Being newly single can be freeing, confusing, and disorienting all at once. If you're used to being part of a couple, being on your own might feel completely foreign, even though you've obviously been single before. Life goes on, but things are different. Now that you're single, you don't automatically have someone to have dinner with on the weekends, or a plus one for every event, or someone to download your day to. It's almost like you have to learn how to be single again, one step at a time.
To me, one of the strangest moments of being newly single is getting into bed, checking my phone, and having no "good night" text. After my last relationship ended, and I know it's the smallest thing, not seeing my boyfriend's name on my phone at bedtime made me feel awful, made me miss him, and made me feel incredibly alone. Even though I was happy to be single, glad to be on my own, and refocused on my priorities, adjusting to being a single gal again wasn't a walk in the park.
I reached out to Shula Melamed, relationship and wellness coach, to find out if there were any ways to make acclimating to singlehood any easier. She suggests thinking of being single as an opportunity, not a punishment. "Learning how to take care of yourself and cultivate your own life will make you a better partner. Having ways to self-soothe and create joy in your own life on your own are extremely valuable life skills." And now that you're on your own, your time is now yours to spend however you choose.
Focusing on the freedom being single provides you with can shift your mindset into a positive way. Melamed agrees, "Take this time for career, personal growth, friends, hobbies and developing a sense of self [separate from your past relationship]."
While all your new free time is fine and dandy, being single can still be very lonely — especially if you're used to companionship. Melamed says, "Just because you are single doesn't mean you have to be alone. Connect with friends, colleagues and members of your community. Get involved with activities that incorporate community and gathering."
You minus your partner are still wonderful you, so reach out to your coupled-up friends to hang out — just because they're coupled and you're single doesn't mean you guys suddenly won't get along or have fun together. And, of course, your single friends are going to be very valuable to you during this time, too!
I connected with Nicole Richardson, counselor and relationship therapist, who also says to reach out to your friends and offers, "Being single gives you the opportunity to see what friends you can really count on when things get hard." And being newly single can be really hard so don't blame yourself for feeling overwhelmed, lonely, or discouraged. Richardson suggests spending time journaling and figuring out what self-care practices work for you.
Melamed adds, "Self-care is the name of the game. Eat healthy food, exercise, sleep and feel your feelings. It might be tempting to drown out your sadness with self-destructive behavior but remember this is an incredible opportunity to recommit to yourself and what you want in a relationship."
Reaching out to your network of friends will remind you that being single doesn't mean you are alone, but Melamed says, "Don't forget its OK to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed in an unmanageable way."
Sometimes being newly single might make you feel like you have to jump back into dating immediately, but rushing into a new relationship is an emotional no-no. While being social is a great antidote to loneliness, Richardson explains, "Don't start dating right away; another person will not make you feel whole. Start a new hobby, revisit a hobby... Reconnect with what makes you special and unique before you start thinking about dating again."
Being single is an opportunity for you to grow and discover what you like and dislike, without the input or influence of another person. You get to be selfish, you get to have as many pillows as you want on your bed, and play Ariana Grande's new single on repeat for days. Being on your own again might take a little getting used to, but after a bit you just might find yourself going to sleep without checking or even thinking about a good night text.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the“Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!