Swimming in the Sea after Ending a Long-Term Relationship

Swimming in the Sea after Ending a Long-Term Relationship

Run, dive, swim—do anything to keep your heart afloat. Shayne Hare shares her experience in recovering from a long-term relationship.

They say, “There are many fishes in the sea,”—but what if you’ve been with the same fish for almost half of your life?

Navigating my way into the dating world has been quite an experience. I was in a long-term relationship for almost 13 years, and it felt like I’d been fixated on the thought of loving and spending the rest of my life with the man I had shared my life with since high school.

We were in the “wow-they’re-still-together” type of relationship. We’ve known each other’s friends and family. Plans were laid out, quirks and flaws already surfaced, and we were each other’s best friend and nemesis at the same time. And—we got engaged.

Somewhere along the way, things just didn’t work out. Both of us felt so weary and fed up. We drifted apart, literally and figuratively.

After the breakup, I felt lost. I had to start over. I didn’t know how to go about the dating world. Do people still go on dates or is it just Netflix and chill? Don’t get me wrong, but “situationship” is the dating trend now. You basically talk, get to know each other, and walk on eggshells trying to figure out each other’s feelings. Someone will fall harder, then all of sudden, there’s nothing.

I am an old soul. I love traditional dates, I love hearing people’s feelings, and I love a straightforward man who can tell me exactly how he feels. I am also not into dating app sites because it doesn’t work for me (it may work for others, and I am totally happy for them).

So how did I swim in the sea then? Well, to be perfectly honest, I really don’t know. It was more on focusing on myself first. As cliche as it sounds, it will really start within you because you cannot give what you don’t have.

I went out more. I joined gyms and do the things I love. I wasn’t afraid to be alone, and will not be afraid ever. I just did what I felt like doing, not knowing I was also putting myself out there, attracting people who became very close friends and special people in my life.

I filled up the emptiness inside me by loving myself first, giving myself some time to reassess my life. I found out that I really don’t have to force it or hurry, or even worry, because when I am ready, I know the universe will give it.

If you’re alone right now, or have just ended a relationship, just take the time to heal. Cry your heart out, feel the pain, go through it, mourn. There comes a time when you’ll wake up lighthearted, realizing that you are finally okay.

Focus on yourself because this is the perfect time to indulge in the things that you’ve always wanted to do, or have been scared of doing because of people holding you back.

Enjoy the process. Take a leap of faith. Look inward and start doing the work. If you have this mindset shift, I guarantee, everything will work out fine.