What’s the worst part about breakups?
Giving their stuff back?
We’re betting it’s probably the feeling of loneliness.
After you’ve gotten so used to doing almost everything with your partner, it can be difficult to adjust to.
Whether you saw them every day after work or school or just on weekends, the gap you have to fill is now nothing but… nothing. It feels bad and lonely and like everyone is going about their life, except for you.
Luckily, there’s a few things you can do to shake the loneliness feeling. While different things work for everyone and you need to heal before you completely get rid of it, there’s hope.
In this post, we’re sharing how to deal with loneliness after a breakup in 19 tips.
How To Deal With Loneliness After a Breakup
Coping with loneliness after a breakup can be tough. It probably feels like the only person who can cure it is the one who you’ve just split from. I’ve been there many times. It feels like your whole world has crashed in, even if it’s just one person. You don’t really want to see anyone, but still feel a deep sense of loneliness and dread. You compare yourself to other, happy couples who made it work. Which makes you feel even lonelier.
It’s ok though. There’s some things you can try to feel less lonely as you heal.
#1 Reframe Loneliness
When we break up with someone, especially if we’ve been with them a long time, the change of being alone can be startling. While we can compare ourselves to successful couples, it’s worth looking at the upsides to being single. Even if you’re an extrovert, having some ‘me time’ can be a great way to recharge yourself and evaluate your priorities. Having one less major person to hang out with means more time to do something you really enjoy—whether that’s baking, crafting, working out, working on a side business, etc.
Instead of seeing yourself as lacking because off the loss, try to see it as an opportunity to grow, try new things and enjoy your favorite hobbies.
#2 Reevaluate Beliefs About Loneliness
Before we get into the concrete actions on how to deal with loneliness after a breakup, we have one more psychological tip: consider your beliefs about your loneliness.
Many times when we feel alone after a breakup, it’s not just about missing being around people. There’s typically an element of shame:
- Why did they breakup with me?
- Why did I choose someone I had to break up with?
- Why is everyone else in successful relationships but me?
- Why am I home alone while everyone else is out on date night?
- I’m not with anyone on the weekend; I’m such a loser
Realize your negative beliefs about yourself. Are you interpreting the situation as if there’s something wrong with you for being alone?
The truth is being alone can be a good thing. Learning how to be with yourself is an important skill and should be nothing to be ashamed of. Even if you’re an extrovert, most of us go through breakups and periods of feeling isolated. It’s normal. It’s okay.
#3 Reconnect with Friends
Many times when we get into relationships, we get busy and spend less time with our friends. After a breakup is a great time to lean on your friends and rebuild those bonds.
#4 Bond with Pets
Pets are a great cure for loneliness because they don’t judge what you’re going through and will be by your side the entire time. Carve out some extra time to play with your pet and cuddle.
#5 Consider Getting a Pet
If you don’t have a pet, consider if now is the right time to get one. Of course, you should never get a pet just for the sake of curing loneliness. You need to be able to ensure you have the time and resources to give them a great, loving life. If you’re in the position to do so, the extra time you have on your hands could be useful for puppy training. And this kind of puppy love never goes away 🙂
#6 Try Friend-Making Apps
Spending more time with friends is a good idea, but what if you don’t have any? Sometimes when we’re in relationships, we pour most of our time into our partners and work that we have little time for others. As a result, those friendships deteriorate and aren’t there when we need them most.
You can meet people the old-fashioned way, but you may agree with me that that’s becoming increasingly harder. Instead, you may want to try some apps:
- Bumble BFF
- Hey! Vina
- Local Facebook groups with people looking to hang out
#7 Window-Shop Dating
Many people who get lonely after a breakup just jump into another one. This is called “serial dating,” and it’s not recommended. Why? Because if we don’t deal with our real issues, masking them only pushes the solution further down the line.
With that being said, I think there’s a middle ground. If you’ve just split with someone and you’re wondering how to deal with loneliness after a breakup, don’t go searching for the one just yet. But when you’re ready, it’s okay to “window shop.” By “window shop dating” I mean that you download the dating app and creep people, but don’t bother to chat. Some apps even let you “hide” your profile but you can still see others.
What’s the point? Well, you get excited about your future knowing there’s so many (probably better) guys out there. You become a little less lonely knowing that when you’re ready, the world is waiting for you.
#8 Listen to Audiobooks and Podcasts
As someone who lives alone and who is generally by myself, I can vouch for podcasts and audiobooks as being my ‘friends.’ Sure, it’s a one-sided relationship in which I just listen, but I’m really okay with that.
Having on background noise can create the illusion that you’re less alone. While a TV show could work, audiobooks and podcasts can be listened to while you’re doing other things. And you can develop an attachment to hosts, giving you something new to look forward to each week.
