Sometimes the worst part of loss is learning how to be alone. After you’ve been part of a couple for years – or even decades – it can feel impossible to learn how to live as a single woman.
In How to Emotionally Detach From Someone You Care About a reader commented on a tip that she found very helpful. “You said women should ask themselves whether they would encourage their sister or mother to be in a relationship with their ex-partner, and that really opened my eyes,” says Kathy. “I would never recommend my ex-boyfriend even to my worst enemy. Thank you for saying that, because it is helping me adjust to being alone.”
What insights, thoughts, or advice have you already received on how to adjust to being alone? Before you read my tips, take a moment to think about what you already know. Tell me – I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below. Often we already know what we need to do, but we seek external validation because we don’t trust ourselves. Or God.
How to Adjust to Being Alone
These three suggestions apply to women who are:
- Dealing with a recent breakup
- Living alone after the death of a spouse
- Recreating life after a partner moves out
Of course, there is no one tip on how to adjust to being alone that will work for all women in all circumstances. Here are a few ideas to think about…
Reconnect with your source of life and power
I often write blog posts that are more spiritual and emotional in nature, because that’s who I am. I believe our spiritual and emotional health has a direct effect on how we live our daily lives. In fact, the very foundation of a happy, healthy life is spiritual!
If you aren’t connected to a higher purpose, if you don’t have hope or faith that everything will be ok (or even wonderful!), then you can search for all the practical tips in the world on how to adjust to being alone. It won’t matter. You don’t need to learn how to stop buying groceries in bulk or how to do a half load of laundry. You need to find a source of peace and joy, independent of your relationship.
Find your purpose in life. What were you created to do? Who were you before you lost touch with yourself? What do you really care about?
Forgive yourself and forgive your ex
What are you holding on to? In How to Stop Being Lonely, I encourage us all to remember this:
You have the power to choose your future. You have the power to choose to be happy, healthy, and in a mutually fulfilling relationship. You do NOT have to stay in a relationship that makes you happy. You are a smart, valuable, and beautiful woman with everything you need.
But before you can really tap into your strength and power, you need to forgive. Let go of the past. You can’t learn how to adjust to being alone if you hold on to regrets, bitterness, anger, or disappointments. You can’t live happy and healthy if you’re gripping on to the dreck and sludge.
Fill your life with light, love, laughter and a mess!
Ah, my two loud yappy little dogs. What a pain! And drat that cat; she wakes us up at 5 am. She wants love, hugs, attention, time, affection, pats and scratches. She gets fur in my mouth and nose, and she teases the dogs until they chase her. Then guess who gets in trouble? The dogs.
If you don’t have any critters in your life who aggravate you, consider adopting or fostering a dog or cat. Or, take your neighbor’s dog to the dog park. Clean up the poop, wipe the dirty paw prints off your car seat, give the muddy dog a massage.
Life is messy, whether or not you have a dog. Expand your home and make way for disorder, light, and chaos. That’s how I adjusted to being alone. To me, it means a houseful of animals.
What does this mean to you?
Today, my best tips on how to adjust to being alone are: get your spiritual house in order, practice forgiveness, and fill your life with aggravation and laughter. Tomorrow I may have a whole different perspective…but today this is all I got.
A question for you
What is the most difficult part of adjusting to being alone? Tell me below. What advice have you given others about being independent and self-sufficient?
While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of learning how to adjust to being alone. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.
Read What to Do When You’re Tired of Being Alone for a few more ideas – that post was inspired by two readers who aren’t happy being single.
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Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.