opportunity to focus on yourself.
Step two: Remind yourself that sometimes things end so we can make room for better things
It’s easy to look for faults in ourselves that can explain our situation, it’s easy to blame ourselves after a breakup and become critical of who we are, but we have to remember that sometimes something ends simply because it wasn’t the right thing for us.
Sometimes, even if we are unhappy in a relationship, we avoid admitting it because letting go means facing the unknown. We desperately try to hold on to something that’s not working because even if we know deep down that it isn’t right for us, it’s tangible. The following relationship isn’t. Don’t forget that to make room for the right relationship, we need to be willing to sacrifice the one we’ve convinced ourselves is right.
Step three: Remind yourself that your worth doesn’t come from a relationship
In today’s world, most of us measure our value against our job, our relationship status, and the possessions we have. The problem is, once we lose one of these things, we tend to end up struggling with feelings of worthlessness.
The older we get, the more intimidating a breakup can be because most of us will end up single in the middle of a friend group made entirely of couples. It can be challenging not to compare ourselves to people whose relationships are thriving. It is even harder not to feel like our value has somehow gone down because we no longer have a significant other.
The problem is, when we focus so much on the things we feel we’re lacking, we look right past the things we are that truly make us valuable. Being single doesn’t change your character. Remind yourself that even without a relationship, you are still capable, funny, intelligent, determined, kind, etc., and stop basing your worth on things you can’t control.
At the end of the day, learning to love being alone comes down to learning to love yourself enough to start being a bit selfish. Take some time to get to know who you are outside a relationship, find out what you’re passionate about and spend some time giving yourself the validation you would usually seek from others. Get comfortable focusing on yourself and confident enough in the value you bring to the table that when you are ready to date again, you can be picky enough not to settle.
What are some ways you’ve learned to love being alone? Please share them in the comments!