Love is like a drug, and when one relationship ends many of us immediately start looking for a new one. However, life isn’t all about love. In fact, there are hundreds of experiences we can only have when we are single and solitary. Being in a relationship often makes every day look and feel the same, but when we break free from our addiction to love, we can develop new, fantastical, fulfilling emotions and encounters we never thought possible. For those of us who have just escaped a relationship, here are all the amazing, wonderful things you can do before you relapse into love.
As much as couples moan about how poorly they sleep without their partner sharing their sheets, you know how much you relish in having a bed to yourself. Now that you’re single, you get to sleep however you like: back-to-front, spread eagle, curled in a ball. Plus, there’s no one to complain about how you hog the covers. You can saw logs from midnight to noon — and you should.
Learn a Skill
Time flies when you are in a relationship — and not always in the good way. No doubt you’ve often wondered how you could have possibly spent all spring and summer without accomplishing anything meaningful. Without another person to eat up your time, you can devote your energy toward long-lasting achievements:
- Speak a foreign language. Knowing another language is eternally useful, especially if you choose one that is spoken in places you want to travel.
- Play an instrument. People rarely want to hear a beginning music student practice scales day and night. Singlehood is the best possible time to pick up a new instrument and learn the basics. Then, you can impress potential partners later on with your musical talent.
- Master a craft. Sewing, knitting, woodworking, and more are easy and productive, and you can give your creations to friends and family as lovely homemade gifts.
- Practice dancing. You don’t need a partner to learn to dance — you just need a good pair of shoes and a sense of rhythm. You can look in your area for open dance classes in any style: ballroom, Latin, swing, ballet, and more.
You have always talked about backpacking and now there is no one holding you back. It is time to buy a one-way ticket to your destination of choice and explore until your heart is full of new places and people. Though it can be scary to set out on your own, traveling solo provides access to a number of lessons about the cities you visit, about the world in general, and about yourself.
Sometimes, in relationships, you might have a tendency to hold back your true emotions. Thus, when something traumatic happens, you might not react the way your mind, body, and spirit need due to a sense of responsibility to your partner. When you are finally single, you have the time and space to deal with life’s tragedies in an appropriate way for you. Whether you must organize the cremation of a family member or survive a devastating illness, you might find it easier to stay sane while you are single.
Understand Your Limits
Oftentimes, coupled individuals refrain from taking risks — financial, physical, emotional — for fear that they will lose the love of their partners. Because you have no love to lose, you can push yourself to the breaking point to understand how far you are willing to go.
- Run a marathon, hike the Pacific Crest Trail, lift 300 pounds. Pushing your body to its physical breaking point will only make you stronger in every sense of the word.
- Scream, cry, laugh wildly, smile broadly. You will never know your emotional comfort zone if you don’t allow yourself to feel and express yourself.
- Read holy books, meditate, connect with a spiritual community. Spirituality has been an essential human experience for eons, and you might benefit from developing a spiritual self.
Some people are driven by curiosity, others by aesthetics, and others still by free time, but nearly every person enjoys creating. Creating offers fulfillment like few other activities in life, and you should devote some of your single time to trying out different forms of creation:
- Write a novel, short story, or poem.
- Paint a picture.
- Compose a song.
- Experiment in the kitchen.
Evaluate What’s Missing
Before you jump into a new relationship, you must analyze what went wrong with the last one. Perhaps the best way to do this is to spend some time discerning what you truly need in a partner, if anything. You should understand that there is a difference between qualities you need — those that fulfill emotional and physical deficits, those that make you a better person through contact — and qualities you want — those that are not essential to your sense of wellbeing. After a few months by yourself, you should have an idea of how a partner could improve your life, and you will be better equipped to fall back in love.
Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com