I learned a lot from my first real relationship, which lasted almost five years, but when it ended suddenly I felt completely clueless about where my life was going (obviously far away from my ex) and how being single actually works (cats? Netflix? one night stands?). I’ve now been a single pringle for over three months and it’s been a crash course in real life. So sit back and let me lay down some words of wisdom, yo.
1. Meeting people freaking sucks.
I’m not really what you would call a “people person,” which is why I loved being in a relationship – I never had to bother talking to guys at parties or in class. Now that I’m single and still somewhat hopeful that I will once again find someone, I realized I have to actually be friendly and put myself out there. After letting out my inner bitch for five years, I had some trouble reigning her in, but the more I open myself up and meet cooler people the more I decide it’s not all bad – barring the people on Tinder.
2. Having a “type” is stupid.
Not to beat the PC nail over the head, but ya like who ya like. The first week after my breakup I wrote a list of things I thought I wanted in my future partner. Today, some of them are still true, but some I’ve realized aren’t as important to me as I’d thought. Let’s face it, I’m not going to find a guy with all the good aspects of my ex but way hotter and not a huge dick, so I think it’s time we let go of expectations and simply let the perfect guy fall into our laps – hopefully literally.
3. Your friends will ask you about your love life. A lot.
No, I’m not still talking to that Tinder guy… Why? Because he stopped replying, but thanks for bringing it up! Friends are the best, especially post-dumping, but the concern over your dating life can get overwhelming. Especially if they’re trying to set you up; pretty sure if that guy spent all night talking to you, he isn’t very interested in me. And if I ever get a date/hook up/even talk to a guy, trust me y’all will be the first to hear about it.
4. Everyone suddenly becomes attractive.
Once you get out of the cloud of feeling sorry for yourself and blasting Tay on repeat, you can finally lift your eyes and take in the beauty of the world: men. At first the amount of guys you never noticed before will seem daunting, and eventually you start getting so delusional that anyone and everyone looks good. As my housemate, a fellow wise single gal, pointed out about a cutie in her class, “not sure if he’s actually cute or just cuter than everyone else in the class.” The world may never know…
5. You don’t need anyone to make yourself happy, but it definitely helps.
The key to being single is to learn to be happy by yourself. Learn to enjoy those nights alone with a snuggie and some wine. When you have that epitome that: relationships ≠ happiness (trust me on that one), you’ll finally be free to pursue a new kind of joy. But just because you’re a fierce, independent bitch doesn’t mean you don’t need people by your side sometimes. Girlfriends, fam, pets, maybe even a FWB, whatever helps keep you happy. Once you’re satisfied out of your relationship, you realize the drastic difference between forced and real happiness.
6. A clean break is the best break.
Truer words were never spoken, LC. Maybe I’m generalizing here, but if I’ve learned anything from real life relationships (rom coms, however entertaining, don’t count), attempting to stay friends with your ex only leads to festering feelings and more drama. I know that if I were still in contact with my ex that I wouldn’t be in the good place, emotionally, that I’m in now. Relationships are messy and vary from couple to couple, but space to clear your head and figure out if your ex is actually good for you or not (spoiler: he’s probably not) will do a girl some good.
7. There’s no need to rush into something new.
There’s this internal impulse to “move on” from someone by going towards someone else, especially if your ex has already moved on (maybe even before the breakup…), but if you’re not ready this will only lead to either, in my case, awkwardness or eventual heartbreak. I have been on one date since my breakup and it was horribly awkward and showed me that I was no where near ready to start dating, especially with the first guy who came around. Scratch that – ESPECIALLY with a guy who wore running shoes with jeans on our date. Now that’s a horrible decision, really.
8. Having single friends is crucial.
Not to hate on people in relationships, but I hate you. Not really, I love that you’re happy blah blah blah, but sometimes I need friends to compete for worst ex horror story (I usually win), scope out guys at parties with me, and aren’t necessarily in search for their one true love at the moment. Your single life will be much more enjoyable if you have fellow losers to share it with, especially if they’re willing to get a dozen donuts at 10 pm on a Tuesday with you.
9. You’re going to be a crazy person for a while. Accept it.
Breakups SUCK. There’s no getting around it and there’s no simple solution for feeling better, unless you count drinking heavily, which I don’t really recommend on the reg. Somedays you’ll be sad, some happy, and some you’ll be murderously angry for no reason (aka my mood everyday). Once you accept the feelings and then move on, they get less and less frequent. Embrace the hot mess that is your life and even use it to your advantage. My break up got me a new TV – thanks, Dad!
10. This and foremost THIS.
Take it from the queen of getting over assholes (screw you, Brad!): you deserve somebody better. ‘Nuff said.
I wrote this blog based on an article I wrote for Her Campus UCSB: check it out!
Thanks for reading!