I’ve been single for a few months now, and I’m not desperate to get into a new relationship, but sometimes I feel so lonely. What should I do?

It’s that awkward stage after a breakup when you’re over them, but not quite over the warmth that the relationship brought you. Queue sad songs, looking back at old photos, and then the realisation hits that actually you quite enjoy being single again – maybe you just need to navigate the ’on your own’ part.

Someone else you might have neglected whilst in a relationship is yourself.

A sudden disappearance of tokens of affection and the safety net of having that one person to go to can make you feel like you’ve been plunged into a dark hole. Rejoice! There are 7.8 billion people on Earth, more realistically 21,000 students at Cambridge, and if you’re feeling less outgoing, an average of 160 students in the same year in your college (give or take, I’m not a Mathmo). This should act as a reminder that plenty of people can take over the function your partner fulfilled, in filling your free time; all that time you spent with them can now be reinvested into meaningful friendships you put on the back burner during your relationship. You might think friendships can’t replace a partner, but channelling energy into pre-existing bonds, or connecting to new people, might open your eyes to countless opportunities, adventures and mind-bending conversations that you would never have had had you spent all this time with one person.


Mountain View

How can I stop comparing my relationship to other people’s?

Someone else you might have neglected whilst in a relationship is yourself. The physical presence of another person might have made you feel less, but it’s easy to have fallen into the trap of losing yourself in the process. Now is the opportunity to focus on you. What do you actually like doing? Is there a creative outlet you’ve always wanted to try? Have you explored your own music taste? Take yourself on a date! Dedicate an evening to yourself and pick up a book – why not try Lane Moore’s How to be alone for some inspiration? Learning to enjoy your own company will, over time, help you understand that being alone doesn’t have to be lonely. A partner often acts as a mask to inner loneliness- Cambridge can be a lonely place even when surrounded by people – if you feel isolated because of your workload, or because of distance from home, a relationship is not going to help. Set aside time to call your family, go out with friends and prioritise self care and mental health.

You could also consider dating casually. Again, this may only be a temporary fix, but turn it to your advantage by seeing it as personal growth to understanding your wants and needs in a relationship. Being single gives you the distance to see past red flags and things you settled for, helping you redefine your wishes and boundaries for a new relationship. Last but not least – have fun! Your friends in relationships are probably dying with envy at your newfound freedom, enjoy it!