How I felt lonely after my breakup was unbearable. I was overcome with a deep sense of loneliness and sadness for weeks. But I eventually realized that I could use this experience to better myself and explore my passions. I began to get out of my comfort zone and try new things.
Being single gets a really bad rap. But no, honey, your life isn’t over now that your relationship has ended.
And you do not need anyone to complete you or make you happy!
You might experience loneliness for many reasons because of a recent breakup. The trick to believing this is learning how to enjoy being single.
If you have no idea where to start, here are 17 suggestions on how to beat feeling lonely after a breakup.
How to enjoy life and be happy single after a long relationship
Get rid of all of their stuff
If you just became single, the first thing you should do is get rid of all your ex’s things. That is the first rule of the art of being single.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you throw all their clothes onto the front porch or burn the gifts they gave you. However, if that’s what works for you, then, by all means, go for it, girl.
Getting rid of these reminders is a great step towards healing. It gives you a chance to shift focus from the past to the present and future.
So put them in storage, give them to charity or return them if you can. It will lift a huge load off your back.
Get off social media
According to dating experts, the worst thing you can do after a breakup is to spend countless hours incessantly scrolling on social media.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter are flooded with living-my-best-life posts by people trying to prove to their exes how much fun they are having being single.
The last thing you want to see after having your heart broken is #couplesgoals or, worse, your ex moving on with their life.
Chances are, most of these pics and statuses are total BS, and their lives are currently far from rainbows and unicorns. Better said, your ex is probably curled up in their bed, trying not to fall apart.
So take some time off social media to avoid exposing yourself to things that will only hurt you more. Use that as an opportunity to heal.
Keep your friends and family close
Being single doesn’t mean you have to be alone. It is actually an excellent opportunity to work on your other non-romantic relationships.
Intentionally or unintentionally, we often neglect the rest of the people we love just because we are seriously involved with a partner.
But now, with your ex out of the picture, you have a chance to reconnect with friends and family you haven’t seen in ages or have completely lost touch with.
Whether you need to patch things up with a parent or take the time to invest in great friends, now would be the ideal moment to dedicate some time to growing and renewing the bonds with like minded people in your life. Having this support around you can help you stop feeling lonely and keeps you from wallowing in your sad thoughts.
Take time to understand what happened
If your newfound single status followed a painful breakup, you should take the time to recover from the shock. Especially in situations where the separation happened quickly and unexpectedly, emotions often take over and start controlling your life, spreading like wildfire and hurting you more than the breakup itself.
To stop the pain from snowballing and filling you with anger and resentment, try and understand what went wrong and acknowledge your part in it. Take a step back and become a third-party observer.
Distancing yourself from the painful event will help you see your relationship with different eyes. Maybe you will manage to see your ex-partner in a different light and understand their decision. It will help with healing and moving forward, free from baggage.
Give yourself time to grieve
To break up means to lose the person you loved. And what do we do when we lose someone important? We grieve. Ignoring that you feel lonely or trying to postpone the pain you feel will only solve the problem temporarily and may come back stronger to bite you in the bum.
You can’t let your negative emotions take over, but you also shouldn’t try to stop yourself from feeling them. Allow the pent-up negative energy to come and go. The sooner you release what has been hurting you, the sooner you will start feeling better.
There is nothing wrong with being sad and mourning what is truly a loss in your life. Just keep in mind that this grieving period can’t go on indefinitely. Your goal is to move through the grief, not get stuck in it and turn it into your comfort zone.
Acknowledge your feelings
Many people believe that the best thing to do after a painful breakup is not to feel anything. And who can blame them?! It feels like you are drowning in an ocean of pain, and you just want to make it stop. So you stop feeling and go completely numb.
But have in mind that you can’t be avoiding your negative feelings forever. You will have to come face to face with your pain, and it’s better if you do it sooner rather than later.
The best way to go about it is just to stop and feel. Without pressure, without judgment, without expectations. Just sit with your pain and feel it. Allow it to resurface and acknowledge its presence.
