People have all sorts of opinions on what it’s like to be single: Some women *love* living the single life, while others spend their time alone looking to find love again. Whether you relish in singlehood or are plotting your moves on dating apps, transitioning to being single from a relationship is rough. Jill Whitney, a licensed marriage and family therapist, has seven tips to help you through this confusing, testing time.

Young woman walking along urban street

1. Be patient with yourself. Everyone copes with grief differently, and grieving the loss of a relationship proves just that. “Feeling bad about yourself because you’re feeling bad just makes everything worse,” Whitney says. “It’s much wiser to be kind to yourself.” In other words, let yourself be sad.

2. Know that there’s nothing wrong with you. Singleness isn’t anything to be ashamed of. If you look at this time by yourself as a positive, you can use that time to grow and reinvigorate your life on your own terms.

3. Treat this time as a learning opportunity. “Ask yourself, ‘How does the ‘you’ at this moment feel different from the ‘you’ when your relationship started?'” Whitney suggests. Take some time to reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and how you’re going to grow from it.

4. Reconnect with the people who matter most to you. The people in your life want to nurture you during this hard transition. Let them.

5. Look for activities that appeal to you. Going out isn’t the only way to fill your time as someone who is newly single. Use your time wisely on things that matter to you; volunteer, learn a new skill or join a new activity.

6. Focus on your accomplishments. Not having a partner to rely on can show you just how strong you really are. Notice when you acquire a new skill or friend, and be proud of the progress you’ve made.

7. Enjoy this time. “Rather than thinking of being single as missing something, think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow,” Whitney says. “Savor new experiences. Notice the world around you — full of possibilities for joy, learning and connection.”

How do you or your friends deal with being newly single? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)