dating yourself after a breakup

There’s nothing easy about breakups, they happen for a multitude of reasons but more often than not, all leave you feeling empty, almost as though you’re missing a part of yourself. One of the best ways to remedy a broken heart is to learn to fall in love again, yet this time it’s not with some tall, dark, handsome stranger you collide with at the supermarket. You should start dating yourself after a breakup to help you get through it.

With the rise of social media and app dating, it’s easy to get lost amongst the likes and swipes and forget that you are an actual human being. Constantly comparing yourself to other girls or guys based on their online aesthetic is incredibly detrimental to your psyche, worsening the emotional turmoil which you have already befriended during your break-up blues. So do yourself a favor and step away from the screen, no other time is more apt than now for indulging in some long-overdue self-love.

Look inward

First of all, turn off your apps. Delete or deactivate the frame in which you are showcased to the world, reduced to a mere thumbnail. We are so much more than our online personas, yet we are often too busy caring about how we are reflected to complete strangers to look inward and make sure we’re doing ok.

Spend some quality time with you and get to know yourself by accepting the challenge of a full day (or longer if you can) without checking or updating your social profiles. A great way to reflect privately, especially when emotions are running high, is by keeping a diary. Scribbling down any thoughts, feelings, pictures or doodles can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and self-doubt caused by heartbreak and provides you with a better perspective for moving forward.

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Learn a new skill

Singledom brings more time for you to expand your horizons. Personal growth comes in many forms, but trying something new is one of the best ways to test your limits and commit to something you previously never had the time or encouragement to pursue. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, or attend those life drawing classes your partner always thought were strange. Throw yourself in at the deep end and see if you can swim.

Set goals

These could be related to absolutely anything, whether it’s improving your fitness and reaching that 10k mark you’ve always known you could or getting that promotion at work, goals are a brilliant way to focus the mind and a productive distraction from the smell of your ex’s old t-shirt (throw that out by the way). What’s more, challenging yourself builds total strength and determination – an absolute godsend for your self-confidence and overall mental health. To stay motivated to succeed, make sure goals are both realistic and achievable.

Treat yourself

They say retail therapy is sometimes all you need in the event of bad news and ‘they’ ain’t wrong! Spoil yourself silly. That pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing up for months – get it! That top that leaves you £50 to pay rent – just do it! When was the last time you got a manicure? I’m not saying exhaustive consumerism on a daily basis is the way to go, because this obviously isn’t a long term solution, but if you’re a fairly thrifty person, make this an exception to the rule.

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This isn’t about peacocking and attracting a mate, this is about making yourself happy because you deserve to be. Besides, looking good on the outside immediately makes you glow from the inside and radiate positive energy to everyone you interact with, what’s the harm in that?

Go on an adventure

Take a trip. This might be simply a weekend getaway with friends or a solo longer-term adventure, yet knowing that there is a world outside your bedroom walls waiting to be explored will make you forget your woes in an instant and almost feel silly for dwelling on one person and place. Travelling enriches the soul and gives you a deeper understanding of cultures around the world that you can’t learn by picking up a book. It also really puts your own problems into perspective and allows you to realize how grateful you are for each aspect of your life and the opportunities, like traveling, you are fortunate enough to have.

Be the best friend

It’s likely that during some stage in your relationship with your other half that you may have neglected your best friend’s duties. Putting the time and effort in to see friends you’ve somewhat grown distant from will help to strengthen your support network and reassure you that no way on earth do you need a partner to have a fun, fulfilling life. Activities like cooking, watching a film, or having a good old fashioned chat over a cup of tea are all you need to remember why you got along so well in the first place. Talking about how you feel with someone you trust will enlighten you to the fact that you are not the only person in the world who has been through a breakup and that, although it’s hard now, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

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Only when you begin to love yourself by truly being the best version of you can you then begin to appreciate the qualities of other people. Potential partners are sure to come with time and when you are ready and may even be a byproduct of any traveling, learning, and reconnecting with old friends that have helped you to move on. The best thing about dating yourself after a breakup and self-love journey is that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, including a lifelong soulmate – you!

Katy is a creative writer, EFL teacher and hummus enthusiast from Yorkshire. She enjoys travelling, running and a good laugh. Read about her (mis)fortunes at Trails of Saigon.

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