It can be terrifying to find yourself alone again after a divorce. You may feel that you have no idea how or where to start. Or you may feel that you don’t even know who you are as a single person. This is all perfectly normal after you have spent many years living your life as a couple. The key is to take some time getting to know yourself again and slowly your identity will feel stronger again.
1. Get to know yourself.
When a couple has been together for a while, the choices they make on where to have dinner, how to decorate their home, their personal choice in clothing, or other decisions are usually made together. After a divorce, each person may not know his or her own likes and dislikes. Take some time to try new things.
Learn your favourite foods, what hobbies you enjoy, where you like to go for dining or entertainment. This can be a time of experimentation and discovery and can be enjoyable.
2. Give yourself time.
Therapists recommend a minimum of one year after a divorce to get grounded as a person and avoid rebound relationships. A year is only a guideline. Be patient with yourself and don't rush things. Rebound relationships are not fair to either party. Build a new relationship with yourself and don't allow fear of being single and alone drive you into unhealthy love relationships.
3. Join some groups or clubs that interest you.
It can be helpful to find a group you can be a part of, whether it's a writer's group, bird watching, book club, or whatever you like. Getting out there and getting involved will help you move forward in your life. If there is nothing in your area you are interested, search Facebook for open or private groups to join.
4. Make new friends and develop a support system.
Some of your married friends may not feel comfortable socialising with a single person, especially if they are also friends with your spouse. You may find you have more in common with other singles, so seek out people that have common interests. This may be the time to strengthen relationships with your biological family and a good therapist. Having someone to talk to during this transition can make it much easier to cope.
5. Have fun.
Life is different as a single but that doesn't mean it can't be fun and fulfilling. More and more people today choose to remain single, and thoroughly enjoy the single lifestyle. They list advantages such as not having to ask someone how to spend their money, eating whenever they feel like it and not on someone else's schedule, and not having to share a bathroom! Take time to enjoy yourself and laugh often. Laughter really is good medicine.
6. When you feel you are ready to date, take it slow and easy.
Single people often complain that dating has changed and they don't know the new rules. The only rules are to do what feels comfortable for you. You don't have to conform for anyone. Be yourself and be true to yourself.