Single And Ready To...Live: 6 Realities Of The Newly-Single Life
I recently met up with one of my best friends from high school whom I hadn't seen since she studied abroad last semester.
Needless to say, we had some catching up to do.
That meant I had to tell her about my latest breakup (which happened a few months ago, but it was news to her).
I ended the word vomit of all the bullsh*t I went through with my ex and all the new bullsh*t I was treading through with my new love interests with these words: “I just don’t like being single.”
She simply replied, “I know you don’t.”
I guess I should have expected that. I went from a high school sweetheart to a college sweetheart in a matter of months, so this is my first time being single for a substantial amount of time since I was (what seems to me) a baby.
That being said, I do enjoy myself when I’m single, but I’m not one to say no to being tied down if I’m interested in someone.
The biggest struggle when going through a breakup is the transition into single life.
You go from the, "I’m over this, and I hate being lonely," phase to the, "Wow, I love being single," phase within hours.
Regardless of the ups and downs in becoming newly single, this time I’ve decided to try and stay single instead of jumping into the wrong relationship, again.
In order to go from being stable in a relationship to being stable and single, you definitely have some adjusting to do:
The single life brings out a new beast in you and the people around you, too.
Everywhere you go with your family, you’ll feel like you’re on an episode of "The Bachelorette."
Who wants you happy more than your family, right? They obviously think you’re a hot commodity because you’re their offspring after all.
They’re the ones constantly telling you not to get tied down, yet every time you’re in a public place, you get the nudge with some googly eyes from your 50-year-old mother.
“Oh! He’s cute, Cole. So is that waiter over there!”
Really, Mom? The man who is literally getting paid to smile and come to our table every few minutes?
I don’t think I would have noticed him.
Your best friends will also unapologetically tell you "yes" to just about anything that has to do with talking to or getting with the opposite sex.
They’re your judgment-free zone, but they can turn into a danger zone with their increasing ability to make you feel like your random hookups are justifiable because you’ve been off the market for too long.
They also have to take advantage of all your new free time, which is a good thing anyway.
You probably said no one too many times to their requests to go out and get drunk on a Tuesday 'cause you’d rather cuddle with your boyfriend, but the cuddling doesn’t have to stop!
You have some romance-free cuddle buddies back in your life: your best friends. What’s better than that?
You’ll have some bad nights, but you’ll have really good ones, too.
You’re used to having someone there for you whenever you need him to cuddle with, talk to or just have a spontaneous fun night with.
He was your person, your go-to for everything, and losing him whether you know it’s for the best (or not), is going to hurt.
So, you’ll have nights when you’ll cry, get drunk and want to call him. You’ll plan out a clever text to send, or you’ll want to just go see him.
But, you can’t because it’s over, so repeat that in your head as many times as it takes for you to realize it’s true.
It is over. And it’s over for a reason, whether you both changed and couldn’t make it work, or he wasn’t deserving of you.
So, get through those nights when your song comes on in the car, or when you’re drunk at the bar and can’t decide whether this new guy you’re talking to is worth it or not because your ex keeps popping into your head.
Get over it by eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and watching "He’s Just Not That Into You" (or just about any other rom-com on Netflix) because I promise you, those bad nights will dwindle down, and the good nights will take up the rest of your life.
The good nights will be so good, you’ll feel like a new and improved you because you are. You’re no longer being held back in a relationship that didn’t give you all you needed, and that’s the only reason a relationship ends after all.
If you’re saying to me now, “Well, that isn’t true because I didn’t want to end it,” I have news for you: If you didn’t want it to end it and it did, then that relationship is not one that could have ever given you all you needed.
Any relationship where one person is willing to fight and the other gives up is completely undeserving and a waste of time.
You’ll have more girl nights, you’ll get drunk and go dancing and have no intentions of even talking to guys (that’s when they usually talk to you more), and you’ll have time to spend with your family.
It will remind you of how lucky you are and how real you should always be, and you’ll have more "me time," too.
You’ll be able to go wherever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want, and you’ll quickly realize how fun it is to be that independent and carefree.
You have to stop thinking of the old memories and start focusing on making new ones.
Don’t let the nostalgia get you down. There is nothing worse than replaying those old memories in your head because I guarantee your mind skips over the bad and goes straight to the good.
You have to get up and get out so you don’t sink away in your sorrows. The busier you are, the happier you’ll be. There’s no other way to put it.
Once you focus on making new memories, you'll realize the others start to fade.
I confirmed my faith in this concept when I realized I couldn't remember the details of one of my favorite dates with my first boyfriend.
I could obviously remember the time and place, and a lot of other memories from that relationship, but what used to be one of my favorite nights somehow faded away.
That might not seem like a big deal, but it is. I’ll always remember some memories I’ve had with my first love, or any love, but those memories that once made my heart sink after our breakup no longer make me flinch.
You’ll start to weigh your options.
“Hmm, I wonder if that quiet guy from high school who was always interested in me is still around...”
Now, let’s not get desperate. There was probably a reason you didn’t choose him in high school, but you will start meeting new people or opening your eyes to people who have always been right in front of you.
You can try out a friendship as something romantic or just become open to talking to those guys you’d loyally turn down every time you were out.
Although I’m still single, I’ve forged some really great relationships I’m just now appreciating.
However, I'm taking all of them slowly because I've learned getting into a relationship shortly after one ends never works.
If you move too quickly, you’re most likely just looking to fill the void instead of actually trying to find the right person for you.
You’re going to build a new life focused only on your wants and needs.
You might have the same life, but you can refocus everything in it. You have no one to please but yourself, so you don’t have to compromise anymore.
Do whatever the f*ck you want.
Find a new hobby, make new friends and try new things.
Travel anywhere and with anyone. Everyone knows the quote, “Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
Experiencing a new culture, or just meeting new people in a new place not too far from you, can change your entire outlook on life.
You will become more educated and sophisticated, and you will create irreplaceable memories.
You can focus on your future now instead of the "our future."
Create new connections, find what job will fulfill your desires and be that strong independent woman we all envy.
The more time you spend doing things for yourself, the less time you’ll have to think about the fact this is a new life you aren’t used to living.
You'll have more time to realize this is a new life you’re actually enjoying.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to fall in love with yourself.
You’ll finally feel like yourself again.
Breakups force you to be real with yourself. You have to acknowledge everything you’re feeling and everything you’ve just gone through.
It’s hard, and it’ll never be something anyone can understand because every person and every break up is different. But, it’s worth it.
The breakup process will make you realize so many great things about yourself.
Your independence and happiness will attract the right people, and until then, you should be in no rush to take yourself off the market.
Now you know what heartbreak feels like, and now you know to not give yourself to just anyone.
You’ll finally wake up one day and be happy because of yourself, not because of someone else.
You’ll be busy doing things that make you feel good.
You’ll finally know what you truly need and want in someone to make it last longer the next time.
You’ll be doing things for and with the ones you love more often, the ones who will be there through all of the breakups and makeups.
You will ultimately find happiness within yourself one day instead of in someone else.
I found a quote yesterday that really resonated with me:
“If you’re not careful, you’ll get lost here and find that where you end up is better than where you had planned to go.”
Once you can agree with that quote, you’re golden.