#9 Accept Invitations
Most of us don’t want to go anywhere or do anything after we’ve broken up with someone. It feels like the whole world stopped, or at least it has for us. This can make it harder to join people at events or activities. Saying “no” becomes a lot easier than saying “yes.”
However, accepting those invitations can get your out of your loneliness zone—even for a couple hours.
#10 Count the Benefits
Make a list to the benefits of not being with your ex. It may be hard to get started at first, but we think you’ll have a huge list once you get the ball rolling. Don’t know where to start? Read 22 Bright Sides to Breaking Up.
#11 Join In-Person Groups
Another way to feel less lonely is to surround yourself with a group of people who care the same interests. Many times, if you meet every week, it’s easier to extend those friendships outside of just the meetup. If you don’t know what to join, think about your interests. Search for classes in your area on Google and Meetup.com. Ideas could include:
- Art classes
- Cooking classes
- Mom groups
- Local meetup groups
- Singles groups
- Spiritual or religious groups
- Meditation groups
#12 Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment. It could involve practices like naming all the colors around you or sitting down for a breathing meditation. While this doesn’t sound fun, it’s a research-backed idea for how to deal with loneliness after a breakup. A 2019 study found that mindfulness training reduces loneliness and increases social contact.
#13 People Watch
Sometimes we can’t bring ourselves to hang out with other people just yet, but we’re still super lonely. A good middle ground is going out by yourself in public. People watching can make you feel like you’re still apart of the large world, even if you’re a little sad right now. Sit on a park bench, take your laptop to a coffee shop, go eat a meal in a restaurant alone. Observe other people, eavesdrop, hear the noises of not being alone.
#14 Join Facebook Groups
If you live in a smaller town, it may be more difficult to meet people to feel less lonely. However, online friends can help fill that gap a bit. Consider joining local Facebook groups and meeting people that way. Another option is to join Facebook groups of your interest—dogs, fashion, parenting, music, writing, exercising, etc. There’s groups for just about everything. Making posts and commenting on other’s is a great way to build bonds.
#15 Express Yourself in How to Deal with Loneliness After a Breakup
Creativity can be a great way to release your emotions of loneliness—I mean “art therapy” exists for a reason. Even if you’re not a crafty or artistic person, there’s plenty of ways to be creative. Some examples include:
- Wood working
- Bead loom
- Making bookmarks
- Painting abstract
- Follow YouTube painting tutorials
- Model cars or trains
#16 Find Your Spirituality
When many people go through life changes, it requires them to leave a group of people behind, for example, quitting drugs. To compete with that loneliness, many often turn to religion or spirituality (ex. Born Again Christians). While I’m not telling you that dusting off your bible will be your answer on how to cure loneliness after a breakup, there’s a chance it could be. I’m not a religious person, but I do tend to get more spiritual when the going gets tough. For me, it’s more of a new age spirituality. But for you it could be:
- Major religions
- Witchcraft or Wicca
- Spiritual practices—meditation, tarot cards, reading
All of these have the ability to make us see life around us, which in turn, makes us feel less alone.
#17 Plan Social Activities
It may sound simple, but having a calendar of social activities you can look forward to will help. It’s easy to read this list and think, “ok, I should do that” and then not do any of it. Reading these tips is only useful if you put them into action.
So, right now, pick a few social things that you want to do and plan them out. Ask people to go for a walk or coffee and pencil it into your calendar. Book that class. Plan anything social you can be excited about.
#18 Try Journaling
Sometimes we feel lonely because we have nobody to talk to about all our emotions. Or maybe we do, but we’ve already talked their ear off and we don’t want to annoy them with anymore. In this case, journaling could be a good solution. Open a page and write what’s on the top of your head. If not, search up some relevant promotes to get the ideas flowing. Although it can feel awkward to pour your heart out to an inanimate object, you’ll probably feel better after—like a weight has been lifted.
#19 Try Therapy
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you just can’t shake the feeling of being lonely. If you’re feeling this way long-term, it’s a good idea to try therapy. If you have health insurance, spend time looking for a therapist who you think would be a good fit. If not, look for therapists who work on a sliding scale, meaning their cost is adjudged to your income. If you don’t have any money to spend, check with your local community health center and ask about resources. Free apps like 7Cups may also help for those that can’t afford the expensive price of therapy.
Summary: How to Deal with Loneliness After a Breakup
If you’re wondering how to deal with loneliness after a breakup, you should know that there’s no surefire way to feel better. With time and effort though, you can feel a little less alone. Use the list above as a way to brainstorm ideas to feel more a part of the world. Then, when you’re ready, schedule some activities, even if it feels a bit uncomfortable and you still feel a bit sad. Even when we don’t want to go things, the action of moving forward can make us feel better after.