I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. How do I make the transition to single life? How will I know when I’m ready to see other people?
Sometimes when we miss an ex, what we really miss is feeling taken care of. But just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to feel alone. It’s important to take really good care of yourself when you’re newly-single. Try pampering yourself with a hot bubble bath (you found an easter egg!), a nice meal, a movie date with a friend, taking a fun class, or having a girls’ day out. Surround yourself with people who keep you feeling grounded and centered: people who bring out your best self. It can feel strange to have to re-learn how to be single, and to re-discover who you are when you’re not in a relationship. What do you like to eat when you’re cooking for yourself? What do you like to watch when it’s just you? How do you like to spend your free time? What makes you happy? What does a perfect day look like to you? Now go do it!
Romantic relationships can be wonderful and fulfilling, but they can also cloud our own identities if we invest too much in them too soon. We can become so excited about the relationship’s potential (“is this The One?”), and so filled with romantic feelings (“He’s all I need”), that we put our own opinions, ideas, and dreams aside in service to our partners. While being single again can be a painful adjustment, try to appreciate your new freedom. You can do what you want – you come first again! Is there something you’ve wanted to learn that you’ve put off, such as yoga, guitar, knitting, rock climbing, learning a language? Now that you have more time on your hands, get busy learning something new. Other ways to boost your happiness are exercising (try an upbeat dance class or yoga), volunteering for an organization you admire, and spending time with your friends. It might take some time, but eventually you will create a single life you love.
The greatest predictor of a strong and fulfilling relationship is how happy and complete each person is as an individual, without their partner. One of the benefits of creating a single life you love is that you’ll be in a better position to carry that into your next relationship. When you feel confident and secure—when you know who you are, what you like, and what makes you happy—then you are ready to see other people. Don’t rush this process; it takes time to let go of the relationship that’s ended and get solidly on your feet again. Taking the time to re-connect with yourself will empower you now as a newly-single gal, and will also help you have a stronger, happier relationship the next time love comes your way.