Updated June 2020
There are two types of single people: those that have never been in a relationship and those that have been in a relationship but are now single – they are single again.
I want to highlight the second type, single again, because I think there is a certain stigma attached to people to choose to be single and stay single.
What happens when you are single again?
You wake up one day only to realize that you are alone…again.
Being in a romantic relationship for a long time, you learn to adapt and compromise for the sake of the relationship. You care about the well-being of your significant other so you change your lifestyle to accommodate both you and your person.
It feels a little weird being single again. Eating alone, cooking alone, going out alone – after getting used to always having another person around.
I had to adapt to my new single life. Days turned into nights and I wondered if I could do this on my own. I took simple things for granted like fixing things around the house or chasing those geckos away by myself (what a nightmare).
My safety net was gone, there was nobody to speak to and tell them about all the things that happened during my day.
I could call a friend but at this stage in life, most of my friends are married with kids. They are either too busy to speak to you and you don’t want to feel like a burden to them either.
How to adapt to the new-found freedom
It took me a long time to adapt to my new normal. I’ve made so many mistakes and learned valuable life lessons. So here are some ways to adapt to being single again to avoid you from making the same mistakes I did:
It’s okay to feel sad but don’t live there
You don’t have to ignore your feelings. Acknowledge and accept your feelings but don’t let those emotions consume you. Sometimes we can be toxic to ourselves just by focusing on all the things that went wrong. These feelings won’t last forever so be patient with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling down.
You might find yourself questioning everything you thought to be true. It might go so far that you question your self-worth. Whenever you notice yourself doing this, flip the switch.
Practice replacing negative thoughts with feelings of gratitude. Think about the things you have right now which you can be grateful for.
It can be anything: being alive, having people who understand you, having the courage to walk from a toxic relationship.
Be careful about who you confide in
When we are hurting, we will confide in those that are willing to listen.
Looking back, I can’t believe I confided in certain people. People will listen to you, but not everyone wants the best for you. Some are only listening to you to make sure that your life is a mess and others may start spreading rumors about you.
Don’t confide in too many people. It will be best if you seek advice from one or two trusted people in your life. You don’t want everyone to know your business. Also, you don’t have to answer people when they ask you questions that you don’t feel comfortable answering.
When I went through my divorce, I had a friend who seemed concerned about me and asked me how I am doing all time. A few months later I found out that this so-called friend was telling everyone my entire story. I trusted this person because I felt like this person cared. Be careful!
With everyone getting married, buying houses and having babies, it can be hard not to compare. You might feel like all the hopes and dreams you had, had been shattered and you have to start life all over again.
Don’t forget that there is no timeline or order in which you need to accomplish things in life. Be deaf to people who ask why you’re single or make stupid comments to you.
You need to be compassionate with yourself. Comparing your situation will make you feel like you’re not good enough.
A few months after my divorce, my ex moved in with someone else. I am still single. I didn’t compare myself to him.
I understood that we are different people. He likes being in a relationship and I am very stubborn about achieving other things in my life. I am happy for him. It doesn’t mean that he is better than me or vice versa. It just means that everyone’s lives are completely different.
Watch your spending habits
If you were living with the other person, the costs might have been shared. Suddenly, you are on your own, but rent for a new place is not suddenly cut in half because you are only one person.
Your expenses will be more or less the same, if not more. If you are starting from scratch, you may need to spend on a lot more things and all these things will be necessities so be wise with how and what you choose to spend on.
Also, with your new-found freedom, you may want to go out more and explore this new lifestyle.
Going out means spending money.
If you are spending money faster than you are making money – check yourself.
A hurting heart can blind our common sense. This is not the time for retail therapy or drinking sprees.
Rather look for things to do that don’t involve spending a lot of money. You will have to live cheap until you are back on your feet again and there is nothing wrong with this.
Ignore silly comments from people
People tend to ask the most random questions without realizing it. I think that people do this because they are not open-minded or they feel sorry for you. You don’t need sympathy, you need understanding.
They might try to find a new partner for you. Someone always has a single cousin or friend that they think would be great for you. Hold on cupid. You don’t need to rush into another relationship if you are not ready.
People always ask me why I am still alone or why I’m not getting into a relationship. These are usually followed by stupid comments, “if you get into a relationship, at least you don’t have to climb on your kitchen units to reach stuff” (short girl problems) or “at least you will have someone to keep you warm at night”. I guess these people don’t know about the miracle invention called heaters. (sarcasm inserted)
Your person exists
I don’t want to get into a relationship for the “at least”, I want the most. It is okay to want more, do more and be more. Many people won’t understand you but it is not their life to live.
One day, you will find someone who understands your silence and it will feel like home.
Until that day, work on yourself because your person is probably working on themselves too.
Your person already exists, you just haven’t met them yet.