My Relationship Was Great But I’m Really Starting To Shine Now That I’m Single

I thought that we were a great match: we had chemistry, were compatible in many ways, and really had fun together…until one weekend when he had to go away for work and I was left to my own devices.

  1. It was awkward at first. I was so used to spending every weekend and minute of my spare time with this guy that at first I thought, “What the hell will I do with myself?” Those two days felt like a giant sinkhole. I had no idea what surprise was in store for me.
  2. I didn’t miss him. I thought I’d be missing my BF a lot, but I got into doing fun activities with friends. I went on a hike, did some baking, and spent time with a childhood friend I hadn’t seen since the start of my relationship. I was busy having loads of friends, so when my BF called me, I accidentally missed his call… Oops. I realized I hadn’t been missing him at all, which felt so weird!
  3. I could suddenly do what I wanted and I loved it. It might sound like a small thing to delight in, but I could hog the entire bed without feeling like I was taking up space. I could wear bright pink lipstick even though he said it looked childish (he was wrong). I could dance around my apartment and spend lots of time with a great book without feeling like I was ignoring him. It was so fantastic!
  4. I decided to get a dog and everything changed. My friend told me about someone who was selling a really cute dog and after seeing the pictures, I fell in love! I wanted it even though my boyfriend was allergic. I realized that my desire to have the dog was actually more about my relationship than getting a pet. I was choosing things for my life that were in direct conflict with what my BF wanted—and I was leaning to those things, not really caring about him. I would rather have those things than my boyfriend. Whoa.
  5. I realized I’d been living in a cocoon. My relationship had been a cocoon, cutting out the light. I hadn’t even realized I was stuck and not living life to my fullest potential. Ugh, I’d thought I was happy, but now that I was alone without my BF distracting me, I could clearly see what I wanted and it wasn’t him.
  6. I wasn’t ready to make a sacrifice. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but I sacrificed many things for my BF. I stopped seeing my friends, I stopped doing activities I liked, and I even stopped wearing my favorite lipstick, for goodness’ sake. It was ridiculous but I was allowing him to determine the course of my life without even realizing it. I’d had blinkers on and they had to be pulled off ASAP. I didn’t want to make those sacrifices anymore.
  7. My boyfriend called again, which made it worse. I was chilling at home, drinking a glass of wine and enjoying a girly TV show that my BF would’ve hated when he called me. I was tempted to ignore his call again but I couldn’t do that. It was unfair on him. All he could tell me during that conversation was how much he was missing me and couldn’t wait to see me again. I felt so bad. Here I’d been living it up without him!
  8. I told him we had to talk. I couldn’t lie to him about missing him. I told him that when he got back the next day, we’d have to have a serious talk. He was worried and I felt bad for telling him this before he came back but I couldn’t hide my feelings anymore. He had to know what was going on in my heart.
  9. The end was a new beginning. I felt bad for breaking his heart and worried that I was making a huge mistake but honestly, much more than feeling I was losing something in my life, I was feeling invigorated with hope for my future. I was dizzy with the thought of being able to live in exactly the way I wanted to, no compromise. I was stripping off my cocoon, finding my wings.
  10. It was a sign of who not to date. Loving my life more than my BF showed me that he wasn’t enough for me. I wanted someone who could make me feel just as excited as I could make myself. That is a huge, really high standard to meet, but it’s possible. I’m now dating a guy who makes me feel excited to be with him, and who’s such an important part of my life that I can’t imagine not being with him. THAT’S the love to aspire to. I’m too full of life and light to settle into an uncomfortably small and dark box.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.