Like it or not, at some point, you’re bound to be single. While some people can’t imagine not having a boyfriend or girlfriend or partner at all times, there are many things you learn about yourself when you’re single for the first time. Initially, you may be heartbroken from your breakup and think the only way to feel better is to start dating again. While that may seem like a good short-term solution, long-term, it’s may not be. Trust me.
Experts like to say a variation of “you can’t love someone else until you love yourself,” and after much practice, I now agree with this theory. Yes, maybe it sounds hokey, but it’s true. “If you want to truly connect with people wholeheartedly, you need to accept yourself wholeheartedly first,” said Susanna Halonen, life coach and author of Screw Finding Your Passion, toPsychology Today. “Yes you can still be kind, show compassion and help others out — but only if it’s not at the expense of your own compassion. Because that’s a recipe for disaster.”
I think embracing your single life is the way to go, reframing your mind and turning your negative thoughts into positive ones. After all, there are many benefits about being single if only you’d sit still long enough to see them.
Here are seven things you learn about yourself when you’re single for the first time.
1. You’ll Learn To Be More Independent
Yep, now’s the time to go on dates with yourself. Who says you can’t still do things you used to do as a couple? You can go to bookstores, out to dinner, travel… Yes, at first you may feel awkward not having a partner with you initially, but that’ll soon pass as you now can stay in the bookstore for hours on end (your ex used to get bored after 20 minutes) or try that new burger place (your ex was a vegan). The more time you spend with yourself, alone, the more you’ll like it. You’ll see.
2. You’ll Meet New People
When you go out someplace alone, whether it’s a coffee shop or a book reading, you’re bound to meet new people (and I don’t mean in a romantic way — you’re not trying to date for a while, remember?). And guess what? You’ll already have a common interest.
3. You’ll Bond With Your Friends Again
You love your friends, but you let them disappear from your life a little — or a lot — when you were in Couple Land. Now, once you beg for their forgiveness, you’ll hang out with them as you used to and remember what great friends they are. They’ll not only listen to you cry over your ex, but they’ll do anything to make you laugh, too. You’ll remind yourself not to go MIA on them in the future when you date again.
4. You’ll Become More Aware Of Your Likes And Dislikes
The possibilities are endless when it’s just you and your alone time. You no longer have to watch that one show that your ex loved, or eat at that restaurant you really weren’t crazy about.
5. You’ll Learn New Hobbies
Maybe your ex was the chef in the relationship, so you’ve decided to finally dust off that cookbook your mom gave you for Christmas — or to try that Pinterest recipe you saw online earlier. After all, being single means relearning your independence, something you may have lost now and then when you were coupled up. It also means trying new things, so sign up for that spin class already!
6. You’ll Fall In Love… With Yourself
As time goes on, you’ll start to love your new — single — life. You’ll appreciate your alone time and relish it. You’ll have a new routine, have bonds with new and old friends, and even know how to make a soufflé (or at least something simpler, like pancakes not out of a box).
7. You’ll Be Clearer About What You Want In Someone When You Do Date Again
By spending all this time with yourself, you’ll discover what really interests you, and what traits a mate should and should not have. For instance, maybe you’ll finally realize why you and your ex were not a good match because of x, y, and z, so the next time you fall for someone, you’ll be more aware of these things sooner.