Tell yourself it’s okay to feel hurt, angry, and hopeless. But also tell yourself everything is going to be alright. You can even write your ex a letter explaining how you feel and destroy it before you feel tempted to send it.
People are often left without closure, so it’s important to give one to yourself so you can move on.
Replace your negative thoughts with more realistic ones
Coming from a toxic relationship and/or a bad breakup can amp up negative self-talk to an extent when you start feeling like you are good for nothing. But there is a way to replace self-destructive thoughts with more realistic ones, which is how you can do it.
Whenever negative thoughts start swarming your head, ask yourself:
- “Is this true?”
- “Is this thought realistic?”
- “Would I say this to a friend or a loved one?”
Doing this will stop the overwhelming thoughts in their tracks and give you the space to shift your focus to more positive reasoning.
Instead of letting your inner voice tell you, “I won’t ever find anyone better than my ex,” replace that thought with, “What we had with my ex was such a great experience, but I know something even better is coming my way.”
Don’t play the blame game
We have all been there, blaming ourselves for how the relationship ended, thinking of what we could have done differently to prevent the breakup.
And while it’s healthy and mature to look back and admit your mistakes, blaming yourself will only hurt your mental health and deepen the guilt and pain. In reality, it takes two to tango, and chances are you both played a part in what transpired.
On the other hand, some of you will take the blame game to your ex’s turf and blame them for giving up without a fight. None of this will serve either of you. It can only get uglier, leaving permanent scars and damaging you for potential partners in the future.
Don’t allow yourself to be devoured by your own emotions. Remember that you are the first person who needs to feel your kindness. Don’t judge yourself or your ex. Look at this breakup as an opportunity to find a better match.
Seek professional help if you have to
If you still feel lonely after a while and figuring out how to enjoy being single after a breakup is proving a little too hard, then you should consider getting some counseling. This will go a long way to ensure that you deal with any trauma that the relationship or breakup in question might have caused you.
Most people’s initial reaction after a breakup is to swallow their emotions and bottle up. But this is far from a healthy coping mechanism, and it’s a potential ticking bomb.
So what would be a better alternative to deal with a breakup, you ask?
Well, you may find the therapeutic effect of expressing your emotions surprising. Giving your pain a voice can expedite the healing process and alleviate the trauma.
There are many ways to express your emotions healthily, and some of the best are:
- talking to a friend or therapist
- writing poetry/prose
- creating music
Everyone mends a broken heart differently, so choose whatever feels best for you and watch the pain melt away.
Get a hobby or learn a new skill
Another great way to get over feeling lonely after a breakup is to learn a new skill, invest in a hobby, or become an entrepreneur. Sites like jessejhaj.com help entrepreneurs launch businesses thanks to a new approach to online education.
Having a hobby gives you something positive and productive to preoccupy yourself with. That way, you do not end up with enough free time to doubt the awesomeness of being single.
Keep yourself busy
Burying your head in the sand won’t make your feelings go away, but finding a useful distraction that feels good can make a hell of a difference in your post-breakup period.
Once you have allowed yourself enough time to grieve for the loss, it’s important to “turn up the volume” and keep yourself busy.
Hang out with your loved ones, pick up a new hobby, start a DIY project or even go on a trip. Do things that bring you comfort and peace, things that will slowly but surely improve your mental health and replace the pain in your heart with joy and happiness.
Working out is one of the best acts of self-care and an excellent cure for a broken heart. This produces endorphins, which will instantly lift your mood. They also give you a healthy distraction.
And let’s not forget all the awesome results that will make you feel way better about yourself. After all, it is one of the best ways to get over an ex!
Get involved in social events around you
It could be anything from a local bake sale to a neighborhood cookout. These will help you interact with new people and make friends. It is also a great distraction and a wonderful way to feel useful and productive.
You would be surprised how rewarding it is to give back when you are going through a tough time.
