Celebrating birthdays after a breakup can feel incredibly lonely. Despite sweet birthday wishes from loved ones, you may still ache for the one that isn’t in your life anymore. This person was there for all the highs and lows in your life, and it may feel unfathomable that they’re now missing on your special day. Of course, you still have friends and family who are there for you, but a person who meant so much to you is now absent. As a result, a day that should celebrate all the growth you’ve gone through somehow feels a little emptier.
If you start feeling lonely on your birthday, here are some things to keep in mind.
You may never hear your ex wish you a happy birthday again, but you still have plenty of people by your side who will. When you’re with someone, they’re inevitably there for all the holidays and special events, so it can feel a bit bleak now that they’re not here to celebrate with you anymore. But you’re not alone. You have a community of people who care about you. Their support and appreciation are there for you every day, and not just on the special occasions. You had many birthdays before your ex, and you will have many more after as well. Although you may lose some loved ones along the way, you will gain others, and you will always have people who love you.
You will survive your birthday, just like you survive any other day. It’s hard not to feel like the big events in your life will be more arduous to get through without them. You may reflect on all the special occasions you spent with your ex or even mourn the future milestones that you won’t get to celebrate together, but a birthday is just another day. You’ve survived each stretch of hardship so far, meaning you can survive whatever is to come. It’s natural to have moments of loneliness, but eventually, their absence will feel less jarring.
You don’t need a romantic partner to make your day feel special. We can be conditioned to think that our birthdays and holidays should be spent with a significant other, but don’t think any less of yourself just because you don’t have a romantic partner to celebrate with. It’s okay to miss someone who is no longer in your life, but let go of the expectation that you need someone else to make your day meaningful. Approach each day with the intent to enjoy the little things and relieve yourself of the pressure of specifically needing a romantic partner to celebrate achievements with.
Be kind to yourself always, but be especially kind to yourself on your birthday. Even if you don’t usually throw a party, reward yourself with things that make you happy. Re-watch your favorite movie, have a much-needed phone call with your best friend or simply take a break from your work. Take time to reflect on all you’ve been through, and treat yourself for the struggles you overcame. You made mistakes along the way, but you took steps to figure out who you are and ultimately grew in the process, which is deserving of celebration.