When you have been in a relationship with someone for an extensive period of time, people view both you and your partner as one even if you aren't married. One thing that I have been struggling with and that annoys me greatly is the fact that no matter how long ago your relationship has ended, people still view you as "X's girlfriend" and place limitations on you because of that. I am still trying to figure out how to deal with the situation...how can I make people see that I am my own individual and I deserve to experience love with someone else? I believe, for one, that if I had claimed myself as an individual while in the relationship this wouldn't be such an issue now. (In my post entitled Marriage I talk about the things a woman should do and have before she settles down with someone. I believe that if I had most of those things before I got into the relationship, things would have been different).
Here are some things that I think can be done to help you reclaim your identity after a break-up:
Meet New People
When you meet and develop friendships with people who never knew your ex or the relationship you had with his or her, it makes it much easier for these people to see you for who you are. Get involved in activities that allow you to interact with people. You should be able to make a new friend from at least one of the activities you engage in.
Talk to Your Friends About It
Your friends may not even realise that how they behave around you or what they say as it relates to you and your ex is affecting you. Talk to them about how you feel and help them to understand that you want them to see you as who you are and not as "X's girlfriend or boyfriend".
Avoid Doing "Couple Like" Things
If you and your ex are still friends then you are bound to hang out and chat as friends do. Although it may not be your intention, you may do things that make people wonder "Hmmm....maybe they're back together". You therefore need to be conscious of how you interact with your ex.
It is important, as you move on from a break up, to be able to reclaim your identity. You are your own person after all. Hopefully, these tips can help you to be viewed as the individual you are among your friends.