Being single after a long term relationship

By James Martin

Being single again after serving your time in a long-term relationship can seem like a daunting prospect. Like a death row convict released after having made peace with your fate, you may be at a loss as to what to do with your newly restored life.

You may have become institutionalised in the bonds of monogamy. The dreadful hours that were once spent gathering dust and holding your girlfriend’s bags while she checked out the latest offers in River Island now need to be filled.

Likewise, if you are of the female persuasion you may get the sense of a black hole opening up in your week that was once filled with pretending to be interested in football and watching how many doughnuts your partner could consume in one hour (24 on my best day).

But seriously, after the initial period of tears, self-evaluation and maybe even celebrating, that follows a breakup, the sense of being out on your own again can be massive. People respond to this differently. We all have friends who have suffered from what I like to call, “The I’m going to die alones” despite only being in their early twenties.

The comforts that you adapted to in your relationship are now gone, like the knowledge that there is a person there for support at all times. The end of simple daily routines like sending texts or calling your partner, knowing they are just a phone call away, can cause a strange sense of isolation.

However, just as a person adapts to a relationship they must adapt again to single life. This can open up a wide range of opportunities for self-improvement and experimentation. Always wanted to learn Italian but your girlfriend would always laugh and point and tell you you’re shit whenever you brought it up? Now’s your chance.

I’ve noticed that I weigh on average about a stone more when I’m in a relationship as opposed to when I’m single. When I’m single I need to look my best, hit the gym, go out and be interesting in the hopes of bagging someone. When I’m in a relationship it’s job done. Time to grow a beard and stop washing. She’ll be forced to talk to me anyway.

I highlight this because it’s an integral part of the single life. Doing things to make yourself feel better. Initially you may begin to do things to get a routine going. Reading more, going for runs, going out more, all aimed toward moving on. What you may find however is that you begin to really enjoy these practices. The new routine may stop being something to make you feel better and will simply be something that makes you feel good.

A word of warning for newly single people. Think of your new life as a restaurant. The menu is varied and available to you now. Start slow however, with the sample menu before hitting the all you can eat buffet that is Coppers. You wouldn’t want to end up making yourself sick.


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