If you have recently gone through a divorce, it is one of the most difficult and jarring experiences you will face in your life. The sudden loss of someone you held dear and close can feel similar to the feelings you have when you lose a loved one to death.
At the onset, it can look hopeless and feel as though you will never find love again. When you have been married to someone, it’s difficult to move forward because of the time and energy you have invested into your relationship. You thought it would work. And when it doesn’t, it is devastating.
Love may seem more difficult to fathom after you saw what you thought would be a long-lasting future with your significant other. We know love is complicated, but divorce brings with it an additional set of feelings you may not have known you would ever experience. Here you will find some advice that will help you preparing for the next chapter of your life and some tips on how to find love again after divorce.
Change your perspective
First of all, don’t despair because all isn’t lost. Just because you are divorced, doesn’t mean the opportunity to love won’t happen to you again.
Secondly, realise that even while the divorce papers can be signed which legally end your relationship, or if your relationship ends suddenly, you emotional healing won’t happen overnight. With loss comes pain, but also valuable lessons. And these lessons, while painful, can and will help you move forward.
It’s important to understand that what you are feeling is normal. And as you go through a range of emotions don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel angry, helpless, lonely or in despair. These feelings come with the territory when you leave a long-term relationship of which you thought would be a permanent union. Going out afterward and trying to navigate the dating terrain and being single again will feel foreign, scary and unfamiliar. And that’s ok because you were used to being in a committed relationship with someone.
Fear of the unknown Is normal
It’s natural to fear the unknown, which is why learning to embrace your feelings and go with them is critical to helping you move forward. Initially, it will be normal for you to want to replace your partner to fill the void. And when you first start dating, you may fall into relationships or attach to others quickly even if they aren’t a good fit. Part of this is your desire to mimic your past relationship or union or feel something akin to a safety net, something which you have become very familiar with while being married.
If you are sad, allow yourself permission to feel sad. If you need to cry, go ahead and cry. Crying is a healthy way to release negative emotions and help you let go. Releasing your pain and hurt is a much better alternative than holding in these feelings.
If you need to talk to someone, confide in a trustworthy friend. Find a support group with others who are going through something similar or speak to a counselor if you feel as though you mentally are unable to move forward. Find the vehicle that will feed your soul during this difficult period. Divorce is not easy, and part of your healing and recovery includes being able to get to know someone you may have been neglecting – yourself.
Exercise self-care and self-love
Take time following your divorce for introspection. This is your time to determine what is important to you. Focus on what makes you happy which you may have been neglecting during your marriage. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby, spending time with your friends, exploring new places, or learning something new to engage your mind differently, these are all ways for you to move your life forward in a positive direction. If you have kids, you should also take time to strengthen your relationships with them.
Often in focusing on love and finding love again, it’s crucial first to exercise self-care and self-love. Without having a healthy respect for who you are, what you want, and what’s important to you, you are setting yourself up for future relationship failure. Finding love is harder when you aren’t clear on who you are, what is important to you or having an understanding of what you need. Take time to figure out these things. If you do so, it will help you align with and attract someone who is truly compatible with you.
Divorce teaches valuable lessons too
Divorce can change people in lots of good ways too. Learning from a relationship which didn’t work can bring more depth and understanding to your next relationship. It can also make you grateful when you do meet someone who exhibits qualities you haven’t experienced or may have wanted in a partner.
Having increased self-awareness of who you are can help you have a better understanding of what you need from someone else. When someone doesn’t meet you with where you are, having a strong sense of self will help you weed out those people who aren’t a good fit for you. Being in sync with yourself, knowing your deal breakers, and what you will and will not tolerate sets boundaries for healthy future relationships and paves a clearer road to love.
Finding love shouldn’t be something in which you focus on wholly following your divorce. Your primary mission should be to exercise self-love and self-care. In doing so, you set the foundation where you will attract and find someone who is truly deserving of you.