Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dealing With Being Alone

One of the hardest aspects of no longer living with your family is finding yourself suddenly alone. Even if you have a good support network of family and friends around you’ll still spend plenty of time on your own, and it can seem like a huge dislocation after years with your partner and your children. How do you deal with it?

Learn To Be Happy With Yourself

Learning to love yourself and to be comfortable alone might sound like something from a self-help book, but it really is important. It takes time to emerge from a relationship – up to two years, according to some – before you’re free of the baggage and really able to move ahead.

You can use time by yourself very positively, to consider why this last relationship and others before it ended. See if there’s a pattern that’s been repeated. If there is, identifying it is the first step to breaking it.

It’s also a good time to take stock of your life. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Are you happy in your job, or is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the chance? This is the perfect time to make that change, whether it’s for a new job or to improve your education to move into another field. A new focus will bring new goals and surroundings and fill your time. It will also bring you a new circle of friends and colleagues, which can be useful when you’re making a fresh start.

Take up a new hobby. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? If so, begin doing it. Even if it doesn’t live up to your expectations, that’s fine; you’ve given it a try, and it might introduce you to something else.

Using Your Network

You will have family and a network of friends that has built up over the years. Make time to see them and spend time with them. Often when in family situations, others become relegated to the background. Being alone is the perfect opportunity to become close to those others again.

Of course, there can be problems with some friends. A number of them will have known you and your ex, and might be on her side, or might not want to be thought to be taking sides. Others, though, will be supportive. Socialise with them, enjoy evenings out.

Family can be a great boon during this time. Visit them – brothers, sisters, parents – and enjoy your time together, especially during the holidays, which can be the most depressing times of the year if you’re on your own.

If You Have No Network

For a number of reasons, it might be that you have no family or friends locally that you can turn to. That definitely makes life harder, since you’re completely cast back on your own resources. You need to make sure you don’t become a recluse. Look around. You’ll see a number of activities advertised locally. Take the plunge and join in with one or two; it’s a good way to develop a circle of acquaintances.

Unless you’re a naturally social person, it can be hard to force yourself to go out and meet new people. However, it’s worth making the effort.

The worst thing you can do is dash out and try to find a new partner. Emotionally, you’re not in a good state to begin a new relationship – all the clich├ęs of on the rebound really apply. It’s better to wait. That doesn’t mean no girlfriends, of course, but keep things light. In fact, a new girlfriend can be good; it reminds you that people can find you attractive and desirable. Just don’t make more of it than it really is, for your own sake.

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