We’ve all heard that tired cliché “Get back on the horse” when we have found ourselves newly single. To make the idea literal, when someone falls off a horse they’re going to be pretty hurt, they may have even broken something. There are a lot of things a person should do after falling off the horse before they are able to hop back on. Check vitals, administer any first aid that may be needed, and try standing up. If you break your leg on the way down, tend to it until it heals before you even think about getting back on that horse. You don’t want to keep falling off and having an influx of injuries, you want to know why you fell in the first place and learn from it. Self reflection isn’t always easy, but it’s not supposed to be.
In my life I’ve heard a range of how long it’s supposed to take to get over a relationship, the best gauges I heard were a third of the time you were together or ten thousand drinks, but the fact of the matter is that it’s going to take however long it takes and that is okay. This factor also depends on how serious the relationship was to you. A big mistake you can make is numbing pain, it stunts your growth. Numbed pain becomes phantom pain and before you know it, it’s 20 years later and you’re still crying about the dog you lost in the split. If it hurts, let it hurt so you know when it stops.
The best and hardest thing you can do for yourself is to cut all ties with your ex for an unspecified amount of time. Future you will love you for it. The impulse is to be friends because they’re such a big part of your life and yada, yada, yada, but they have to be your ex before they can be your friend and that’s true no matter which side of the break up you’re on. You have a real opportunity to reclaim your happiness outside of their existence and go back to thinking for one. The world opens up with all of its spontaneous wonders and makes an interesting human out of you because you can say Yes to opportunities that would not have necessarily been available to a coupled you. A you who has been places and seen things is more interesting than the Netflix-bingeing for the 200th Saturday night in a row you.
I was thrust into singlehood involuntarily and I was extremely surprised at how well it suits me. Being single doesn’t have to be a temporary state of being, a gap to bridge, between partners. It really doesn’t have to be anything if you don’t let your status define you. Sure you’re single, but you’re also a hiker, a writer, a Giants fan, a Star Wars dork, a dog person, a foodie, a brunette, you’re any number or combination of things. Disappear into hobbies, hang out with your friends, or as the kids say, do you.