Breaking up is hard to do, as the classic song goes, and breakups are hard to get through, too. But the end of a relationship doesn’t have to be totally depressing. In fact, splitting up with someone who wasn’t going to be a good match for you in the long run can open the door to a more liberating existence.
Here are six ways you’ll get your freedom back after a breakup.
1. You can spend more time on your own interests.
When you’re coupled, you tend to take on your partner’s hobbies and interests, just for the sake of doing things together. But once a relationship ends, you no longer have to, say, play tennis or go hiking on the weekends if those activities aren’t really your passion. You’ll have ample time to rediscover your former interests and foster new ones.
2. You’ll no doubt see your friends more often.
Friendships can sometimes take a backseat to your romantic relationship, simply because there are only so many hours in the day to spend time with the people you love. When you no longer have a significant other, you’ll be able to take advantage of having more free time to hang with pals. No longer will you miss happy hour with your friends because it’s date night.
3. You don’t need to “check in” with another person.
While it can be comforting to always have someone to call or text, it can also make you feel super tied down. Post-relationship, you no longer need to check in with your partner. You’re not obligated to let someone know when you’re coming home or touch base before stopping off at the grocery store or anywhere else on your way home. Your existence is so much more your own and not connected to another person’s regular needs.
4. You can be more spontaneous in your day-to-day.
From deciding to take a last-minute weekend trip late on a Friday afternoon to signing up for a class you’ve been dying to take, being single again allows you to do what you want, when you want to do it, without having to worry about your partner’s opinions, differing plans or schedule.
5. You can seek out a partner who’s a better fit for you.
When it comes to romance, breakups are liberating because they allow you the freedom to meet someone new—a partner who truly embodies the qualities you want, and need, in a significant other. While coming to terms with the idea that your past partner wasn’t “the one” can be hard at first, realizing there is someone out there much more aligned with you, just waiting to be discovered, is very hopeful indeed.
6. Your life can take new, unexpected directions.
Without being tied down, you can make major life decisions without having to take someone else into account. You might decide to take a job in another city, travel around the world for a year or take on some other life-changing adventure, completely on your own. There are few things more liberating than being able to single-handedly steer the direction of your life—and change it at will.