Realities Of Being Single After A Long Relationship

July 3, 2018  |  
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Being single again after a long relationship—like a five-plus year relationship in which you lived with the person, spoke about getting married, spent holidays with one another’s families, had a secret language, shared HBO and Netflix accounts, and had each other’s keys and passwords to everything—is earth-shattering. It can feel like someone pulled the rug out from beneath you. Hell, it can feel like someone pulled the ground out from beneath you, but actually it’s just the sky beneath you, because your whole world is upside down! Little by little, day by day, relationships have a way of taking hold of personalities, habits, and even subconscious. And, that’s okay! That’s what’s supposed to happen in a good, loving, committed relationship. But if that relationship doesn’t last, you’re left feeling quite disoriented. Here is what it’s really like being single again after a seriously long relationship.

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You never know when someone’s hitting on you

You seriously have no idea when someone is hitting on you. You stopped paying attention to things like that for years. When you think someone is hitting on you, they aren’t, and when you think someone wants nothing to do with you, they have a crush on you. You can’t read signals. You forgot that language entirely.

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People come out of the woodwork

So it turns out there are a lot of “friends” who, all along, were just waiting for you to become single. Okay maybe they weren’t waiting for that (they were dating other people during your relationship) but they always had it in their minds that if you were single, they’d go for it. And boy do they go for it. You feel bombarded.

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No companion for every little thing

You realize you were pretty spoiled in having a companion to walk the dog with, pick up groceries with, and go to the car wash with. When you’re single, you really do just spend a lot of time, well, alone. You didn’t realize how quiet life is when it’s just you, your thoughts, and the line at the deli.

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You need someone to call on car drives

Your partner was you go-to person to call on car drives. You always answered one another’s calls. You always had someone to entertain you when you were stuck in traffic. You try calling your friend or sister but, she’s not quite sure why you’re calling.

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Nights are lonely

Nights are really lonely. Man. They hit you like a ton of bricks. You can find distraction during the day through work and friends, but when you get home at night and close that door behind you, the stillness is frightening. It takes some time before you look forward to—rather than dread—that stillness.

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And time feels like a bottomless pit

Losing a relationship can have the same effect as losing a pet; you didn’t realize how much of your schedule revolved around them. Now, the only person whose time or schedule you really need to think about is…yours. It eventually becomes liberating but at first it’s a bit depressing.

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Bars become cold, mean, sad places

You thought bars were so fun when you were in a relationship! Yeah, because you weren’t expecting anything out of them. You were just there to dance with your friends. Now, you have to deal with all of the flirting or not flirting or guys hitting on you or jealous women who wish they were hitting on them. What was once a fun place feels like a lion’s den.

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You feel obligated to wear mascara running errands

You have to train yourself not to walk out the front door with yesterday’s crusty makeup on your cheek, no bra on, and the birds nest on your head you call your hair. Now, when you do something as simple as pick up a pizza, you need to clean your look up a bit.

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Interactions with men become complicated

You’re suddenly so in your head about interactions with men. It didn’t used to be like that—you didn’t have to think about what you said or how you came off. You were in a relationship, so everyone read everything you said and did through that lens.

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Saying, “I’m single” stings. So much.

Those first few times you have to see the words, “I’m single” really sting. You hadn’t really thought of yourself as single. You knew you were no longer in a relationship but, single? That carries so many other connotations.

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You kind of vomit after your first kiss

The first time you kiss someone new you kind of want to vomit. Your body rejects it, kind of like the way you feel a little sick after getting a flu shot—it’s actually good for you but, it’s just so foreign to your body.

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You do vomit after your first hookup

After having sex with someone else for the first time, you do vomit. Well, if you don’t vomit you have a mild panic attack. Your body goes into shock.

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You realize you were never really that busy

You realize that, though you felt so busy when you were in a relationship, you really weren’t. You were just accommodating the schedules of two people but your solo schedule is not really that crazy.

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The girls are scattered

You want to get all of your friends together. You need your girls around you. But you come to find that the group has sort of scattered since you were last single. They’re all in their own relationships now or, one or two of them are so, the single ones went off on their own.

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Men mistake your calmness for coolness

You became so used to never filtering your words or caring about your appearance in a relationship, that you come off as very cool to new guys. But when they try to kiss you or sleep with you and you freak out, they realize they misread you.

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