When my wife and I first split up, I have to admit that realising that I really was on my own again was devastating for me. Having to deal with the trials and tribulations of life, with no one to use as a sounding board, was hard enough, but my two children were quite young at the time as well and that was what really hurt.
Now, however, things have moved on, I’ve grown used to the situation, and I have now started to enjoy being in my own. My kids keep asking if will ever get married again, and they just can’t understand why I don’t seem too worried about being alone. Well, the truth is, I have learned how to love being on my own. I can do what I please, go where I like, and even follow some dreams that I never had the time to pursue before.
If you are living on your own and finding it hard to come to terms with, here are ten things I have learned that helped me turn solo living into a positive experience.
1. You are never really alone
Step one is to get over that business of weeping into your beer, telling yourself that you are all on your own. Unless you have been stranded on a desert island, which I doubt, then you will never be truly alone. Even if you don’t live with your kids anymore, they still love you and you will still see them. The same goes for your friends and the rest of your family. You also have thousands of other people, all around you. If you ever feel the need for some company, start going to a pub on a regular basis. You’ll be surprised at just how quickly you can get on talking terms with a few people.
2. Don’t let yourself go
When no one is around to see how you look, it can be very easy to let your personal grooming and hygiene go. Don’t fall into that trap, because that will make you feel even worse. Get up every day, get washed, shaved and dressed and take good care of your appearance. I promise you, if you don’t, you will just feel even sorrier for yourself.
3. Don’t sit around doing nothing
When there is no one else around, it’s easy to get into the habit of doing nothing at all. At weekends, you drag yourself out of a bed at around midday; you eat something that looks vaguely edible you found in the back of the fridge, and then you sit in front of the TV for the rest of the day watching some buffoon waffling on about antiques. Get up early, get into a routine, and do something productive, then you won’t have the time to feel lonely and down.
4. Understand that you are quite capable of living by yourself
You will find that you are quite capable of doing everything yourself, so stop thinking that you won’t be able to manage on your own, because you will. You will learn how to cook for one, you will get into the habit of cleaning your home regularly and, before you know it, you will realise that you don’t have to be living with someone else to be able to get things done.
5. Realise that going out on your own can be fun too
You are allowed to go the cinema on your own, you know. It can take a while to get used to dining out on your own, or seeing a movie, but life doesn’t have to end just because you don’t have a partner to out with. When you treat yourself to a night out on your own, you can choose to do whatever you want to do, so make the most of it and enjoy yourself.
6. Follow your dreams
One of the big upsides to being alone is that you don’t have to consider other people all the time and you have far more time available too. Think about it; if you ever dreamed of going to live another country, you could. If you always wanted to write a book, then now you can. Look on being alone as a new beginning that is filled with opportunities, not a full stop on the rest of your life.
7. Make the most of every day
It takes a while for you to realise that really do have the freedom to do whatever you want, but once that has sunk in, you really can make the most of every day that you have. If it’s a sunny day, then take a walk in the park and enjoy the peace and quiet, or shoot off for the weekend to a town you have never visited before. You don’t have to be home for a certain time and you don’t have to go where someone else wants to go, so enjoy all that new found freedom you have.
8. Learn how to appreciate you
Being on your own also means that you come to terms with who you really are. You get the time to do a little bit of soul searching and that can help you to understand what will really make you happy. You no longer have to pretend, you can just be yourself and learn to be happy with who you are.
9. Don’t let yourself become isolated
While I am now happy being on my own, I’m not a hermit! Human beings do need social contact, so don’t shut yourself away from other people altogether. Stay in touch with friends and family and get out and meet new people occasionally too, but do it on the terms that you are happy with.
10. Don’t feel that there is anything wrong with being on your own
Living alone is not everyone’s cup of tea, but you can make it a positive experience if you make the most of your time. You certainly should never feel guilty about enjoying your own company. If that’s what makes you happy, that’s all that counts, so go for it and have a great time!