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The lights glisten, songs of holiday cheer fill the air and couples everywhere kiss under the mistletoe. There are constant depictions of family traditions and couples in love during this special time of year. “Bah Humbug!” you say?
For some, this holiday season is a reminder of love that did not work out — a time when people reflect negatively upon their lives, especially after a divorce.
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It is not a coincidence that this is my busiest time of year. After all, I’m a matchmaker, and many people are frantically trying to find love before Christmas. But it doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom filled with desperation. In fact, there is an opportunity to embrace your new life as a divorcée by using your freedom during the holidays as a way of meeting new people and celebrating the season how you want. I would even go so far to say there are benefits to being divorced. Here are a few:
- You can finally have “you” time. Whether you have kids or are dividing time with work and play, the holidays are now a time when you can actually have some time to yourself. As a married person time was mostly divided between your kids, work and spouse. You really had to make a conscious effort and get permission to have time for yourself. Now that you are single there is an opportunity to have some downtime and do things you enjoy. It’s ok to be selfish and indulge in activities that make you happy. What are things you liked to do when you were younger prior to the marriage? Do them!
- You have the opportunity to take a “you” vacation. Gone are the days that you have to worry about where your partner wants to go. You can plan to go to a destination you’ve always wanted to go on your own. Use this as an opportunity to go places you haven’t explored yet and to perhaps meet someone. There is a different mindset when you are on vacation that makes it easier to meet people. You tend to be more relaxed, the daily grind of your regular routine disappears and people are naturally more open to meeting others when away from their hometown. So leave the computer at home, turn off your phone and hit the beach!
- You can attend “you” holiday festivities. It is fun to pick and choose different holiday parties to meet people. You don’t have to attend parties your spouse would like you to go to or talk with people you are “supposed” to talk to. Now you can concentrate on festivities that will be fun for you and mingle with interesting people. Get a new outfit and hit the parties. You may meet some other single friends or a new love interest to kiss under the mistletoe!
- You only have to worry about your own family gatherings. No matter what your relationship was like with your ex’s family members, there usually is a lot of stress of how time gets divided or merged during the holidays. Of course, there will be aspects you will miss about the large family gatherings, but there are some nice parts about planning your own holiday celebrations. Use this time to relax and be with your family in ways you want. You might even start new traditions or go away with your family for a holiday vacation to reconnect to your roots.
It’s natural to feel the absence of the family unit and the partnership you once had. But it is also a period where you can embrace your new freedom, create new celebrations, rejoice in the blessings you have and open yourself to possibilities to come. Happy holidays!
This article was originally published on YourTango.