A different type of anniversary: One year of singledom.
If you’d asked me a couple of years ago where I saw myself at this time, I would have answered in a happy, loving relationship with a proposal imminent. A few years after? A couple of kids, a house and just another average (but happy) life.
Now? My life has gone in the complete opposite direction, and it’s been the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. With one year officially passed since the ending of my relationship, I’ve become a different person completely. I've moved overseas, travelled to more countries that I ever dreamt of and made beautiful friends that I wouldn't of met otherwise.
Here are the four things I’ve learnt since having an entire year to myself:
1. It’s okay, to not be okay.
When a relationship ends, it’s not just the bond you share with another person that is crushed. It’s the loving ties you develop with their family, the way their house becomes your own and the shared friendships you’ve made over the years that crumble to pieces. It’s heart-breaking, difficult and not something that is easy to say goodbye to. Whether you broke up mutually, were the dumper or the dumpee, we all need time to heal. Make sure you make the time to mourn your relationship, and remember the good times you once shared with your ex-partner.
2. Happiness doesn’t come from anyone else, except yourself.
For so long, I sought happiness in others. Random dates filled my time while I tried to feel that flicker of hope with strangers, that all ended in sweet nothings. When you purposely try to connect with someone, it will nearly always end in a feeling of emptiness and nothing more. That’s when I figured I had to look within myself to find true happiness. I found hobbies, invested more (much needed) time in friendships and allowed myself to feel happy at the little things. I took my dogs for more walks (what good boys!), had more ‘me-time’, and if I wanted a solo day at the beach doing nothing but swim, heck did I take it!
3. People will comment on your singledom constantly.
Don’t get me wrong; people say things to you with only you in mind. They want what’s best for you, but they don’t understand that asking when you’ll find ‘the one’ or if you want to go on a blind date with their cousin’s mother’s daughter’s friend’s groundskeeper isn’t ideal conversation. Be prepared to flit away answers, and let them know you’re so much more than who you’re dating. If you want to have #singlelife forever, heck, DO IT! Life is too short to have to answer to other people about partners, so go out and do what you want.
4. You really do only live once.
I hate to use the term ‘YOLO’, (ha, who am I kidding it’s my favourite phrase!), but it’s just so true. After a break up and being single for a while you learn that it’s actually totally fine to be on your own, and that life is far too short to stay in a relationship that wasn’t simply working. You become a wiser person for it, and learn very quickly what you like and don't like. You learn that you won't settle for less, and that you're a strong, beautiful person who deserves the world.
I hope this helps anyone who's been single for a while and is perhaps dreading the future, or lusting after a relationship that they know wouldn't be right for them. Remember to always be you, and remember you deserve the absolute world. Don't settle for someone 'just because' you're at the age to!