While it’s tempting to wallow in the emotions that follow a rough breakup, it’s also a crucial time to consider the benefits of going solo: There is nothing stopping you from enjoying all the good things that come from being on your own again. There’s a world of possibilities ahead of you, so much to remember about the person you were before your relationship, and plentiful discoveries to make about who you are now.
“As daunting as it might feel, live life,” says Bergen Counseling Center founder Jeremy Bergen, MS, LCPC. According to Bergen, this is the time to rediscover yourself and all that you really love to do. He suggests thinking about the things you didn’t do in your own life because you prioritized your relationship. Imagine your breakup as an opportunity to remember old hobbies, find new passions, and meet new people. At a loss for where to begin? We tapped Bergen for his ideas on how to move on and tossed in a few of our own to help you feel like yourself again.
Consider this list your guide for how to be single after a long relationship.
“You can do whatever you want without having to check in with another person,” says Bergen. It may sound basic, but it’s easy to forget how to do even the simplest things on your own and for yourself when you’ve been in a relationship for such a long time. It’s time to embrace your newfound freedom.
1. Make plans without running them past anyone first.
2. Pick whichever movie or TV show you feel like watching.
3. Choose whatever food you feel like ordering out.
4. Rearrange the contents of your kitchen cabinets.
5. Move around your furniture.
6. Take pleasure in running errands and knowing that no one knows what you’re up to.
7. Blast your favorite music around the house just because.
8. Use all the hot water in the shower.
9. Take up the whole bed at night.
10. Leave a mess in the kitchen after cooking.
Put Yourself Out There
“Resist the temptation to hibernate under the covers and binge Netflix. It’s okay to grieve the relationship, but know that those feelings don’t have to rule life,” Bergen says. There are plenty of ways to get out and have a little fun without an S.O. attached to your hip. Grab your girls or make plans with yourself.
11. Practice yoga.
12. Go to a museum.
13. Find a new spot at a beach or in a park that’s all yours.
14. Take a cooking class.
15. Try out a dance class.
16. Attend a boxing lesson (there’s no better way to work out frustrations and feel oh so powerful).
17. Sign up for a 5K.
18. Take a Spin class.
19. Go salsa dancing.
20. Venture out on a first date (if you’re ready).
Do Something for Yourself
“Stay grounded in the present. Ask yourself, ‘What takes care of me today?’” Bergen advises. It’s essential to prioritize yourself and your well-being after a breakup. That can mean different things for different people. Some may need support while others may want to indulge in a more luxurious form of self-care.
21. Get your nails done.
22. Enjoy a facial.
23. Book a massage.
24. Invest in essential oils.
25. Take a bubble bath.
28. Plant a garden.
29. Call your family.
30. See an old friend.
It’s time to move forward, not focus on the past. Even though closure is a tricky and somewhat unattainable notion, Bergen has some tips for how to move on positively.
31. Focus on what you’re doing and feeling rather than fixating on what your ex may be up to, especially via social media.
32. Forget about past “mistakes” made in the relationship instead of torturing yourself thinking about the unsaid words and broken promises.
33. Erase the notion that the breakup was “unfair.”
34. Ask yourself, What did I learn about myself in that relationship? and What did I learn about what I need in a partner?
35. Remember that you are responsible for your own closure; it’s not determined by anything your ex-partner might say or do now.
Have you made it through a tough breakup recently? Share your tips for how to be single after a long relationship in the comments below.