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What I Gained Back During My First Week of Being Single

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

For quite some time, I was in what would be my longest and most committed relationship. I thought everything was fairy-tale perfect and oh so sweet, until a flip of a coin occurred. One weird day turned into a couple of weird weeks, until our relationship came into a crash and burn one very late night. My initial emotions, which appeared without my permission, were anger, embarrassment and loneliness. I went to sleep that night with an awkward, hollow, feeling that lasted until the next night. I crashed and burned with a very close friend, who picked me up and told me the things I needed to hear: that everything in life is a lesson, that it was for the best, and that I would be OK. While this took a while to come into fruition, I started to notice how different my life truly became after one small decision from someone else. In my first week of being single again, I honestly did not think I would learn so much, gain so much back, and do so much.

After my first week of being single, I started to:

Gain back my friends, and even venture to make new ones.

When I was in my long-term relationship, I never had to worry or fathom the thought of making new connections. Being a natural introvert, I was satisfied with having one person to hang out with, tell everything to, and to do everything with. When I lost this person, I was certain I would be so lonely, and no one would want to hear what I had to say or to do things with me. But I have experience the opposite. Almost every day, I connect with someone new and plant a new friendship, or rekindle old friendships that I was treating poorly. I re-learned how to drive comfortably alone, how to do errands by myself, and I started working out again. Gaining back these experiences made me feel more like myself, and deterring from my routine of constantly running back home to someone has made life a little more spontaneous, tiring, but inherently interesting.

I started to invest in myself.

There were times in my relationship where I had a tendency to let things go, especially parts of my daily routine. There were days where I wasn’t doing my hair or makeup, parts of my routine that were really important to me, or cleaning my room as often and settling for the clutter. Within this first week, this is what has improved the most. This past week, I have been experimenting with my look, trying different makeup styles, setting aside and planning complete outfits. I even took myself out for a manicure and pedicure. I blast music, light all my candles, and started reading and writing more again. Investing in my look, hobbies, and little traditions has made me feel more confident about my personality. It reminds me that I can be loved in the future, even if that seemed so bleak at the beginning of this breakup. I’ve even caught myself being flirtatious, something I totally lost in our relationship. My wit has returned, a core piece of me, and when I see myself in the mirror all put together it reminds me of who I used to be.

I gained back the ability to validate myself again.

This power, to be my own validator, has been the best thing to come out of this breakup. I realized this moment when I was in the shower, and a love song started to play. My initial response was to be sad that now I had no one to dedicate these to. But then a lightbulb went off, and I thought What if I just dedicate this to myself? And I did. I sang to myself in the shower, bursting out loud. I thought of myself, looking at me in the mirror singing such sweet words to myself, and I started to cry. Giving myself this gratitude, this love, was something I had never really done before, and something I never realized that I deserved. When you’re in a relationship for so long, you forget that you need to love yourself too, because someone else is doing that for you. Someone else is telling you that you’re beautiful, you matter, you’re loved. But when I realized I could say all these things to me, and they would have just as much meaning, I gained a strength I never knew I had. I took a step forward to love myself for who I am, and this was my first step in this process. I always thought our relationship would solve my issues with body image and loving myself. I would have never predicted that ending it is what would send me in the right direction.

It has only been one week, but my first week of being single has drastically changed my lifestyle and how I make decisions. Inevitably, there was so much pain in the beginning, and there are still moments of anxiety that hit out of nowhere. A dirty car, or mention of a restaurant can trigger the bad parts. And while this pain is not easy, combining with the death of my father, I have felt broken, and raw, and lonely, and vulnerable, but I have also never felt so alive. I have never worn my heart on my sleeve so graciously and accepted whatever pain was coming my way. This breakup has reminded that I am a person, an important one who deserves to be loved fully, and I’m ready for that, whether it’s my love or someone else’s.

What has been most difficult to swallow, however, has been the uncertainty. In a long-term relationship, you start to decide your fate, and it becomes embedded as truth. Your life seems planned out and decided for, good or bad. This breakup has taught me that your plan can veer its course, and sometimes, it’s better for you. So while I thought my plan was all thought out, it has become a blank slate; and I am starting from the beginning, learning to accept uncertainty. I don’t know much, but what I do know is that my potential, as well as my progress, is infinite.


Photo credit: Main Image, Image 1 

Natalia is a proud latina, and a Senior at the University of Central Florida. Majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a double minor in Mass Communication and Mass Collective and Culture Behavior, she hopes to eternally study the World for all its' features. An old soul and a child at heart, some of her favorite things include flowers, her 3DS, cheap paperbacks, 80's sitcoms, drag queens, and nifty scarves. Always practicing mindfulness and balance, Natalia dreams of a picturesque beach, with no clouds in the sky and a perfected Spotify playlist. Keep on Keepin' on. 
UCF Contributor