After my last serious breakup, it took me the longest time to recover. I often found myself ruminating and depressed. This led me down a path of trying to figure out how to be single and happy.
I made a host of mistakes during that time but by doing so, I was able to stumble on some tips that actually work and made a huge impact on my life.
What I’ve come to realize is that life is truly full of different seasons.
Just because you’re going through a season of sadness, hardship or loneliness right now doesn’t mean that it will remain that way forever.
You’ll definitely enter a better season in the near future.
In fact, there are ways in which you can turn things around and find a positive spin on something you may have feared and dreaded.
It took a lot of time, patience, prayer and hard work but I was able to embrace being single and this led me down a path of happiness by myself and with myself.
Here are my top 12 tips on how to be single and happy. I hope they help you as much as they helped me.
1. Make peace with the past by forgiving yourself
As someone who is incredibly sentimental and hard on myself, letting go of the past has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life.
Often, it’s not what others did to me but my own behavior or reactions that I fixate on. It’s easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves.
And, I don’t think that’s how it should be because the only person you have to live with 24/7 and for the rest of your life is you.
So, it’s important to develop a better relationship with yourself.
The past is over.
We have absolutely no control over what has happened anymore which makes it pointless to fixate on it.
But, there are benefits to looking backward so long as you do so with the intention of improving your future.
Everyone makes mistakes.
None of us really think that we are bad people until we do something bad and realize that the image of perfection we once had is not true. Bad decisions don’t make us bad people unless our intention is to harm others.
Does that mean it’s okay or acceptable to punish and hate ourselves?
No! Not at all!
Self-loathing accomplishes nothing. Instead, it would be far more productive and useful to channel your energy towards growing as a person.
But, you can only do that once you’ve forgiven yourself. Which begs the question, how can I forgive myself?
This starts by making amends.
Either by owning up to your mistakes or by implementing changes that prove without a doubt that you are no longer the kind of person who would make such a specific poor decision.
As time goes on, you’ll find that it becomes easier to live with the past until it loses any hold over you. By then, you’ll be single and happy.
Related post: How to feel happy again
2. Set goals and work towards them
We can only comprehend the extent of what we are capable of enduring, overcoming and accomplishing by intentionally working towards certain goals.
Whether you’re struggling with the past, a breakup, poor health or finances, the way you behave can greatly influence the conditions of your life.
By setting goals, you can actively work towards building the kind of life and version of yourself that is stronger, healthier and most importantly, happier.
When setting goals, always define a deadline.
This will add motivation and a good amount of stress to your life.
When I was single and unhappy about my weight, I made a goal to improve the way I looked by losing a certain amount of weight within a year through regular exercise.
I started working out daily, by pushing myself to extreme lengths.
I saw absolutely no difference within the first 2 weeks of exercising.
This could have been discouraging to me but I understood that I had set a goal and the only thing I had control over was how vigorously and consistently I exercised.
The end result of my goal could only be influenced by the one action I could take.
So, I focused on that rather than the results. By the time the year ended, I had lost more weight than I intended on.
If you take only one thing away from this, let it be the following – focus on what you can control and take action consistently. This is the greatest path to success and personal development.
Remind yourself through the accomplishment of goals that you are defined by more than just your relationship status.
3. Step out of your comfort zone by trying new things
When you’re single, you have all this free time and energy on your hands. It would be easy to just fall into a boring routine and spend loads of time doing nothing.
But, an idle mind is the devil’s playground.
What you can do is experience new things. Not just new things, but challenging activities and experiences that scare you.
The more you step out of your comfort zone, the less you will be controlled by fear, loneliness and anxiety.
As this process unfolds, all those initially negative feelings of being single suddenly transform into beautiful feelings of contentment.
When I was single, I dreaded it at first. It took me a year just to find myself again but when I did, it immediately followed new experiences.
Knowing that I was capable of conquering my fears and having fun by myself made it incredibly easy to be single and happy.
Spend half an hour every 6 months to draw up a list of new things you’d like to try and get to it.
At first, you’ll have to force yourself to muster up any enthusiasm but when you experience the thrill and joy from life experiences, it will become a fun and exciting venture.
4. Spend valuable time with friends and family regularly
Just because you’re single doesn’t mean that you have to be alone. We all have love in our hearts that should be channeled to others.
Channel it towards the people in your life who you genuinely care about and who care about you.
I promise you, there’s absolutely no way at all that you will ever regret spending time with and loving your family and friends.
Put your phone aside and be present in the moment.
If you’re struggling with negative feelings after a breakup, set them aside for the next few hours. You can always get back to dealing with those emotions.
For now, just enjoy the people who are still in your life.
Don’t let someone who is no longer a factor in your life steal the moments you could share with those who are still around you.
5. Focus on what you want
A lot of people who exit long and serious relationships experience a sense of emptiness and a loss of identity.
This was my experience as well. I assumed that this was because I missed having a significant other but what I hadn’t considered was the possibility that this was a loss of myself.
A relationship requires a lot of investment and effort. It can almost be all-consuming.
