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20 Baby Steps to Be Single After a Long Relationship, Start Over & Feel Fulfilled

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

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 and long-term relationship, there will be days of loneliness.

Even if you were the one who decided to end the relationship, there will be times when you feel sad and unsure of yourself. You might think you’ve forgotten how to be single.

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 being part of a couple. The good news? It’s just an adjustment period. [Read: How to enjoy being single and live the life you really want to live]

Is it such a bad thing to be single?

There’s nothing bad about being single! But, since you’ve just gotten out of a long-term relationship, 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 in being in a relationship compared to being single, so both experiences differ. 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 is time. As time passes, you start to feel better about yourself.

When this occurs, 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 tough when you suddenly 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 that 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, or take a bubble bath. Find ways to relax, unwind, and indulge in 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 and 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 – secrets to seek it in simple things]

3. Go to the movies by yourself

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 being 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 when you feel ready to explore the dating scene again.

You don’t have to jump into anything serious right away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your dating life and go on a few dates.

Get yourself out there and meet new people! It’s not going to hurt anyone, even yourself. It can be really good to discover yourself when you go on dates again. [Read: Most common post-breakup mistakes you should completely avoid doing]

6. Flirt outrageously

Flirting is lots 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 into another serious relationship *at least not right away*.

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 the temptation.

If you want to learn how to be single after a long relationship, then make time for your friends and have fun with them! [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 when you’re single. Use that time wisely and visit family often. In a relationship, you tend to forget to make time for your family.

All your focus goes into your partner, and that’s why we often disregard family when it should be at the top of our priority list.

By spending time around your family, you’ll get the reminder you need that being single isn’t as hard as you think. [Read: Family-oriented meaning – what is it all about?]

9. Read more

Remember all those books you meant to read but could never find the time to pick up? Read them now.

Reading calms you, and you find yourself lost in another world. It’s often a perfect escape for someone hurting from a breakup.

Also, if you need some encouragement, reading personal development books can help you massively. Self-improvement is one of the best ways 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’ll find reasons why the relationship wasn’t right for you when you search deep down.

Hold onto these, as they’ll keep you strong and remind you that being single isn’t so bad after all.

Breakups don’t happen for no reason and most likely, you already know the 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 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.

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 being 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 to not do it at all. Delete or block their contact if it helps you have self-control. [Read: Reasons why the no contact rule always works]

13. Take up a new hobby and do things you’ve always wanted to do

Trying 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. If 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.

Getting a makeover is one of the things you should do immediately after a breakup. Feeling good about your appearance gives you a confidence boost and makes you feel your life is moving in the right direction. [Read: 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 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 forgot 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 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 meet a lot of people for fear that your partner will be threatened by it. So if you want to learn how to be single after a long relationship, try to 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. 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.

Whether it’s having a spa day, getting a haircut, or relaxing in your bathtub with a glass of wine, do everything you need to do to show love to yourself. It’s therapeutic and helps you own your confidence and self-worth after a breakup. [Read: How to be more confident with simple daily self-love habits]

20. Live an interesting life

You’re single again so instead of wallowing in sadness, 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 you’re surrounded by the right people in your life.

So, how to be single after a long relationship?

Being single can feel like a big adjustment when you just get 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 tips above, you will own being single and live the best life you can *without them*.

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

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

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...