This also gives you a better perspective on your problems and allows you to heal faster and better. Not that we are trying to downplay your pain, but there is a good chance other people have it harder than you.
The pain and loss you are trying to push through are absolutely valid and shouldn’t be taken lightly. But at the same time, you should count your blessings for the things and people you still have in your life.
So now that you have taken a minute for yourself, maybe you can dedicate your time to a good cause. Sign up for a shift at that pet shelter or help around an elderly home. It will do wonders for your broken heart.
Get some alone time
Your first instinct when you get your heart broken may be to surround yourself with people. It could be anything from friends who support you to new flings who do nothing more than distract you from your pain.
While complete isolation is never a good idea, it is always nice to get some me-time and do things alone while on your healing journey. It will allow you to get to know yourself better and work on personal growth with minimal distractions.
Take a vacation
You deserve it! Sometimes the best way to gain a fresh perspective is with a change of scenery. So plan that trip you have wanted to take for a while.
This new experience will show you that you can have fun and be spontaneous all by yourself. And there is nothing more liberating than this realization.
Get a pet or a plant
It is a great way to learn how to be responsible and coexist with others without the mess that comes with premature commitment.
The pet will also give you a sense of fulfillment and love, which you can never get enough of as a single person.
Treat yourself every once in a while
Take yourself to the spa, buy prime tickets to your favorite game, or go on a single date.
These treats are not as weird as you might think they are. If you really do not want to be alone, then drag a friend along. Just don’t sit around waiting to be in a relationship to enjoy the finer things in life.
Get back to dating
Getting back into the saddle may not be your first priority following a heart-wrenching breakup, but eventually, you will have to do it if you want to give yourself another chance at love.
You don’t have to rush into a serious relationship right away. Test the waters before you take a deep dive. Start by meeting people casually to show yourself that a relationship IS possible in the future.
The trick here is to break the ice and conquer the fear of opening up and getting hurt again.
But don’t rush into a new relationship
Sometimes, a painful breakup leaves a void in your life that some people rush to fill in.
Instead of spending time with yourself trying to figure out your next step, you throw yourself back on the dating scene. You start using dating apps, go to singles bars or ask your friends to set you up with someone.
And you may find someone interesting that makes you feel better at the moment, but usually, those are only rebound relationships with short expiration dates.
Do yourself a service and focus on loving yourself first before you love someone else. Don’t drag all that baggage from your past relationship into a brand-new one. You are killing its chances.
Learn to love yourself
The secret to figuring out how to be single and happy after a breakup is learning to love yourself.
Easier said than done, right?
It’s hard not to take a breakup personally, but you will have to try and fight off thoughts like “I’m not good enough” and “No one will ever love me again.” Why? Because they are not true. That’s just the pain talking through you.
To fall in love with yourself again takes understanding who you are, what you like, and what you want from life. Take a deep look within and find five things you love about yourself. Now use them as a starting point on your way to self-discovery.
Make a conscious effort to appreciate the good and the bad in your life. It will make a world of difference in your singlehood.
And last but not least, forgive!
Do it not because they deserve it but because you do. You deserve to let go of those toxic, soul-eroding feelings and move on to something better. Holding a grudge may seem easy, but living with the thoughts and feelings resulting from it – not so much.
You may not see a reason to forgive now, but try to take a step back and see your ex and the split from a different perspective. Maybe you can find the strength to put all this behind you without filling yourself with resentment and anger.
On the other hand, if you blame yourself for ending things, now would be a great time to start practicing self-forgiveness. To find true happiness again, you will have to forgive yourself and leave the baggage where it belongs – in the past.
Whether you are trying to figure out how to get over feeling lonely, how to be single after a long relationship, how to enjoy being a single mom, or just how to be by yourself again, these tips will come in handy.
Just make sure to accept and appreciate your status, make efforts to improve yourself, and learn not to be too hard on yourself.
Trust me; there are worse things than being single. And if at one point you still feel lonely and alone, just head to a dating app like eharmony and start chatting with new people!