Feeling Lonely After A Breakup? Here’s How To Get Through It

Feeling lonely after a breakup? You’re not alone. Ending a relationship can be devastating and make you feel absolutely miserable. And while it’s a temporary emotion that eventually passes, waiting for that to happen can be a real struggle. Nothing but time can heal your broken heart, but that doesn’t mean you have to just sit around and suffer. Here are some things you can do to combat your loneliness and start to bounce back.

Why breakups are so isolating

  1. You lost your partner and one of your best friends. It’s no wonder you end up feeling lonely after a breakup. Depending on how long you were with your partner, they became far more than a romantic interest. They were likely your other half and one of your best friends. You did everything together and they were always there for you. Now that they’re not, you don’t know what to do with yourself.
  2. You lost a huge part of your larger social circle. If your friend groups melded to form one big social circle, that’s going to change post-breakup. Many of your mutual friends likely feel the need to choose sides to avoid awkwardness. If your ex ends up taking many of your pals with them, it can leave you feeling incredibly alone.
  3. It feels like no one knows what you’re going through. Most people have experienced heartbreak in their lives. However, it can feel like a unique and singular experience when you’re the one going through it. You don’t want to hear platitudes or advice because no one gets it. You don’t find their feedback helpful because it doesn’t apply to you, at least in your head.
  4. You don’t want to burden your loved ones with your emotions. You want nothing more than to go on a two-hour rant about your ex and how you feel about how everything went down. However, you know how you’ve felt when friends have done that to you in the past. It wasn’t fun and it gets tiring pretty quickly. So, you keep the breakup to yourself, leading to an intense feeling of loneliness.
  5. You feel unlovable and/or like you’ll never love again. It’s easy to convince yourself that this was it and that your love life is pretty much over. This is especially true if your relationship was serious and you thought it might last forever. Knowing it didn’t makes you think nothing will ever work out. You’ll be on your own forever while everyone else is happy and in love. (Thankfully, that’s not true.)

What to do if you’re feeling lonely after a breakup

  1. Eat well, move your body, and get enough sleep. The last thing you’re probably thinking about is taking care of your physical health. However, it’s incredibly important. You can’t achieve emotional and mental well-being without the physical. When you do eat, be sure to include plentiful servings of fruits and veggies. Do some exercise and break a sweat to get those feel-good endorphins. Plus, make sure you’re sleeping at least seven hours per night.
  2. Block and delete your ex (at least for now). It’s no wonder you’re feeling lonely if you’re still stalking your ex online after your breakup. You see everything they’re up to that you’re not a part of and it makes you feel like crap. You may be able to be friends down the line, but for now, going no contact is the only way to begin to heal.
  3. Get out of the house and into nature. There’s something incredibly restorative about getting out into nature. You don’t need to go to a forest or a mountaintop to experience the benefits (though it’s great if you can). Even a brisk walk around the neighborhood or sitting in the park for a bit can boost your mood and make you feel much more grateful for the gift of life.
  4. Find a new hobby or reconnect with old passions. You have a lot of time on your hands now that you’re single. You could spend that feeling sorry for yourself, or you could put it to good use. Is there a hobby or pastime you’ve always wanted to try? Now’s the time. Sign up for a cooking class or a language-learning course. If you used to love to paint, break out your art supplies and go for it. Want to learn to roller skate? Grab a pair of skates from Amazon and go for it.
  5. Journal it out. Writing your feelings down, no matter what they are, is bound to help relieve the feeling of being lonely after a breakup. It will also make you feel lighter and freer because you got all of that bad juju out of your system. Grab a notebook or that Moleskine you have laying around and just let it all out.
  6. Do some good in the world. Volunteer at a local food bank or offer to help clean your grandma’s house. Doing things to make other people’s lives better or easier has the incredible side effect of making you feel good too. It also puts your problems in perspective and makes you realize you have it pretty good.
  7. Focus on your relationships with friends and family. If you lost touch with your nearest and dearest in your relationship, now’s the time to shift the focus and get those bonds back. Your friends and family members are the ones who know you best and who always have your back. They can alleviate much of the sadness and isolation you’re experiencing. Give them a call and go see them. You’ll be glad you did.
  8. Consider adopting a pet. Obviously, this is only a good idea if you have the right living situation to welcome a pet. If you work from home and have a house with a big yard or an apartment where pets are welcome, this is a good option. Adopt a cat or dog that needs a good home. They’ll provide you with plenty of company plus a lot of joy. Animals make wonderful companions.
  9. Take a step back from social media. There’s a lot of great stuff on social media but it can also make you feel like crap. You might be bored and think endless scrolling is a way to alleviate it. However, more times than not, it’ll just leave you feeling bad about yourself. Sign out of Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc. for a while. You’ll be glad you did.
  10. Avoid the temptation to wallow. Throwing yourself a pity party is fine for the first couple of days or even a week. However, beyond that, you have to pull yourself together. Wallowing in the most depressing music and movies is only going to make you feel even worse. Try to surround yourself with uplifting things. Your mood will eventually follow.
  11. Read a book and transport yourself into another world. Sometimes we just need to get away from our lives, and reading is a great way to do this. Read a book about a faraway land or featuring characters completely different from anyone you’ve ever met. It’s an eye-opening experience that will make you more empathetic and happier.
  12. Embrace the loneliness as temporary (because it is). As much as it sucks, feeling lonely after a breakup is natural. However, it’s also temporary. Sometimes the best way to get through it is by accepting that you’ll have to wait it out. The knowledge that things won’t always be this way is encouraging and reassuring. You’ll get there. Promise.

How long does it take to start feeling less alone?

While studies suggest that it takes around three months to get over a breakup — the 11-week mark seemed to be popular — that doesn’t mean you’ll be miserable the entire time. After all, all people, relationships, and breakups are different. You may be entirely over it in a month or two, or it might take a little longer to feel 100%. However, given that healing is a process, you’re likely to experience a bit of relief before then.

Suffice it to say, the first couple of weeks after a breakup are likely going to be miserable. You’ll be angry, upset, hurt, confused, and a million other things. It’s possible you’ll wonder if you could have done something differently. You could question whether you should give it another go. Thoughts will creep into your mind that are self-defeating and completely untrue. You’ll never find love again. You’re destined to be alone. There’s nothing about you that’s lovable. 

Give yourself grace as you work through those emotions. Recognize them for what they are — intrusive thoughts — and move forward. One step at a time is the way to go. You may find after three or four weeks, the clouds begin to part. You’re not happy again, but you are a lot less desperately sad. Embrace the small victories as they come. You’re going to be just fine.

Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia