How To Handle Being Newly Single After A Breakup
Updated March 12, 2020
Reviewer Wendy Galyen, LCSW, BC-TMH
Breakups are rarely easy. In many cases, when you have been in a relationship with someone, particularly for extended periods, there are lots of memories and emotions involved in splitting ties. When you find yourself being newly single after a breakup, this doesn't have to mean the end of the world. You're still living and breathing, and this world is full of opportunities. Knowing how to deal with newfound singleness can be an amazing experience which allows you to grow as an individual.
What To Know About Being Single
Being single does not mean that something is inherently wrong with you, contrary to what some individuals have been led to believe. New studies into the cultural perceptions of the single life confirm that stigma around the notion of being single still exists, although this is gradually changing.
For so long, many people have grown accustomed to viewing romantic attachments to higher satisfaction and contentment in life. Now, it's not untrue that relationships have the potential to contribute to people's lives positively; however, being without a relationship does not mean that someone is doomed to be less happy, fulfilled or satisfied in life.
If you find yourself in the position of singleness after a relationship, there is nothing wrong with this. You should never be made to feel as though you are less of a human being simply because you are single. No person's worth, value, or sense of self should be determined by whether or not they are in a relationship. Your quality of life should not decrease or regress into a lesser version if and when a relationship comes to an end in your life.
What To Know About Breakups
Breakups can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, infidelity is the cause; in other cases, people end relationships simply because they've grown apart, have different goals in life, or otherwise believe that they'll be better off apart than together. Only you and your significant other are aware of why you broke up, but there is always a light at the end of every tunnel.
Regardless of how difficult or hurtful your breakup may be, it's important to understand that you will get through this. When you're newly single, this may be challenging, but ultimately, this is something you will grow from. Moreover, there are always opportunities for better relationships to come your way later down the line. Sometimes, certain doors have to close for others to open. This isn't always readily apparent in the beginning, but over time, you may begin to have a new perspective on your breakup and why things happened the way they did.
What To Do When You're Newly Single After A Breakup
When you're single, it's important to remember that this phase of life opens the door to a more robust social life and greater mental growth. After your breakup, you now have time to reflect, get to know yourself, and consider how your relationship has contributed to your personal growth. Sometimes, being newly single allows you to get to know yourself again and discover your various traits, characters, and qualities; taking certain actions can help you in this new chapter of your life.
Don't Be Afraid To Grieve
Depending on the nature of your relationship and subsequent breakup, you may feel sad, angry, or otherwise upset and this is fine. Allowing yourself to grieve following a breakup is healthy and good for your mental and emotional wellbeing. In many cases, people feel like they have to immediately bounce back or act like they don't care about leaving a relationship. This isn't realistic, and you should never feel ashamed to process things on your own time and in your way. Grieving after a breakup and then gradually getting back into life will benefit you now and later.
Take Up A New Hobby
One of the best things to do when you're newly single is throwing yourself into something you love. Taking up a new hobby can truly add a new dimension and bring some light into your life. Even as you're giving yourself time to process things in the aftermath of a breakup, you don't want this split to be all-consuming. When you're newly single, there's still nothing wrong with living your life, going out, and enjoying yourself. Taking up a new hobby can help give you something to focus on at such a critical time.
Deem The Breakup As A Learning Experience
Regardless of who you are or what the nature of your relationship was, there is always something to be learned. Sometimes, the information reveals itself later down the line; in other cases, the revelation may immediately come to you. Determining what you learned from the relationship and breakup not only makes you wiser, but you can also be on the lookout for what you do and don't want in future relationships. It may take some time to figure out what you learned from your breakup truly, but there's no rush. Going at your own pace is perfectly normal.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
When you're newly single after a breakup, you may be in an emotionally fragile state for a while. Now, more than ever is an excellent time to surround yourself with positive people who have your best interests at heart. These people can be friends, relatives, coworkers, or others that you are close with. Positive people have a way of lifting you even when times are trying or challenging. Furthermore, being around a supportive network is great for reinforcing that life and happiness can exist even after a breakup.
Avoid Contacting Your Ex
In many cases, when a breakup has just happened, it may be tempting to contact your ex. Ultimately, it would be in your best interest not to give into this temptation; the relationship ended for a reason and continuing to remain in contact with your former significant other is only going to complicate the process of letting go. In many cases, a clean break is imperative for the sake of moving on, living your life, and having access to potentially better relationships in the future.
Avoid The Abuse Of Drugs Or Alcohol
Facing the emotional pain, which typically follows breakups can be tough. Because of this, many people may wonder whether or not escapism via drugs and alcohol is the right answer. It's not and misusing substances can invite an entirely new series of problems into your life. Being newly single after a breakup is certainly not the easiest thing in the world, but drugs and alcohol will not bring happiness. The ability to process your emotions, not try to escape from them, will ultimately prove to be the healthiest decision for you.
Writing can serve as a great mental and emotional outlet for you to get your feelings out. You can write a letter to your ex that you don't send or take notes of how you're feeling in a journal. Releasing bottled up emotions healthily and constructively is another choice which will help you in your newfound singleness. If you wish, you can always keep your written notes to yourself, especially if they contain personal details which you don't wish to share with anyone else.
Seeking Professional Help
No two individuals handle breakups in the same way, and that's fine. Everyone is different; however, when you find yourself in a situation where dealing with a breakup is having ongoing, negative impacts, seeking professional help may be the next best step in your life.
Working with a therapist comes with many benefits. Having access to a professional and getting advice which is uniquely tailored to your situation are only the tip of the iceberg. At this point, it's also important to note that therapy can change your life regardless of whether you're newly single after a breakup or going through another matter altogether. At the end of the day, each person has their challenges in life and deserves to have access to high-quality mental health care.
Depending on who you are and what your schedule looks like, you may not be in a position to constantly visit a therapist's office each week. If this sounds like you, then signing up for online therapy with ReGain is certainly the best option. Online therapy ensures that you can still get the help you need, regardless of your location, work schedule, lifestyle, or other factors. Life's challenges and tough times do not discriminate based upon where you reside or how you live your life.
Finally, you should know that seeking professional help is never a sign of weakness. Nobody can do it all on their own, regardless of individual merit, strength, or capability. One of the ultimate signs of personal strength is the ability to seek help when you know you need it. This is something you will thank yourself for, both in the short term and the long term.