After A 3-Year Relationship, Being Single Is A Breath Of Fresh Air: Here's Why

When I think of breakups, my mind always cuts to the countless rom-com scenes of someone sitting in their pajamas, eating ice cream straight from the tub as “Let Her Go” by The Passenger plays in the background. While I was familiar with that narrative at the beginning of my own breakup, I soon realized that it was the best thing that could’ve happened.

Woman in bed Photo by Kinga Cichewicz from Unsplash The first few weeks were a lot more lonely than I’d like to admit. Fresh breakups always have a way of affecting your memory so you can only recall the shiny parts of the relationship, leaving you to question whether or not you made the right choice. Everything I did made me think of them, from grocery shopping to driving to watching certain Netflix shows, constantly reminding me that they weren’t there anymore. 

To go from a committed relationship to none at all was a big change, but adjusting to the new normal helped me get out of the post-breakup funk. I started to realize just how much I changed during our three years together, and not always in a good way. Now that I wasn’t in the middle of it anymore, I could look at the relationship from the outside and see why it didn’t work. At some point, we got too comfortable with each other and silently decided it was easier to forgive and forget rather than work through our issues or question whether or not we were still compatible. The good memories stuck around, but it became clear why they weren’t enough to keep us together. 

girl looking towards the horizon Photo by Artem Kovalev from Unsplash Without the constant presence of another person, I was able to rediscover myself. When you’re in a relationship, especially a long one, you don’t see how impressionable you are and how much your partner rubs off on you. It happened so subtly that I didn’t realize how I picked up their bad habits and weighed my own self-worth and interests against their opinions. Coming out of that relationship, I now freely indulge myself in my favorite music, TV shows and hobbies without needing to check if someone else likes them as much as I do. I can focus on myself and my own growth, as I seek to mature beyond the person I was when I was with my ex. I left all the bitterness and insecurity in the past and felt like I could breathe again with my fresh start. 

Perhaps the most substantial change I’ve noticed is that I like spending time with myself again. It was intimidating at first, not being able to rely on my partner’s company, but now it feels so refreshing. Whether I’m going out or staying in, it’s nice to be able to focus my energy solely on what makes me happy and do all the things I want to do. Reclaiming my independence has helped me remember how fulfilling my own company can be and has turned something that once made me lonely into something liberating. 

girl standing in field of flowers Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash It was hard to abandon a three year commitment without feeling like I was giving up, but now I can see that it was necessary. These past few months of being single have allowed me to reevaluate my life and priorities and heal from a relationship that ended up bringing me more stress than joy. This isn’t to say that I’ve sworn off dating forever, but I’m happy taking the time to work on myself before anything else.