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How to Be Single After a Long Relationship: 16 Ways to Start Over

how to be single after a long relationship

If you recently came out of a long-term relationship, it can be tough to be single again. Here’s how to be single after a long relationship.

Being single for the first time in ages is a daunting prospect. If you are used to being in a committed, long-term relationship, even if you were the one who decided to end it, there will still be days of loneliness. Or times where you feel sad and unsure of yourself. This is how to be single after a long relationship.

Teaching yourself to be single—again

Everyone knows that after every breakup, the only real thing to help you is time. As time passes you start to feel better about yourself, embrace your newfound freedom, and revel in the excitement and adventure that single life brings.

Here are some tips to help you get through the tough times and teach yourself how to be single.

#1 Spend a night alone. When you share a bed with someone, it can be really tough when suddenly you sleep in your bed alone. It feels so empty and lonely. Not only that but you are used to sharing your evenings with someone else. Whether it’s going on date night or just snuggling in front of the sofa, you used to have company.

However, spending an evening alone is a milestone that is good to get ticked off as soon as possible. Try to make it fun. Watch your favorite movies *not ones that remind you of your ex!*, cook yourself a nice meal, take a bubble bath.

Find ways to relax and unwind and indulge in some much deserved “you time.” You might find you actually enjoy it! [Read: Single and ready to mingle? Get out there in the world]

#2 Write a list of things you like to do. Make a list of all the things you love to do, and begin to make plans to do them. Whether you watch a new Netflix series to hitting the gym, fill your life with things that you love to do. All the time you used to spend concentrating on your ex means you are now free to lead your life exactly how you want to.

#3 Go to the movies by yourself. There are some newly single person challenges that make you feel more independent and strong once you achieve them. Going to the cinema by yourself is one of them. Choose a movie your ex would never have wanted to see. Grab some popcorn, settle in your seat, and enjoy.

#4 Have dinner by yourself. Another single person challenge is to take yourself out for dinner. Now that you aren’t being wined and dined by your ex, it is important to treat yourself. Being able to spend time by yourself and enjoy your own company is imperative if you want to really kick ass at being single! [Read: How to stop loving someone else… And love yourself more]

#5 Go on dates. While you might not be able to even think about dating anyone else at first, there will be a point in your single life where you feel ready to explore the dating scene again.

The best way to approach this is with a sense of fun and expect nothing serious. If you immediately go on a desperate search to find the love of your life *preferably so you can smugly parade them in front of you ex at parties* you’ll only feel sad and let down when your date doesn’t match up.

Just put your feelers out and enjoy it for what it is. You never know what might happen. It’s all good practice after all. [Read: 8 most common post-breakup mistakes you should completely avoid doing]

#6 Flirt outrageously. Flirting is loads of fun. While you might be a bit out of practice, your new single status means you need to up your flirting game pronto. Flirt with anyone and everyone. It’s just a bit of fun but having a flirty conversation with that hot server you get coffee from every morning boosts your confidence. It is bound to put a smile on your face again.

#7 Make time for friends. Your friends will no doubt rally around you when you first break up with your partner. As time passes by it is important you stop making conversations all about you and appreciate how solid they have been for you when going through this tough time.

Show them how much you appreciate your friends by planning lots of fun activities with them and making the most of the time you spend together. [Read: How to have fun with friends – 30 really fun ways to beat boredom]

#8 Make time for family. The same goes for family. You have fewer commitments as a single. Use that time wisely. Visit family often. It gives you a warm glow inside, and they no doubt will cheer you up and be your biggest fan when you feel a bit blue too.

#9 Read more. Remember all those books you meant to read but could never find the time to do so? Read them now. Reading calms you, and you find yourself lost in another world. It is often just the escape for someone hurting from a breakup.

#10 Remind yourself why you broke up. Always remember why you broke up in the first place. Even if you didn’t want to, when you search deep down you’ll find reasons why the relationship wasn’t right for you. Hold onto these, they keep you strong and remind you being single isn’t so bad after all.

#11 Cry when you want to. Don’t beat yourself up when you feel sad. Being newly single is tough. Sometimes it might feel all too difficult. If you have a bad evening where all you want to do is sob into your pillow, that’s okay. Allow yourself to grieve and give yourself time to heal. [Read: Letting go of someone you love minus the bitterness]

#12 Don’t contact them. Try to be strong when it comes to getting in touch with your ex. Of course, there will be days when you want to try to be friends. Either way you need to give yourself time apart from them to truly get over them and feel completely, happily, independent.

Try to avoid contact with them even when you feel like you really miss them. [Read: 12 reasons why the no contact rule always works]

#13 Take up a new hobby and do things you’ve always wanted to do. Doing new things is a great way to fill your time and to feel as though being single has made your life richer and more exciting than ever before.

Always wanted to write a book? Why not give it a try? Always wanted to take up a martial art? Do it. You feel so much happier pursuing all your hopes and dreams and realize you are better off without your ex.

#14 Redecorate. This is particularly useful if you used to live together, but even if not, creating a change of scene will help distance yourself from memories of your ex and start your new single life feeling fresh and confident. Clear out all of their things and then change your room or house so it’s the way that you want it to be. Surround yourself with beautiful things that bring you joy. You’ll feel your spirits lift every time you walk through the door.

#15 Get a makeover. There is nothing better to affirm your newly single status by getting a bit of a makeover. Throw out all those old tatty slob clothes. Invest in some great new underwear. Experiment with your style and hit the gym.

Feeling good about your appearance gives you a confidence boost and make you feel as though your life is moving in the right direction. [Read: 8 post-breakup questions you should be thinking about]

#16 Do things that scare you. Challenge yourself and do things that scare you. Being single is all about searching your soul and finding out exactly what kind of person you are and who you want to be. Doing things that scare you proves to yourself that you are strong and independent and can overcome anything!

[Read: The 10 stages of a breakup and ways to get past every single one of them]

Being single is scary and daunting. By following these steps on how to be single after a long relationship, you’ll learn how to be a happier, healthier single you and start to truly love the single life!

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Bethany Locke
Bethany was born and raised in Scotland and now resides in Brighton where she lives with her partner and rather disobedient cocker spaniel pup. She works as a f...
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