You’d think that being single is something that everyone would know how to do. Especially since everyone is pretty much single as a default. You’re not born into a relationship with someone.
But learning to accept that was the hardest thing I had to learn. And as a child who was obsessed with the idea of falling in love, you bet it was a hard lesson to learn.
Learning to be okay being single was the second hardest thing I’ve ever done. The hardest was doing it again. This is my experience and my advice for anyone going through a similar situation
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I Experienced “Love”
I was someone starved for attention as a child. My family wasn’t very outwardly loving and I took whatever affection I got from others and sucked it up. This was unfortunately the reason I ended up staying in a toxic relationship in high school. I was infatuated (thought it was love at the time) with this person, but they definitely used me in certain ways. By the time we eventually called it quits for real (we had had multiple instances of breaking up and getting back together again throughout the 2.5 years) I was just fed up with everything entirely.
For me, the experience of “love” was the first step to understanding my need to be single. I was in love with the idea of being in love, rather than being in love itself. Sound confusing? It kind of is. I wanted so badly to be loved that I took what I could get and tried to pretend everything was okay. I feel that if I hadn’t experienced that, my infatuation with being in love would have never gone away and I’d probably end up hurting myself more. That relationship also helped me learn and realize the signs of a toxic and non-healthy relationship.
A Healthy You Makes a Healthy Relationship
If you’re not happy with who you are, a relationship isn’t going to fix that. You might feel better for a while, in that initial getting to know you stage where you’re being super flirty and passionate. But once that stage fades and the excitement of a new relationship wears down, that hole you have where you’re missing something will go back to being empty again.
You shouldn’t depend on someone else to make yourself happy.
This is something hard for me to deal with myself. As that attention starved child still lives inside me, wanting outside validation is a big thing for me. But you can’t rely on something external to make you happy. It’s the same when you rely on something outside of yourself to be happy. If for any reason that external object no longer exists or moves on, then your happiness is leaving with them.
Get to know yourself (may I suggest the Existential Crisis series?), learn what makes you tick and what you can do yourself to make you happy.
For me, I’ve been keeping my apartment more in check, and giving myself the time by myself doing nothing (or just playing video games) and not feeling guilty about it. I also have gotten back into the habit of wearing makeup and dressing nice for work. It not only makes me feel better, but I look better, too. I also have my blog. It’s my outlet, my main hobby. Without that, I would be in trouble.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Alone
One of the biggest issues people have with being single is that they’re alone. They don’t have a partner to do things with or talk to. I met a few people who hopped from relationship to relationship, barely giving themselves the time to breathe in between. Defining yourself by the relationship you’re in is not healthy.
My personal take is that if you’re not comfortable with being alone, you’re not comfortable with yourself, and that should change.
If you constantly want or need someone around you, ask yourself why. Is it because you don’t like being physically alone? Are you looking for affection? Do you like the safety of a partner? Once you figure out why you always feel like you want or need a relationship all the time, you can take appropriate steps to improve.
You should learn to be comfortable with being alone. You never know where life will take you. You can’t keep relationship hopping forever. Especially as you get older. Most people are looking for something more serious. They want to settle down, start a family.
I get that some people prefer the company of others, and that’s fine. Being very social and outgoing are great traits to have, I know extroverts exist, but there’s a difference between that and needing someone there all the time.
It’s Okay to Be Scared
Being scared is okay! If you’re just getting out of a relationship, it’s going to be a bit scary. You spent however long with your partner, and now you’re back to being alone. It’s going to take time to adjust. Being scared is a normal reaction to something new like this. However, being so frightened that you won’t leave your house or do anything you normally would, that’s not okay.
In the coming days and weeks, you’re going to have to relearn life by yourself. That can be pretty scary, especially if it was a long term relationship. It’s okay to be scared. Think of this as a new adventure. If you’re like me and don’t like adventures… well, you’re going to have to learn to like them.
You’re probably going to feel vulnerable, and doing some self care could help out. Pamper yourself, but don’t go crazy. You’re starting a new life; a life as yourself, without anyone else.
Related: Step-by-Step Self Care Guide
Accept and Embrace It
So, you’re single now, right? Embrace it. Use it as time to work on you. Take that class you always wanted to take, or do that thing that your significant other wasn’t interested in. This is definitely a case of you do you.
If you fight being single, it’s not going to work. You’re going to force yourself into relationships you’re not ready for, aren’t right for you, or aren’t healthy just to not be alone. So embrace that alone. Use it to your advantage.
Take this time to redefine yourself, figure out what you want, and take the steps necessary to heal and be ready for what life throws at you. There’s nothing wrong with being single, it happens. Sometimes things don’t work out, and that’s okay.
The more you accept and embrace being single, the more you can move on with your life. Let go of everything that’s holding you back.
- Being given attention is not love. I learned that the hard way.
- If you are mentally and physically healthy, your relationship will be mentally and physically healthier.
- There’s nothing wrong with being alone. That’s when you figure out all the important stuff about yourself
- Being scared of being loved or being in a relationship is okay. The only way to better yourself and have a successful relationship is to let yourself be vulnerable.
- There’s nothing wrong with being single. Literally nothing. There are many reasons a relationship isn’t the best for you right now. Use this time to better yourself.
Do you have any more advice about being okay with being single? Have your own story to share? Let me know in the comments!