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8 Surprising Things I Like Doing Better Alone Now That I’m Divorced

How I managed to step outside my comfort zone.

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Woman working on painting a chair in her home
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Right before my husband of almost 20 years moved out, I was lying in bed one morning filled with dread. Although ending our marriage was a mutual decision, it hit me that I would be losing my partner and the man whom I’d kept home and raised kids with for two decades.

My new sense of freedom was clouded by sadness because although we weren’t in love any longer, it still felt like a loss. Thinking about tackling home finances and projects and taking a trip with my kids without him was scary. It was unknown territory. I had moments of not wanting to do anything uncomfortable because I figured I probably couldn’t handle it and I’d feel worse.

I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that voice. I would have missed out on discovering how wonderful it is to do things alone — many of them I actually prefer doing solo now.

1. Home projects

I’ve always liked changing things up around my house, especially light fixtures. Installing them was something my ex-husband did. I watched him enough times to know how but was always hesitant to dive in until I had to. The first time I changed a light fixture on my own, I was nervous. After watching a YouTube video as a refresher, I did it by myself and felt so accomplished.

Sure, I could have asked for help or hired someone to do it, but redecorating my home is a big part of who I am, and I wanted to learn how to do it myself. After that, I tackled so many more home projects. I love working at my own pace and being the only person with a say in decorating my house.

2. Binging Netflix

I thought this might be lonely but it’s not. I love being able to watch as many romcoms as I want when I want. I can fall asleep without having to catch up on a show later or stop watching a show because someone else is into it. It’s glorious.

3. Sleeping

I had no idea how much better I would sleep in a bed alone. I can sprawl out, keep my room the very cold temperature I prefer, and hog all the covers if I want. There’s no one getting up at night to go to the bathroom, snoring, tossing and turning. I can fall asleep with the television blaring and have lots of pillows propped all around me.

4. Working out

Things like going for a walk or hitting the gym are completely my time now. I love listening to a podcast or my favorite music and being in my own world without worrying if I’m taking too long. I have sorted out so many thoughts and problems during a solo exercise session that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to work out with anyone regularly again. Sure, once in a while is good, but this is now my sacred hour.

5. Grocery shopping

When I first got divorced seeing couples at the grocery stores was a trigger for me. It made me think of all the meals I’d be planning, shopping for, and cooking alone. It reminded me that I was a single parent, and there wouldn’t be another adult sitting across the table from me to talk about my day.

But that sadness propelled me to start trying new dishes and recipes. It made me get out my nice dishes in the evenings when I was feeling down. I started looking forward to going to the grocery store, and instead of looking at other couples, I focused on filling my cart with healthy, nourishing foods that would look pretty all set up on my dinner platters.

Being the only parent at the dinner table has also helped me bond with my kids in a completely different way. Instead of feeling like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders because I am the only adult in the house, now I know I can handle anything that comes my way.

6. Eating out

I can’t even express how much (and how often) I love to do this. If I feel like having sushi one night, I don’t have to wait for anyone or see if that’s where they want to go. If I want to do a fast-food run at 10 p.m., no one is going to talk me out of it.

I thoroughly enjoy sitting in a restaurant alone, people-watching and scrolling on my phone. It's a moment of solitude and peace, and I do it at least once a week even though I often go out to eat with my kids.

7. Finances

This used to overwhelm me like nothing else. After we got married, my ex-husband completely took over paying the bills. It sounds like a simple thing. I used to do it when I lived on my own before meeting him, but whenever you take a long hiatus from something and start up again, it can be daunting.

Not only did I have to start paying bills again, but I also had to set a budget and make sure I had enough money to cover everything I wanted to do. Going from two incomes to one was scary, but I can honestly say that six years later, being financially independent is the best feeling. Even better than someone paying half the bills.

I don’t have to consult with anyone before I make a purchase and I can take my time deciding to buy things like a new vehicle or something for the house.

8. Vacations with my kids

I’d never taken my kids on a trip without their dad. I was used to him being there to drive and help with the planning. The first time I booked a weekend away with them I was so overwhelmed that I almost canceled it.

There was also a big part of me that was afraid it would be a reminder that our family had changed, and it might feel weird to the kids. However, it ended up being one of the best weekends ever and I’m so glad I left my comfort zone. We had an incredible time and we’ve done it several times since.

If you’re nervous about doing things alone, take it from me: you may find you enjoy doing them even more now that you can experience them by yourself.

Are any of you divorced? What do YOU enjoy doing alone? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Relationships