I unraveled after my last dating relationship ended. It was an amicable split—sans drama (mostly), friendship intact—but once I peeled myself away from the hope of a future with Boy X, I stood facing a harsh reality: I didn’t know who I was.
I knew who I was before I dated my first boyfriend. I was blissfully ignorant—a doe-eyed 20-year-old who wanted her first kiss to be with the man she’d marry. I was driven and independent. Focused and unshakeable. Eventually, I lost myself in him. My passions simmered, I lost touch with friends and I lost sight of God. When the relationship ended, I didn’t know who to be without him.
I spent two years searching for someone to fill the void, until I decided to pour myself into passions, invest in family relationships and friendships and focus on God. I found myself—and I found happiness—alone. Here’s how you can, too:
1. Accept that your relationship has ended. Acceptance is the healing power. Accept that you, yourself, cannot change the situation. Accept that the relationship is over indefinitely. Accept that it’s time to move on.
2. Do not scout prospects. Delete Tinder/Grinder, resist the urge to reignite a former flame, avoid blind dates, etc. Shift your focus to yourself.
3. Avoid talking to persons of interest (POI). The dating-but-we-don’t-refer-to-it-as-dating-nowadays-because-millenials-fear-commitment kind of talking. Conversations range from “How’s your day?” to “Tell me your dreams.” Avoid revealing the inner-workings and details of your daily life and being to any POI, and don’t concern yourself with anyone else’s. Remember: this time is about you.
4. Focus on your career. Channel your frustrations, doubts, loneliness—any pent-up negative energy—into your work, and make it your personal goal to excel professionally. This will pay off (in more ways than monetarily) in good time.
5. Invest in old friendships. Reconnect with the friends you swept under the rug during your relationship. They’ve missed you.
6. Seek new friendships. Step out of your comfort zone to start new, meaningful friendships.
7. Find your hobby. Painting. Writing. Photography. Reading. Dancing. Rock climbing. Rock collecting. Find the hobby that fuels your soul and your happiness.
8. Be your own POI. Spend quality time with yourself. Take yourself shopping or to the movies or to dinner. Spend a day at the spa. Buy yourself flowers or chocolates. Time alone allows us to better understand ourselves.
9. Be happy. You are responsible for your own happiness, and you cannot truly know and be happy with someone else until you first know and are happy with yourself.