There are two forms of single. There is single before you ever have your first relationship, and there is single after your first relationship. Like a real relationship, not the "we got married on the playground" relationship. Up until I was 17, I was the never-had-a-boyfriend single, and after that relationship sailed into the sunset, then sunk, I've learned an entirely new way of being single. I thought things would go back to how it was before my first relationship, but instead, things were much different. For the better, might I add. Here are the ten most important lessons I have learned so far in my post-relationship singleness.
1. Forgiveness is everything
First I mean forgiveness to your previous boyfriend. Now, obviously do not forget, and in some cases don't forgive. But if it was a true break of being honest that feelings were no longer the same, you grew apart, distance, or didn't see it working; you can not hate someone forever. And you have to realize that their intentions weren't for you to get hurt, but also wanted you to be happy as well. They couldn't give you 100% and they were decent enough to tell you.
However, I don't just mean forgiveness of them. Forgive yourself. I found there can be a lot of guilt sometimes that comes with breakups and being single. Feeling that you are the reason you are single, and reasons that you contributed to your most recent breakup. It happens. I felt it, and there were so much I felt sorry for. Forgiving yourself comes with growing and learning from those. Knowing what not to do in the next one.
2. It's OK to not want to date.
I found a period where I really did not want to date, but felt a ton of pressure to "get back out there." Sometimes you just aren't ready, or maybe you really are enjoying being single. Either way, it is still OK to not want to date. Sometimes that extra time can really help get your head on your shoulders before you start looking again.
3. It's OK to date around.
Sometimes the best way to cope is through "getting back out there." You do not always have to go on those dates all the time. Maybe just download those dating apps and talk to a few guys. Test the waters and see how it feels. It doesn't hurt to try, and you never know what could come of it.
4. There is no right or wrong.
There is no rule book to being single. There are no guidelines. Being single can be completely what you want it to be. Make it your own and don't let others try to tell you what it should and should not be. It is open for your time to grow as a person.
5. Only you can fill that whole.
Once everything has maybe calmed down, and you've finally found a grove again, that lonely feeling cannot be filled by anyone other than yourself. Your choices to surround yourself with people who make you feel good, lift you up, and support you. Your choices as to what you let affect you, and what you let determine your thought process. It will take time to get used t and to maybe come to terms with, but no boy or material item can ever make up for the importance you are to yourself and the way you think of yourself.
6. Yes, having a boyfriend is nice.
Admit it. It is nice to have someone to tell all your troubles and worries too. It is nice having someone you know you can always count on no matter what. Having a person is nice. Trying to lie to yourself that you don't need or want a man can be difficult. No one NEEDS a significant other, but it is certainly nice to have one. It is OK to think this, and it is OK to miss having that. Humans are social beings, and it is in our nature to want people with emotional connections near us.
7. Time heals.
I looked up articles on articles on how to get over someone, how to move on, and how to start living a normal single life again. While some of them had good tips to faking a normal life, there was never any of them that worked quite as well as time. I don't know when I was OK. I don't know the exact moment, day, or time. I just know that eventually things just were OK again, and I was better. I didn't feel so empty all the time, and didn't feel sad or longing for someone anymore. It just takes time.
8. Build your relationship with God.
If you are religious, take this time to build yourself back up with God. Sometimes breakups can really make you mad at the world, and when you are mad at the world you become mad at God. My relationship with God suffered incredibly in this time. But, when I started to focus on him again and really trying to find peace in him. I worked towards a better me, and in the end, knew I was building the foundation of my next relationship.
9. Yeah, flings happen.
One of the best and worst things are flings. When you aren't sure if it is going to work out, but you are trying anyway. You have a few good goes, and maybe a date or two, but really you are just hanging out a lot, kissing a lot, and enjoying each other. But then reality hits, and you kind of just don't work out. Live your best life, honestly. These can be the best times. No strings, just enjoying each other, and if things don't work out you still can walk away at least acknowledging each other, and knowing it was for the best.
10. Just live.
You don't know what is in store for you. Life happens so quickly, and if we get so caught up on one thing we may miss so much more. Relationships will happen when you aren't looking. Life will happen when you aren't ready. But it is all about growing and learning from your experiences. Singleness isn't a curse, but a blessing in disguise. It is best to embrace life's challenges rather than run.