Following a divorce, you are not only losing a spouse. When you were a couple, you did things together. You were a part of a dual unit. Now that you have moved from “we” to “me,” your social life will likely be affected.
With whom can you have some fun now? Who is there to go out to dinner or a club? It can feel as if you divorced the fun part of your life along with your ex.
Now that you are single, your friends have become more important than ever. They are your new “we,” and they can help you rebuild your social life.
Ask for Support
While going through your divorce, there are undoubtedly times you simply need to be alone to work through a myriad of confusing emotions. The process is painful, and you need to go through the grieving stages to salvage not only your social life but your daily life, as well.
You don’t have to deal with the pain on your own. Talk to your friends about what you are going through. Especially the negative parts. Friends can sustain you during difficult times. Even if you don’t confide in them, just being around them will make you feel less lonely.
Discover Who Your Real Friends Are
The divorce has changed your life. It has also changed you. You are not the same person you used to be. You have grown in certain areas, and your needs may have changed. Maybe your negative friend wasn’t so hard to take while you were married. You might even have worked hard at boosting his or her spirits. But now, the negativity is dragging you down. Does this person still have a place in your life? Being around someone who is that needy can keep you from healing your own post-divorce pain.
Are there friends who you have neglected for a while? Maybe it’s time to let them back into your life. You’ve changed. Perhaps it is time for a new social environment. You need to surround yourself with people who are there for you and will lift you up.
There Are Lots of People To Meet
Your post-divorce period is a new beginning. It’s an opportunity for new experiences. Now is the time to take a class, do volunteer work, or join a reading group. Most activities involve other people. Your life is filled with potential friends you haven’t met yet.
Expand your horizon by trying new things. And always be open to meeting new people. Establishing new friendships isn’t always easy, so be prepared to make the first move and suggest having a cup of coffee with someone.
Your New Social Life and Your Children
If there are children in the picture, you may need to move slowly. Anyone you let into your life will eventually be a part of your children’s lives. Divorce has already impacted the children in many ways. Their wellbeing must be your first priority.
Establishing new romantic relationships can be especially tricky at this point. You may just want some company for dinner or a movie. Perhaps your children will understand. On the other hand, they may react badly to anyone new in your life.
Discuss the situation with them. Be perfectly honest about feeling lonely. They, too, have experienced a loss. However, you need to take any new potential relationship slowly. At this point, you are balancing on that tightrope between your desires and your children’s needs. It’s okay to take it easy. Let things happen slowly.
You Are In Charge
When you were married, you and your ex basically made decisions about your social life together. You were a unit, so if that meant putting up with some of his drunken buddies, you did. Now, you are in sole charge of your brand-new life. You can establish relationships with the people you want to meet without considering anyone else. If you’ve always wanted to learn about chess, join a chess group. Take tennis lessons. You have no one to whom you need to explain how you spend your time.
Consider yourself a designer as you design a social life to meet only your specific needs, not your ex’s needs. Build strong friendships and slowly allow romantic partners into your life.
How to Design a Social Life
- When you meet someone new, consider where that person fits into your life. Do they enhance it and make it better? These relationships are worth pursuing.
- Are you spending time with old acquaintances out of habit? Do they add anything to your life, or are they merely comfortable and familiar? Does being with them build you up or drag you down?
- You don’t need to toss everyone to the curb. However, there are people you may have simply outgrown. Now is your chance to surround yourself with the most positive circle of friends possible. Choose people who bring meaning into your life.
Things to Consider When Making New Friends
This is not the time to cling to the past. A huge benefit of making new friends following your divorce is that these people were not a part of your marriage circle. They are not a part of your past; they are your future. So, this is an excellent time to let go of the past and focus on the new. Don’t keep discussing what went wrong with your marriage. Feel the sense of freedom of having an unlimited future ahead of you, instead.
Dating After Your Divorce
Even the most amicable divorce involves loss and pain. It can be very tempting to jump into a new relationship just to be less lonely or to convince yourself that somebody – anybody – still wants you.
Accept that you need some time to reassess your life and your feelings. Take your time before entering the dating scene. This is especially true if you have children, who need stability in their lives.
It is best for everyone concerned if you keep things casual for a while and let relationships happen naturally. Don’t settle for your next partner out of loneliness. Choose your partner because you have taken your time and know exactly when you want.
You are developing as a person, and you can afford to be picky. You decide when you are ready to date. This will provide your new relationship with a solid and firm foundation that is likely to be successful and long-lasting.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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