In episode 317, I received a question from an individual who has recognized they have a tendency to isolate themselves during their relationships and turn friends away. Having recently broken up with their partner, they find themselves feeling isolated and alone. In this post, I offer my advice on dealing with loneliness post-breakup and how to take steps to start making amends with your friends and prevent this from repeating in the future.
Hi, I am a 28 year old male, I’ve been in two relationships that both lasted just under two years. After both my relationships ended I have found myself alone with no one to talk to. Currently a few weeks out of my last breakup, I feel alone and lost, I don’t have anyone to talk to about my day-to-day life or what I’m going through. I tend to isolate myself during my relationships and turn my friends away. In both my relationships we had similar friends, after this one they took her side in the breakup. How can I prevent this from happening again.
Hey there. Thank you for the honest and vulnerable question. Sorry to hear about your recent breakup. That’s difficult stuff, especially after you’ve spent over a year with someone. I hope that you are giving yourself time to grieve and being gentle with yourself overall. You’re allowed to be in pain. I have talked about my strategies for dealing with breakups on the podcast before, so definitely search around on the website for more info – but journaling is usually a huge part of it. I have been known to journal twice every day in situations like that.
Now, to address your actual question here – I think you are sort of answering it yourself. You have identified one of the major issues that happens for you in relationships. You lose yourself in them and isolate yourself with the exception of your partner. That’s an issue and possibly one of the contributing factors in the deterioration of the relationship. I can’t be certain, but it’s a pretty common issue. You feel alone because you have previously pushed what could be your support network away in favor of the romantic relationship. In recovering from this, it may be that you need to be honest with yourself and with your friends about what happened. Like you might literally have to say that you are sorry for being absent or not doing your part in friendships because you were so wrapped up in the relationship and you’d like to try to do better because you want them as a friend.
In the future, this can be something you look out for. Sort of a check engine light for your behavior in a relationship. If you find that you are turning down opportunities to be with friends, texting them way less, or cutting them out in other ways, it’s probably time to check yourself and ask if you are falling into a codependent cycle. For the time being, a therapist could be a great outlet to find some support with what you are going through. It may also be a great time for you to start a new involvement. In my experience, one of the best ways to get through grief is to create something new. This can be literally creating something with your hands, beginning a new hobby, or investing in a new friendship. Having hobbies and passions outside of your love life will help you to both meet and possibly create friendships with other people and it will also help you maintain a sense of self regardless of your relationship status. The more you can know who you are as an individual and what you bring to the table in a relationship, the more you will be able to exist in that relationship with confidence.
Focus on taking as good care of yourself as possible including physically and emotionally. You are primed for improvement as a person when finding yourself in a situation like this. It’s a great time to learn more about yourself, what makes you tick as a person, and how you relate to the world outside of a relationship. I don’t think that you need to avoid romantic interactions, dating etc., but I think that the more you focus on improving yourself, the more naturally those will occur. Just in the same way that there are so so so many potential romantic connections out there in the world, there are also a gazillion potential friends. You are allowed to feel sad and frustrated that you lost the people you had as a support network, but don’t let that turn into emotional reasoning where you feel like there’s just no change for you. There is plenty of change. You will be okay. Thank you for writing in!
You can listen to this on Episode 317 of the podcast!
Thank you for the great question!
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