Mid-summer I suddenly became single, out of the blue — which is always nice. Together six years, lived together for five and we own a house together. I say that in the present tense because we are still selling — anyone looking for a house, please step this way…
I’ve been single before, obviously. Throughout university, I had some single pockets but those pockets of being single weren’t used to fully ‘get to know’ myself properly. Cringe. I didn’t do anything out of my comfort zone or embrace those little things that make you cherish your spate of singledom.
This time it was different.
I’m nearing 30 and I thought I had my life sorted. But now, after finding myself suddenly without my best friend — the person I told everything to, I feel as though my world has just crumbled around me. And although I’m surrounded by a loving family and some good friends, you can still feel desperately alone.
It’s hard, but I’ve learnt a lot about myself in the last four months…
I’m stronger than I thought
I’ve cried A LOT but that doesn’t mean weakness, it’s just sadness. I’m proud of how I handle myself at work through the times when I’ve cried all night and have come straight into work the next day like everything’s dandy. I’m also proud of myself for trying new things and putting myself out there.
You find out who truly cares about you
Out of my friends maybe two have given two hoots about my emotional state. It’s funny isn’t it how friends meet up with you straight after a break up to ‘get the goss’ and then fuck straight back off once they’ve got the good stuff. Thanks, guys. The worst thing? You’re there for them when they have something they want to discuss. Well not anymore, move over and let some proper friends through, please.
I can take solo trips away and enjoy them
I recently took a solo trip to London and I really enjoyed myself and I even saw a musical. I got to do what I wanted to do, if I was tired, I went back to my hotel for nap — and no one could tell me not to! It was lovely.
I’m coeliac, so I sought out THE BEST gluten-free-only restaurants and a gluten-free bakery and the food I gorged on all weekend was worth the trip alone. And in the restaurants, all the servers took the time to talk to me about London and life in general — going on your own is fantastic, you get special treatment.
I can still function
Whatttt? I learnt that even though my relationship was my whole life, I was probably being held back. I’m out of the house much more than I was before and I enjoy my weeknights and not just my weekends. I can cook what I want without having to think about what the other person likes. Being single is FREEDOM.
I don’t watch that much TV
In my relationship, I watched TV most nights. I couldn’t miss my favourite series — even if that meant staying in/not making other plans to watch it every night. How sad is that? I honestly don’t watch that much TV anymore — I read, I go out, I write, or I drink tea and start a new crochet project. It’s so nice to enjoy the silence.
I certainly don’t like fizzy drinks as much as I thought I did
This is clearly a bit of a weird one. It’s funny the habits you get into in a long-term relationship. My partner drank a coke with every meal and I just followed along. But since I’ve been single, I actually realised I don’t buy fizzy drinks EVER. Sometimes you adopt good habits from your partner and that’s what’s so nice about being in a long-term relationship — you grow, and you change. But sometimes, the change isn’t always for the better. I’ve adopted a healthier lifestyle almost by accident.
I’m relatively sociable
I enjoy going out and doing new things, meeting new people. I always thought I was extra introverted but I’m not — I’m probably somewhere in the middle between introvert and extrovert. As long as I can come home alone to my sanctuary after socialising, I enjoy it.
I’ve discovered new hobbies
It’s common for those of us who are newly single to start putting ourselves out there more. Mainly for me, it’s a case of getting out of the house we both share. I started pottery, aerial yoga and crocheting. I’ve read more books, I’ve just done more with my life over the last few months.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a long way off getting over my relationship but I’ve learnt more about the kind of person I am in these last four months than I have across my life thus far. Being single after a long-term relationship suddenly forces you to confront life head-on. It’s easy to sit indoors and watch the world go by, so if you’re newly single, make a concerted effort to go out and learn more about yourself. It’s worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against relationships. Relationships are great, and I loved being in one. But just because you find yourself single again, doesn’t mean you should pine until you find someone new. Being in a relationship shouldn’t define your whole life. Being single is that perfect opportunity to go out and do exactly what you want — you might end up finding some amazing friends or come across a hobby you genuinely love.