How to move from coupledom to flying solo



LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. It makes the world go around.  It’s a many splendoured thing. It’s a crazy little thing.  It’s old, it’s new, it’s all and it’s you. Seriously, you could write songs about it! 
(See what I did there?)

Sometimes, either through our own choice or not, our relationships run their course and we find ourselves moving from coupledom to singledom.

Is there a way to make the change from “table for two” to “just me” as painless as possible?

Here are some firsthand tips from women I know who walked away from an unhappy relationship and decided to be really, truly happy.

If you are making this transition, some of these may work for you as well.

1 “I was feeling broken spiritually and emotionally after my break up and other personal losses so I took some annual leave and booked a retreat in Bali. This is not realistic for everyone, but everyone can seek professional help. A counsellor or psychologist will work through feelings of depression or sadness with you and help you heal any emotional wounds.”

2 “I found a brand new place to live and created an environment that calmed me and brought me joy. I literally repainted the walls and it lifted my spirits. You may have to stay with friends or family for a while, but when you can, find a place you love to call home. (If you are staying in the family home, make some small changes to make it yours.)”

3 “I kept all communication with my ex about the children.  I didn’t answer texts or emails that were “rants” or emotionally charged. Only about the children’s plans.”

4 “I left the breakup behind when I entered my workplace. I consciously had to leave it at the front door and it was actually great to forget about it and concentrate on work for eight hours a day.  At the beginning it was still there waiting for me when I left for home but it disappeared after a while.”

5 “I started a journal and wrote about my thoughts and feelings. It helps more than you think.”

6 “I did have a wine each night (and more if a girlfriend came over), but tried to keep any “crutches” to a minimum.”

7 “I do not live near my family but am lucky enough to have an “urban family” of close male and female friends. I leaned on them for support but did try to respect their boundaries. I don’t remember making any 3am phone calls but did do some evening drop ins!”

8 “Many, many, many walks on the beach. I found it cleared my head and soothed my soul. I’m certain bushwalking would have the same effect.”

9 “I already liked exercising so probably stepped that up a bit more.  It wasn’t extreme exercise to “escape” – I just liked feeling strong and healthy. Boxing with my personal trainer was an exceptional way to release anger and hurt feelings! Thankfully he could take the punches.”

10 “Obviously I was enjoying comfort food such as chocolate (!) but overall I tried to eat as healthily as I could. Junk food just made me feel lethargic and depressed.”

11 “I’m not great at it, but I did mediate five to ten minutes a day. I found the stillness calmed me and helped open my mind to new thoughts and possibilities.”

12 “I pampered myself – I went to the hairdresser for a cut and colour, got a facial and a massage and bought a couple of new pieces of clothing.”


1 “I found fun activities to try – this is how I did it.  Grab a huge piece of blank paper and some coloured markers.  List all the activities you enjoyed as a child and all the activities you’ve always wanted to try.  Take your time. When your list is complete, circle the ones that you could realistically start immediately and put plans in place to do so. I put the secondary list – things I could do later when I had more time/money – away for future reference.”

2 “I returned to my personal coach and we looked at every area of my life. I chose which areas I wanted to focus on and set goals and actions around those areas. I moved forward.”

3 “I reflected on the relationship.  Time and space had given me clarity and perspective and I could really see how unhealthy it was. I examined how I had acted and behaved and vowed I would never again put myself in a situation that forced me to react and defend myself in that way. I listed the things I wanted in my next relationship as well as the things I didn’t. I discovered how much I had learned about myself.”

4 “I worked with my coach on confidence, changing my mindset and breaking through negative barriers about myself and how I thought my life was supposed to look. I realised I was open to, and deserved love.”

5 “It was not a goal to meet someone new, but when it happened I was more confident and sure of myself and who I am. I am now in a loving and healthy relationship, and I find I am more vulnerable and open (in a good way). I use my voice and will stand for nothing less than true partnership.”

Janelle Ryan is a change catalyst who helps high achievers get out of their own way, align their actions with their goals and create a life they desire and truly deserve.

As published in Peninsula Kids – Summer 2016/17


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