In May of 2020, I was broken up with my partner of 2.5 years. At first, I was devastated and shell shocked because he had been such a major support system for me especially during the pandemic. We were very serious to the point I believed we were going to be married. I was so proud that I would never have to use dating apps or worry about my future because it was all planned out with this person.
After some nudging from multiple friends, I downloaded Bumble. Getting back into the dating game was extremely nerve-wracking and I definitely got overwhelmed. I spent a couple of months swiping on Bumble and a couple of other apps before I came across a Tik Tok that made me rethink my dating life. Within this short 60 second video, the creator(@jeeshpeesh) explained how he had been expressing frustration about his dating life to a coworker and how he just wanted to be able to wake up and make someone breakfast. His coworker then asked him what he made himself for breakfast, and when he said nothing she gave him advice that I also needed to hear. If you would put that effort into another person you can and should put it into loving yourself.
At this point in dating, I had talked to my therapist about how I felt intimidated by my new freedom. I had so many things that I had wanted to do but had given up on because I thought I was going to marry this man. After talking through the anxiety I had with my therapist I realized I needed to take on this mentality.
You will get lonely
You will miss having a person to cuddle with. You will have time and wonder how to fill it. My advice is to rest in it. I have been working on being comfortable in the emptiness. That doesn’t have to be the case for you, but I do think becoming settled in ourselves starts with being okay being alone with ourselves.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends
I’m someone who struggles with the anxiety of feeling like a burden when I call on people to help. Calling on my friends to support me when I become emotional or lonely has been hard for me, but I am getting better at it.
Start a new hobby
I like to write, so with this new time, I plan on journaling. I will be answering ice breakers, filling out the “36 questions that lead to love” by The New York Times, writing out elaborate date ideas I have, and maybe even taking myself out on those dates. If writing isn’t your thing, try what is! Whether it’s painting, drawing, dancing, or composing new songs, learning a new instrument, do something expressive for yourself and only you.
Explore your new future options
This for me looks like a couple of things. Such as; weighing my options of an international internship in Ireland, looking at other states and cities to move to besides Des Moines, IA after graduation and grad school, and what genders I want to date. Having these options does terrify me because I am someone who loves a well-drawn up and thought out plan for the future, but I am trying to embrace this freedom and these possibilities because I don’t know when the next relationship might be my last.
Choosing to be single is something that is not encouraged in our society because we are told that we need to reach certain parts of life by a certain age. Finding yourself in being single is turning out to be one of the most freeing feelings. I know that this time will be hard for me, but I also know that this time is setting myself up for a better healthier future relationship.