You once lived a life where your social identity was wrapped neatly together with your spouse.
You went out as a couple with other couples, many of your friends were married so conversations were often about shared marital issues and people around you saw you as “married.” And then when it ended and with a blink of an eye, you become… single. Like a scarlet letter written on your forehead, suddenly you are treated and looked at differently and have to renegotiate your social circle and identity.
Many people tend to dwell on the negative aspects of divorce. But divorce doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom filled with desperation. In fact, this is an opportunity to embrace your new life as a divorcee by using your freedom as a way of meeting new people and actually focusing with what YOU want separate from your spouse.
I would even go so far to say that there are benefits to being divorced:
Whether you have kids or dividing time with work and play, when you are divorced, you can actually have some time to yourself. As a married man or woman, 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?
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 that you’ve always wanted to go on your own. Use this as an opportunity to plan a vacation and to go places you haven’t explored yet. Also, 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 when YOU want to!
Attend “You” Activities and Festivities
It is exciting to pick and choose different activities and festivities that you enjoy. You don’t have to attend parties that your spouse would like you to go to or talk with people that you are “supposed” to talk to. Now you can concentrate on things that will be fun for you, engage in hobbies that you are passionate about and mingle with interesting men and women. Get a new outfit and hit some parties and networking events. You may meet some other single friends or a new love interest to do activities you both appreciate.
“You” 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 and special occasions. Of course, there will be aspects that you will miss about the large family gatherings, but there are some nice parts about planning your own celebrations. Use this time to relax and be with your family in ways that you want. You might even start new traditions or go away with your family for a holiday vacation to reconnect to your roots.
A “You” Makeover
Use this opportunity to really take care of your body and get a new image. Get new clothes that make you feel amazing. Exercise and eat healthier. Often when you are married, you get stuck in a rut and you don’t carve out time or have the desire to take care of yourself. Exercise is a great way to re-focus your energy, get in shape and have that “you” time. Also, you’ll sleep better, feel invigorated and have the confidence to feel attractive again.
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, reinvent yourself and open yourself to possibilities to come!
This article was originally published on Digital Romance.