We've all been there: You get out of a relationship, and no matter how it ended, you get into a bit of a funk.
You think this now means you're all alone for years to come, you're going to have to enjoy Netflix by yourself, you are going to end up in bars every Friday, you'll find yourself drinking a whole bottle of wine alone (accidentally) on a Tuesday, simply because you can.
But wake up and realize these aren't the worst case scenarios — especially when you're in your 20s.
When my relationship first ended, I wasn't excited to be back “on the market.” I wasn't happy about having to do those awkward first dates, the "who reaches for the bill" game.
You have to worry about drinking too much in front of your date and — oh my gosh — whether or not you have food on your face or in your teeth.
But it wasn't long before I was actually starting to appreciate the fact that I could be on my own.
We forget that before being in a committed relationship, once upon a time, we were a separate entity.
We were selfish, and that was OK because we were on our own schedule. We were these independent, confident and completely satisfied people because we were calling the shots.
Being single and unattached is an opportunity to start fresh with ourselves, to get to know who we've become, to start rebuilding, re-evaluating and making decisions that suit our needs.
This is an exciting time. We're young, we're intelligent, we're independent and we're completely free from any obligations. Let's embrace that.
Here are six things I've been appreciating more and more about being single, and you should to:
1. Alone time
Alone time has its time and place, and as much as we'd love to snuggle up to someone, we have the rest of our lives for that.
It's not the worst thing to be alone and enjoy that time.
At least once month I go to the movies alone, enjoy an entire bag of popcorn and laugh hysterically at the screen.
2. Travel opportunities
Obviously it's always more fun to travel with somebody, but wherever you are, more than likely, there are other humans to engage with.
Plan a weekend getaway and do a spa day and then enjoy a nice dinner and glass of wine at a fancy restaurant.
If you feel uncomfortable eating alone, tell the server to leave the bottle. I promise you'll forget who's around you.
I'm currently in the process of booking a trip by myself somewhere tropical and relaxing, simply because I have the freedom to. How incredible is that?
Being single means you can serial date — if that's your thing — anyone you want and whenever you want.
There's no judgement because you're exploring your options, and what better time to do so than now?
Discover new people and what qualities you appreciate in those people.
No, no, no. I don't mean you will endure heartbreaks. I mean that you will be handing them out.
You will be going on dates, you'll be going out to bars, meeting new people, being unattached and completely unavailable — and along the way, you're bound to break some hearts.
The amount of decisions you can make by being single is truly unfathomable.
Don't be reckless and use being single as an excuse as to why you did something completely stupid, but use it to your advantage.
Decide you want to stay in on a Saturday and order take-out. Decide that you're going to sleep at a friend's place. Decide to ask that hot guy at work out on a date.
Decide whatever the hell you want!
6. Time to read a book
Have you sat down recently and just read a phenomenal book, and you're wondering why you don't do that more often?
Currently I'm reading “The Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes and I can't put it down.
It's inspiring me to read more often. I am finding myself more enlightened, so I enjoy picking up a book and learning something new.
My point is, broaden your horizon a little. Step outside the box. Get out of your comfort zone. You're single. You have no ties to anything.
I don't mean that in a bad way, but think about it like this: Before you know it, you'll be married, you'll have kids to chase after, punishments to hand out, driving to teach, family functions to go to, a college fund to start, the list goes on and on.
You have the rest of your life to dedicate to someone else and even a mini-you running around.
So, take this time now to enjoy the extraordinarily beautiful and independent person you are, because you won't want to look back and realize you have no stories to tell — stories that make you, you.
This article was originally published on Unwritten.