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How to Be Single After a Long Relationship: 20 Ways to Start Over

It’s not bad to be single, but you might wonder how to be single after a long relationship if you’ve always been taken. Keep reading to find out how.

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. While being single isn’t the end of the world, it can feel like the most significant adjustment when you’ve been in a relationship for so long. It can feel lonely and dull since you’re used to. [Read: How to enjoy being single and live the life you really want to live]

Is it such a bad thing to be single?

The answer to this question is no, it’s not a bad thing. However, if you’ve been in a long relationship, it’s going to take some adjustment before you can be single again. This is because you’re used to having someone in your life; you’re used to having a significant other.

There’s nothing bad with being single, but since you’ve just gotten out of a long-term relationship, then it’s not a feeling you’re used to. It can feel rather lonely and sad during the initial stages of being single.

There’s a different kind of joy with being in a relationship compared to being single, so both experiences are different from one another. But again, it’s not bad to be single; you’re just adjusting after a long-term relationship.

But you have to remember, you were single once, and you’re capable of doing it again *no matter how tough it feels.* [Read: How to be happy being single & explore the freedom of singledom]

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. [Read: The thirst is real: 15 realities of being single for too long]

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’re used to sharing your evenings with someone else. So if you want to learn how to be single after a long relationship, you need to spend a night alone.

Enjoy your alone time and do whatever feels right at the moment. This is your chance to own being single and enjoy every bit of it. 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 or hit the gym, fill your life with things that you love to do. Being single is all about reinventing yourself and finding out who you are again.

We tend to lose parts of ourselves in a relationship so take advantage of being single right now. You have complete control over how you want to live your life and unlike before, nobody is going to influence your decisions and choices. [Read: How to find your passion: 13 secrets to seek it in simple things]

3. Go to the movies by yourself

Some new single-person challenges make you feel more independent and strong once you achieve them. Going to the cinema by yourself is one of them. Long-term relationships mean that you’ve probably never gone to the movies by yourself, and that’s okay.

But now that you’re single, you can finally do this without the fear of judgment and criticism. You can watch the movie you’ve always wanted to see that isn’t influenced by someone’s opinions and thoughts. Most importantly, you can cry, laugh, and feel whatever you want to without feeling embarrassed!

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’s important to treat yourself. Do you really know who you are when another person doesn’t blind you?

If you really want to know how to be single after a long relationship, then having dinner with yourself is an essential part of this. It’s not sad or depressing to eat by yourself; it’s actually very peaceful to enjoy your own company. [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. You don’t have to jump into anything serious right away * it’s actually recommended not to get into another long-term relationship.*

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your dating life and go on a few dates. So get yourself out there and go on dates! It’s not going to hurt anyone, even yourself. It can be really good to discover yourself when you go on dates again. [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 newly single status means you need to up your flirting game pronto. Flirt with anyone and everyone. There’s no harm in trying, right? Just make sure you flirt casually, and you’re not doing it to jump in another serious relationship *at least not right away.*

This is where you can test your flirting skills and see if you still have game. If not, you have all the time to work on them! [Read: How to flirt with girls: 25 secrets to help you win her over]

7. Make time for friends

Your friends will no doubt rally around you when you first break up with your partner. As time passes, it’s important that you stop making conversations all about yourself and appreciate how solid they have been for you when going through this tough time.

As easy as it is to isolate your friends and push them away because of your broken heart, don’t give in to that temptation. If you want to learn how to be single after a long relationship, then make time for your friends and have loads of fun with them!

If anything, your friends are how you’ll learn to be single again. [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 and visit family often. When you’re in a relationship, you tend to forget to make time for family. [Read: Family oriented meaning: What is it all about?]

All your focus goes into your partner, and that’s why we often disregard family when it should be at the top of our priorities. By spending time around your family, you’ll get the reminder you need that being single isn’t as hard as you think.

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.

It’s the perfect escape to forget all the pain and devastation you feel because of your ex, so now is your chance to disrupt those thoughts and memories. Also, if you need some encouragement, reading personal development books can help you massively. You know what they say, self-improvement is still the best way to get through 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 break up initially, you’d find reasons why the relationship wasn’t right for you when you search deep down. Hold onto these, as they keep you strong and remind you that being single isn’t so bad after all.

