It’s not that I’ve never been single for six months before. But the relationship that ended had lasted almost three years (and for most of my time in college). I have learned a lot over the past three years or so — especially over the last six months. I’ve been reflecting how I have changed over these past months, and how different my life is from a year ago. Here are a few things that I’ve learned and grown to appreciate through my newfound singleness:
1. You can’t be with someone and fully love them until you are taking care of yourself. For a long time, I really wasn’t taking care of myself in the way that I needed to be. Cutting ties helped me see my situation and my needs clearer than I had been able to before. It may seem selfish, but I learned that I needed to make sure I was healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) to enable me to give others my best.
2. Be someone you’d want to date. I am aiming to become the best version of myself instead of hunting after someone to “complete me.” It can be tempting to try to run after guys attention, but, in the end, that’s not what is going to make me happy or a better person. And I don’t want someone who needs me for him to be happy either. I want someone who wants me for him to be happy.
3. Enjoy the phase of life you’re in. Being in a relationship takes a lot of work and, though rewarding, it still is work. It’s been a long time since I haven’t had someone else who I need to see or make sure I spend enough time with. I’ve used the extra time that I have had to pursue my passions and things I love to do, such as going deeper into my yoga practice, getting involved in my community, and learning to play soccer. I want to take advantage of this time and not waste it.
4. Don’t save your love just for “the one.” I know this is may sound a little weird, but hear me out. I like to make others feel loved (I think we all do when you get down to it). No longer in a relationship, I’ve tried to take the time and effort that I was putting into loving my ex into loving my friends. I’m not always great at it but I want to show my friends I love them just as I would the person I’m dating. Everybody could use a little extra kindness.
5. Be careful what emotions you let in. You can’t always control your emotions (I wish life was that easy). But you can control your surroundings which can influence your emotions. Listen to happy music. If a sad or sentimental song comes on, SKIP IT. Maybe not forever, but until your heart has healed enough, there is no point of putting yourself voluntarily through that. Surround yourself with good people who make you genuinely laugh and smile. Do things that make you happy. Go outside. Run around. Don’t sit at home and mope. Make your life one others want to emulate (you’ve always got little ones watching you).
6. Feel your emotions. Don’t pretend they aren’t there. It’s okay to be sad or unhappy. You can’t run from them forever and the sooner you allow yourself to actually feel and work through them, the better. It’s okay to give yourself permission to grieve, to remember the sad and the happy times, but just don’t let yourself stay there forever.
“Life is not always perfect. Like a road, it has many bends, ups and down, but that’s its beauty.” ― Amit Ray