We’ve all been through rough breakups. They’re never fun, but sometimes they can leave us feeling incredibly isolated and lonely. Sound familiar? Check out these tips to help you overcome loneliness after a breakup.
Last updated: 19th May 2023
No more good morning texts, no one to talk with over breakfast, no one to listen to your funny commentary as you watch TV, and no gig buddy to see your favourite artists live with. With such huge disturbances to our daily lives, it’s no wonder so many people feel lonely following a breakup.
But just knowing that others feel lonely after a breakup isn’t enough to make us feel any less lonely. Overcoming loneliness caused by a breakup isn’t easy. But it’s definitely possible; it just takes some work. Here are some tips for how to deal with loneliness after a breakup.
Accept it’s over
It can be extremely difficult for some, but acceptance is the first step. You won’t be able to move on if you're clinging to hopes they’ll come back to you. It can take some time, and that’s okay, but you can reach acceptance by allowing yourself to be upset, talking about it, writing down your emotions, recognising why it ended, severing ties with them, and focusing on yourself. Remember that it ended for a reason. With the right person, it always works out in the end.
Talk about it
Yep, it’s the typical “let it all out!” tip. But the reason most people recommend talking it out is simple: it works. One study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that talking on the phone for about 10 minutes a few times a week reduces loneliness. People who had these calls reported feeling 20% less lonely on average. Whether you talk to a friend, family member, a stranger, or vent through a massive anonymous post on social media, you’ll likely feel a lot better for it.
Remember you aren’t alone
Lots of people feel lonely when they come out of a relationship. It’s a huge change. You might’ve been living with your best friend for months, maybe years, and suddenly they’re gone. It’s an extremely isolating feeling. But so many people go through breakups and feel lonely because of it. And just like it will for you, the feeling will pass, and they’ll move on with their lives. Don’t believe us? Ask a friend, family member or even a stranger on social media. We guarantee someone will tell you they felt that way at some point but came out better than ever.
Remember it will pass
Sometimes negative emotions can feel permanent. We feel like we’re stuck this way. Like something’s permanently changed. Thankfully, that’s simply untrue. There are dozens of stories that can help you remember this, whether it's someone else's social media post, a friend's or family member's personal story or even a movie. Listen to, watch or read stories about people overcoming negative emotions or negative periods in their lives so you can recognise that you can and will do it too.
Change your mindset
A lot of people believe, whether they’re aware of it or not, that being single is inherently bad. It isn’t. Some people think being single and being lonely go hand in hand or are the same thing. But that’s not true. Single people can, and do, live full, happy lives just like people in relationships. In fact, being single is a fantastic opportunity. Now you have more time, it’s your chance to achieve personal goals, grow, explore, and learn more about yourself, which can also distract you from feeling lonely.
Don’t rush into a new relationship
It might seem like a good solution but, if you aren’t ready for another relationship, you'll likely end up doing more harm than good. You might breakup, hurting both your and their feelings. And just knowing you upset someone could make you feel worse. Learn how to enjoy being single and heal before launching into your next relationship. But when you feel ready and are over your ex, by all means, get back out there!
Have a great time on your own
Think of a brilliant day or your perfect night, write it down, and then do it. Simple. Watch your favourite movie, eat your favourite food, go to the shop and get your favourite snacks, exercise, read the book that's been collecting dust on the shelf, go for a walk, play your instrument - just do what you enjoy. Or try something new. When you’re used to enjoying activities with someone else, it can feel really difficult to do those things alone. But it’s a great way to show yourself you can still have a mint time on your own.
Meet up with people
That could mean going out with mates, visiting your family, meeting new people, or a combination of all three. It’s possible some loneliness stems from having someone around you constantly to suddenly feeling like you have no one. But you do! You have friends, family, and colleagues who are there for you. And if you really don’t, that’s not the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new chapter. Use apps like Meetup or groups on social media to find new friends with similar interests.
And if you hate people (some us do), take this opportunity to hang out with animals. Babysit a mates pet, earn some money dog walking, o volunteer at an animal shelter. Animals are usually better than people and they're fluffy so...
Create background noise
If you’re used to the sounds of someone talking, humming, or even just existing, the new silence can be intense. Whacking on some tunes or the TV as background noise can compensate for that. But maybe steer away from Radiohead, Joy Division, Lil Peep, Lana Del Rey, Adele and other artists that tug at the heartstrings. Try positive, upbeat songs like Juice by Lizzo or Get Up Offa That Thing by James Brown instead.
Talk to a professional
At the end of the day, we don’t know the specifics of your life. These are just general tips. And while they might help, a doctor or therapist is much more qualified and trained to help us overcome our problems. Many people see therapists for a variety of reasons, from mental health problems to simply wanting to unlock their best selves. Anyone can go to therapy, and it might just be what you need to feel like yourself again. If your time poor or don't fancy the hassle of traveling to an appointment, there are plenty of apps and telephone services to better suit you and your schedule.
Learning how to deal with loneliness after a breakup can be tricky. But by gradually setting and achieving small goals such as hanging out with your friends and getting used to living on your own, you’ll be back to your good old self in no time. Try to remember that feelings pass, being single isn’t bad, you have friends to help you through it, and people love and care about you. Even if it doesn't feel that way right now.
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