How to Be Single After a Long Relationship

Sad woman.

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Being single after a long relationship can feel as though you’re in uncharted territory. You're likely so used to being part of couple that you've forgotten what it's like to not have someone texting you throughout the day, not have standing plans with him or her, and not seeing this person or even living with your partner anymore. When you're in this new part of your life, you may be wondering how to proceed now that this long-term relationship is over.

Fortunately, there are five key ways to learn how to be single after a long relationship so that you can begin this next chapter with a running start.

1. Take Time to Heal

When you suddenly find yourself on your own again, it's important to deal with what's transpired. And whether you initiated the break up or not or the relationship ended for other reasons, it's imperative that you take time to feel the whirlwind of emotions you may be experiencing. For example, if your partner broke up with you, it's not uncommon to feel sad, disappointed, hurt, or any number of other emotions. The thought of being single may put a giant pit in your stomach as you face the reality that you no longer have this person in your life. Now's the time to work through these emotions so that you can close the door on this relationship and look forward to the new possibilities that lie ahead.

2. Focus on Yourself

It's also important to focus on yourself and look for opportunities to grow.

You may be so used to focusing your attention on your partner that you've forgotten what it's like to prioritize your needs, your desires, and your dreams, big and small. There's no better time to splurge on yourself and take steps to accomplish things you've been meaning to do or try. For instance, if you've always thought about writing a novel, start now.

If you've wanted to redecorate your apartment but never got around to it, there's no better time than the present. Being single again is your new chance to change your life for the better.

3. Have Fun

When you're newly single, you should do your best to go out and have fun. While you may think it's hard to reenter the social world without your plus one, it's actually a great opportunity to spend more time with your friends and family, meet new people, and try new and fun activities. You certainly don't need to be part of a couple in order to join a running club, try new restaurants, or take a pottery class, so why not expand your social calendar during this time and open the door to different ways to have fun?

4. Think About What You Really Want

This is actually your chance to think about what you really want going forward in your life, in a partner, and in a relationship. What do you desire to have that was missing or lacking before? What are the must-haves for your next partner, whoever he or she may be? What's a top priority for you in your next relationship? Being single after a long relationship gives you the perfect opportunity to reflect and reevaluate the past so that you can make decisions going forward that are in line with what you truly want.

5. Date When You're Ready

You can and should reenter the dating world whenever you feel in your gut that you're ready. This can be especially hard after a long relationship since you may not be able to imagine yourself with anyone but your partner, or you may be unfamiliar or intimidated by the new dating sites and apps that are at your fingertips in today's dating scene. The truth is that there's no set amount of time or formula that can help you determine when to date again, as each person is different. If you're feeling pressured to date again or feel that you have to date as soon as possible because you're running out of time to meet someone, this is only going to cause you more heartbreak. Take the time you need so that your reentry into the dating world will be beneficial in every respect.