Especially on moments you miss them and wish you were together again, remember why things had to end. Breakups don’t happen for no reason and most likely, you already know those reasons. [Read: 20 valid reasons to break up with someone]

11. Cry when you want to

Crying isn’t bad, especially in a breakup. If anything, crying is highly recommended to release your difficult emotions, and so you’ll feel much lighter afterward. It’s a much better alternative than shutting off your feelings entirely and trying to pretend you aren’t hurt.

Allow yourself to grieve and give yourself time to heal. You aren’t weak for crying – you’re human. [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 and happily independent.

You’re setting yourself up to fail by willing to be friends with your ex. If you really want to learn how to be single after a long relationship, staying friends with your ex isn’t the way to do it.

There’s nothing you get from contacting them, so better not to do it at all. Delete or block their contact if it helps you have self-control. [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 feel that being single has made your life richer and more exciting than ever before. If there’s something you never got a chance to do, now’s your chance!

Nobody’s stopping you, so don’t hesitate to try new things and hobbies! Always wanted to write a book? Why not give it a try? Always wanted to take up a martial art? Do it. [Read: The best things to do when you’re stuck at home & feel productive]

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. Redecorate your home and try something different!

This change of environment can feel like a breath of fresh air when trying to get over a breakup. Especially when they always used to come over to your place, changing your setup will help release some of the pain you associate with your ex.

15. Get a makeover

There is nothing better than affirming 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. In fact, getting a makeover is one of the few things you should do immediately after a breakup.

If you want to learn how to be single after a long relationship, changing some of your physical appearance can greatly help you! Feeling good about your appearance gives you a confidence boost and makes you feel 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 precisely what kind of person you are and who you want to be. Being single is about finding yourself again, and you can only do that by facing your fears and getting out of your comfort zone.

Change will always be scary, but doing things that scare you will help you appreciate being single. [Read: The 10 stages of a breakup and ways to get past every single one of them]

17. Go after your goals

In learning how to be single after a long relationship, you need to create goals and go after them. Maybe during your relationship, you had forgotten what it felt like to be ambitious and driven.

This is your opportunity to go after those goals and become the most successful version of yourself than you’ve ever been. Your goals will give you a purpose and sense of direction, even after something so painful as a breakup.

18. Meet new people

When you’re in a relationship, you don’t often meet a lot of people for the fear that your partner will be threatened by it. So if you want to learn how to be single after a long relationship, meet new people and broaden your horizons.

Go on dating apps, attend parties, and go to socializing events! It’s a great way to own being single, and you can meet all kinds of people in the process. You never know, you might end up making new friends! [Read: How to meet new people: 16 exciting ways to find a new crowd]

19. Practice self-love habits

The thing is, when we’re so focused on loving someone, we forget that we also need to love ourselves. So self-love habits will help you learn how to be single after a long relationship. [Read: How to be more confident with 12 simple daily self-love habits]

Whether it’s having a spa day, getting a haircut, relaxing in your bathtub with a glass of wine, do everything you need to do to show you love yourself. It’s therapeutic and helps you own your confidence and self-worth after a breakup.

20. Live an interesting life

You’re single again so instead of wallowing in sadness, you can change your perspective and see this as an opportunity to reinvent your life and yourself.

Do all kinds of interesting things and live the most exciting life that you’ve ever lived. This will give you the realization that being single can be so fun, especially when the right people in your life surround you.

[Read: How to be more interesting and make everyone want to know you]

So, how to be single after a long relationship?

Being single can feel like a big adjustment when you just got out of a serious and long relationship. However, it’s always the best chance to reinvent yourself and do all kinds of things you never got to do in your relationship. With these 20 ways above, you can own being single and live the best life you can *without them.*

Being single is scary and daunting but certainly not impossible. So in learning how to be single after a long relationship, it’s all a matter of finding yourself and realizing that maybe being single isn’t so bad after all.

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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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