I, like most of us, have experienced breakups. And I am here to say that being single is not as scary as it seems. It's actually pretty awesome.
Any one of us can turn a messy, painful breakup into something valuable; something eye-opening and self-realizing. You just have to follow these steps:
1. Keep yourself occupied
Staying busy will keep your mind off the breakup. As much as you might want to, don't lock yourself in your room listening to Coldplay's first album.
Pick up a new hobby. Exercise. Go out to dinner. Make plans. Give yourself things to look forward to. Surround yourself with friends. When your friends are busy, go to a busy café or park and breathe some fresh air.
Get back out into the world. Find your place in it outside of a relationship. You might even feel more fit and more fulfilled without your ex.
2. Start a journal
When we're in a relationship, especially one that's long-term, we tend to lose sight of ourselves. We focus most of our time and attention on our significant other. Breakups are a great way to turn our attention inward.
Learn about yourself. What are you passionate about? What do you hope to accomplish? Your answers might surprise you, so be sure to write them down.
Research shows that journaling not only decreases stress, but it can also help you cope and heal after a traumatic experience.
If staying busy and turning inward doesn't do the trick, traveling might. Sometimes, we just have to get away.
Traveling is a great way to get over a failed relationship. It helps us understand how vast the world is, how many beautiful people occupy it and how our current situation can even seem pretty small in the grand scheme of things.
When you're in a relationship, it's easy to get swept away and lose touch with your friends and family. While it shouldn't require a breakup to remember the important people in our lives, sometimes it does.
Make an effort to mend those relationships. And when you do, try your best not to vent constantly about the breakup. Don't make them feel as if you're only turning to them now that you're alone. Make sure this step is genuine — that you truly want to repair the friendship. Do not turn to people out of desperation.
Besides, obsessing over the relationship will only make it harder to move on.
Life is good at giving us exactly what we need exactly when we need it. We might not understand it now, but give it time. Perhaps you were neglecting someone important in your life. Perhaps you were neglecting yourself. Maybe you were missing out on an epic experience.
There is beauty and love all around us every single day. It is not only in the form of a relationship. You may just have to open your eyes to see it.
6. Take advantage of your freedom
Don't be afraid to start dating again when you are ready. And in the meantime, meeting new people, having conversations and a little bit of fun might be exactly what you need.
Going out on dates has helped me learn a lot about myself. First dates are like interviews; they force us to answer questions about ourselves we normally wouldn't consider.
Dating introduces us to the person we're seeing, and to ourselves.
7. Get excited about "The Search"
Being single might feel scary or foreign, but it's also exciting and liberating if you allow it to be.
Don't dwell on the past. Look forward to the future. Think about all of the new possibilities that have become available to you. Every single time you step out into the world, you welcome the chance of having the time of your life. You welcome the chance of meeting the person of your dreams. Get out there and live.
Sarah Williams is a self-development and lifestyle blogger. Her mission is to help people to date better and find true love. She encourages others to live positively by sharing her authentic experiences involving depression, social anxiety and loneliness. As a dating coach, she believes the “secret” to happiness is to love yourself unconditionally — even when there’s room for improvement. Check out her advice on dating and personal growth at Wingman Magazine