Newly Single? You’ll Want To Read This

One of the reasons why I love Refinery29 so much is all the positive posts about making women stronger and more confident. I have always been a fairly confident woman. However, I'm 27, and I just moved to a new city in a different state to further my career. I don't know a soul, and am going through a breakup... We were together a little over a year.
I'm going through this all alone, and it's a lot harder than I expected it to be. I don't have any friends here in Baltimore, and I am the the type of person who always deals better with my downs when I have a good friend's shoulder to cry/lean on... I don't have that here. I'm not good at going out and meeting new people. I feel like going on dates would help me conquer this heartache and loneliness, but I don't even know where to begin.
I found out that my ex-boyfriend is already going on dates...I need advice from other women who have been through this before and what they did to become stronger people. Being all alone in a new city is so hard already; dealing with the emotions of a breakup with someone you love makes it twice as hard.

Alexis Auleta, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
First, let’s acknowledge that you are in the midst of three major life transitions all at once: moving to a new state, moving into a new job, and moving out of a previous relationship. I’d say this would rattle some of the toughest, most put-together people I know! My advice is to cut yourself a little slack and recognize the reality that you will be moving through some challenging transitions in your life. But, I want you to hold on to the “moving through” part of this the most. As painful, confusing, and anxiety-provoking as transitions are, they are just that — transitions between the chapters that make up our lives. The more you are willing to surrender to the realities of these periods during them, the more prepared you’ll be when moving out of them.

The above also applies to the healing process when it comes to heartbreak. Unfortunately, there is no way around the pain you’re experiencing and no cure-all for the feelings of loss. This is a burden most of us have had to carry at one point or another if we’ve let love into our lives. That said, the more you allow yourself permission to sit with your heartbreak, the closer you’ll get to beginning to heal. While dating is certainly an option — and not a bad way to get out there in a new city — what you’d want to avoid is moving into something serious with someone new before you’ve processed the pain of what once was. While finding love again may offer a temporary reprieve, it may also present obstacles in figuring out who you are, what you want, and what you need.
Lastly, I encourage you to start becoming curious about what you’d like the next few months to look and feel like. To begin imagining the possibilities and opportunities that could present themselves as you transition from the old and into the new. To start asking yourself future-focused questions such as what types of people you’d like to invite into your life, and how you believe it would be best to meet them. Or, the ways in which you envision spending your down time. While doing so, who from your existing network of friends and family will you need to call upon if things feel tough? Perhaps most important of all is reminding yourself that despite the hardship that has followed your decision to move, you did so for a reason. And, I believe, in the end it was your desire to grow. So, acknowledge the growing pains, identify the supports you need to put in place, and hold onto the hope of what brought you here in the first place.
The folks at Pretty Padded Room pride themselves on specific, personal advice. Sign up for your own session here!

More from Sex & Relationships

R29 Original Series