Ever since I was about twelve (literally), I’ve always been in relationships. Long term, serious(ish) relationships and single life was completely foreign to me. I dont know why I’ve always jumped from one relationship to another, but I genuinely don’t think I’ve been single for more than a month or two since the age of twelve. Throughout the years, I was comfortable in my settled-down mode, but wondered if I’d missed out on anything by never dating as a teenager. I’ve always watched my single friends deal with drama, heartache, fuck boys, the dating scene and never understood it. I just tried my best to be sympathetic and try to help despite having little knowledge of the situations. But a recent breakup with someone I was with for two years prompted me to actually give being single a go, properly. For the first time, I’m not automatically throwing myself into finding someone new to be with, and here’s what I’ve learned…
Being alone is terrifying (at first)
If you’re a serial girlfriend like me, and have always been in relationships, you’ve probably got a bit of a fear of being by yourself. I’m an extrovert at heart, and so I thrive off being around others and I’m not so great at ‘alone time’. I can barely even go a few hours without talking to someone. I don’t know if that plays a part in my previous need to always be in a relationship, but it probably doesn’t help. But being alone in a breakup context is much more shattering than just not liking being alone, and it’s absolutely terrifying at first. When you’re used to doing every activity of the day with a companion (things as simple as texting and watching films, all the way to getting advice for important issues), it’s a really difficult shift when you do those things alone for the first time. Fortunately, what I’ve also learned, is it gets easier to do as each day blends into the next.
Tinder is an absolute disease to the digital world
Instructing me to go on Tinder was pretty much the first piece of advice most people told me to do. Not to find someone else (that’s exactly what I was trying to not do for once) but to just have fun, and honestly, gain a bit of attention (and a confidence boost in turn). However, it turns out that men are the worst, and they use Tinder to inflict their weird bullshit on women. Some of the messages and bios on there are absolutely absurd.
Some of the worst messages witnessed:
- “I eat two jelly babies at once so they die in each other’s arms”
- “Just need to check, are you a vegan?” *unmatches*
- “I’d love to stick a stamp on my dick and post up your arse.”
(some are full on sexual harassment and I’d rather not post them here)
You might not enjoy things the same way
This lesson was a HARD one to learn. Okay, so, all the songs that were love-themed that you absolutely loved? NOT ANYMORE. For a while, they’re going to be absolutely torturous. Same goes for certain films and books that are either too romantic for poor single you, or they’re related to your ex. There are just certain things that won’t be the same. Thankfully, this isn’t permanent. You just have to take a break away from the things that get you choked up, and eventually you can return and enjoy them again.
(Ignore my decending eyelash. We can’t all get it right)
You’ll be surprised by people’s responses
This lesson is my favourite. You’ll be surprised (pleasantly) by people’s responses to you becoming single. My friends and family are so much more supportive and sympathetic than I ever expected them to be. Not that I thought they’d be arse holes, but my mum, uncle and flatmate have been absolutely incredible in helping me shift into independant life. It helped me to realise that partners are not the only people I’ll ever have in my life – your friends and family are always there and will help wherever they can. Some of the people in my life have truly gone above and behind to help me sort my life out, and I couldn’t be more appreciative.
Self care becomes your new best friend
I can’t express this one enough. You’ll be constantly pampering yourself when you’re newly single, simply because no one else is pampering you anymore and you miss it. The best part about this, though, is you start to realise you can do lots of other things that your partner used to do by yourself, too.
I’ll be okay
This lesson is the most important one. From being single, even for just a short amount of time, I’ve realised that I will be okay alone, even if I never thought I would be. I still struggle – that’s not going to be cured overnight, but I’m starting to feel okay.