When it suddenly ends, this can leave you feeling at a loss.
This is when it becomes extremely important to put yourself first.
Now, while you’re single, it’s perfectly okay to be a bit selfish and to prioritize your wants.
Think about it, you may not get this chance again.
You may be single now but someday in the future, you could find someone you fall deeply in love with and go on to have a long relationship that lasts until you die.
So, why not use this time to get what you want?
6. Create a new routine for yourself
Change is difficult and chances are such that your old routine with your ex probably leaves you feeling depressed and sad since they aren’t around anymore.
On one hand, you have to experience those feelings in order to move past it.
On the other hand, it could greatly ease your pain and help you to feel single and happy by changing your routine almost entirely.
This was something I had to do after the end of my previous serious relationship.
At first, I sat around feeling sorry for myself but eventually, I started filling those time slots with other activities that either benefited me, challenged me or entertained me.
This made it easier to deal with being single and with time, my new routine served me well.
I had fewer reminders of my past and more to look forward to on a daily basis.
7. Don’t chase after your ex
I don’t think anyone will be able to master the art of how to be single and happy if they’re busy chasing after an ex who isn’t interested anymore.
What this actually indicates is that you are unaccepting of your new relationship status.
Until you are willing to surrender yourself to the reality of being single, you’ll continue to struggle with it.
Those who usually move on and find good relationships often do so when they have fully embraced being single.
This occurs because they find contentment in being with themselves.
They’re perfectly happy being single because their lives are filled with activities, goals and dreams that fuel them on a deeper level.
When you’re content and happy as a single person, it’s extremely easy to behave in an attractive manner to people who may be interested in you.
Don’t waste your time chasing after an ex if they keep rejecting you.
It’s pointless. It would serve you better to move on after a breakup by using the no contact rule. It will help you to get an ex back or to move on completely.
Related post: How to move on after a breakup
8. Connect with something larger than yourself
Personally, I am a strong believer in the almighty and this often leads me to spiritually feeding myself on a regular basis through prayer.
This has helped me to deal with a lot of anxiety, especially in regards to matters of the heart.
Additionally, I spend a lot of time thanking God for all that he has blessed me with and this was particularly helpful when I was single and recovering from a breakup.
9. Pursue your purpose in life
Given that I’m a believer in a higher power, it comes as no surprise that I believe that everyone who is lucky enough to be on this planet has a purpose in life.
Whether or not we actually pursue our purpose could be a defining factor in our lives.
You were not brought into this world just to have a relationship or just to make money.
There’s something bigger out there for you.
Dig into the depths of your mind and heart and try to remember what it is that you wished to do when you were younger.
I like what Ed Mylett preaches on his Instagram and Youtube channel. He says that when he dies, he believes that God will introduce him to the ultimate and best version of himself.
This version of himself will be everything he was capable of being had he made an effort to pursue his purpose.
And heaven for him would be to look at this version of himself and they’re identical.
10. Find a job that you don’t hate
Easier said than done, I know. But, I’ve come to realize that as an adult, much of our life is spent working.
Sometimes, we don’t even have the luxury of working a job that pays well but we have to do what’s needed to survive and provide for our families.
I still feel like you should at least try to find a job that doesn’t diminish you.
It may take a lot of time but by doing so, you can drastically improve your overall life and be able to find hope and happiness while you’re single.
While we’re on the topic, work on building your career. It will give you something beneficial to channel your energy towards.
11. Make a conscious effort to be better than you were
To avoid making unnecessary mistakes in your future relationships and to become someone who can nurture a relationship to its full glory, you must first develop a better version of yourself during this time.
Introspection is a great way to understand yourself better.
By knowing yourself, you can alter behaviors and thoughts that sabotage your relationships and life.
I wish that this was something I did a long time ago.
Better late than never, I suppose. Take the time to understand yourself and then make a conscious decision to be better.
Improve your weaknesses and increase your strengths. By the time you enter your next relationship, you’ll be far more equipped for it.
Related post: 12 ways to be a better partner
12. Avoid dating toxic people
Lastly, stay away from people who lie, deceive and add drama to your life. Apply this in abundance to your love life.
I wouldn’t recommend you to become nihilistic, antisocial or judgmental by any means!
However, when you spot blatant and toxic red flags, don’t ignore them or pretend that they’re not that bad.
There’s a difference between dating someone who makes mistakes or unintentionally does something wrong with someone who is aware of their toxic behaviors but doesn’t care about how it affects others.
Intention plays a big part in relationships.
Avoid those people, like narcissists, who are consumed by their selfish desires all the time and at the expense of everyone and everything.
Related post: How to leave a toxic relationship with dignity
This chapter in your life doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems.
With some perspective shifts, hard work and patience, I’m more than certain that you will figure out exactly how to be single and happy.
As much as possible, reflect on everything that you are grateful for.
Train your mind to recognize the good even in bad situations and the journey of life will become easier.
With that being said, I really hope you found some solace and insight from this article on how to be single and happy. If you’d like to share some of your own tips or have a question, pop over to the comment section below and let’s chat.