Category Archives: DIVORCE and STARTING OVER

Dating after Divorce-first steps

The first and most important thing to do before you start dating again is to learn to love yourself. If you are not happy with yourself you cannot expect someone else to be able to make you happy. Happiness comes from within. If you do not love yourself, ask yourself why and make some changes in your life.

If you have low self-esteem try writing a list of all the things that you know you are good at, list everything (good friend, good parent, good cook, good timekeeper, good organiser, good communicator). Don’t leave anything out. When you have done this ask at least two of your friends to add to the list. You will be surprised at the qualities that other people see in you that you don’t see in yourself.

Most important of all – believe it when other people tell you good things about yourself.

Make sure that you spend time identifying what went wrong in your previous relationship.

It doesn’t matter who made the decision to leave – both parties need to identify what caused the relationship to fail. Do you have annoying habits? Did you change during the relationship? What qualities will you look for in a new partner? Will they be different?

Make sure that you really examine what went wrong in your previous relationship and what you want from a new relationship. It is very easy to repeat the pattern in your next relationship if you have not consciously identified what it was and made an effort to prevent it happening again. Before you embark on a romantic relationship with anyone make sure that you like the person and can be friends with them. If you don’t really like someone it is unlikely that you will stay together.

Think about your values in life and don’t be prepared to compromise them. Have you built up a life where you are happy and have lots of interests? It is important to have done this before you start dating.

 I firmly believe that both partners in a relationship should have their own interests as well as sharing interests.

There is no doubt that as you become older it is more difficult to meet new people. This is partly because we don’t tend to go out in big groups as we get older. Internet dating is becoming more popular all the time and I know of several people who have formed successful relationships in this manner. The best thing about internet dating is that you can build up a friendship online before you meet in person. However, it is important to remain cautious when meeting in person for the first time. Ensure that you arrange to meet in a public place, that someone knows where you have gone and who you are meeting and that you arrange to call someone when you get home safely.

Another way of meeting people is to join clubs such as dining clubs, reading groups or activity clubs. Why not take up a new interest? Dancing classes are becoming more popular and are not only a good way of meeting people but also good exercise. A quick internet search for clubs and societies or evening classes in your area will throw up endless opportunities, such as bridge clubs, camera clubs, chess clubs, salsa clubs, history clubs, geneaology clubs, reading clubs, scrabble clubs, amateur drama groups or join in with exercise classes at your local gym.

 Even if you don’t meet someone you want to be romantically involved with you may well make new friends.

You often meet people when you least expect it. I know of people who have met at bus stops, on trains, at exhibitions and, of course, at work. The good news is …  according to recent figures there are 11 million single people out there – you are not alone!

After Divorce: New Experiences with Mind, Body and Spirit

Many experts and divorce coaches talk about “starting over” and “rediscovering yourself” after divorce. Starting a new hobby (or several) is a great way to do this because you’ll learn a lot about yourself and be able to meet people with similar interests. It’s important to meet new people and discover new personal attributes when you’re bouncing back from a divorce. It may also be a good idea to work on improving three categories of your life through new experiences: mind, body, and spirit. Finding one or more hobbies that accomplish this goal can get your “new” life off to a great start.

Mind

Freelance Writing: Stay sharp by writing. You can do this for profit or just for yourself, and any genre will work (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or any combination of these). It really depends on how willing you are to function outside of your comfort zone. By writing in two or more genres, you can stay comfortable with nonfiction if that’s more familiar while you explore the new world of fiction. No matter what you choose to write, you’ll be exercising your mind and nurturing your spirit with unique self-expression. To make this more interactive and meet people with similar interests, try joining a review group like Portal for some feedback and great conversation.

Music: By learning to read and write music or trying out a new instrument, you’ll be waking up your brain cells and getting creative. You can do this online in many cases, or if you’d like to make more of an investment, you can find a teacher and start taking lessons. To get a head start on learning music if you don’t already read it or to review, visit a site like musictheory.net. You can take advantage of free lessons, tools, and exercises to help you understand music well enough to start playing any instrument you choose.

Body

Dancing: Take dance lessons to stay in shape, keep your heart healthy, and get rid of daily stress. Dancing is a great way to meet new people, get to know your body better, and exercise. You can try different types of dancing until you find one that appeals to you, then keep taking lessons to get better at it. Learning new steps also keeps your mind working, and you might find that you become more graceful in your everyday movements when muscle memory starts to develop.

Yoga: Get flexible and seriously de-stressed with yoga. Try going to a yoga class three times a week to meet new people, stretch your muscles, and get familiar with common positions. You can also buy a mat and some yoga DVDs, get some friends together, and schedule some yoga time every week at someone’s house.

Spirit

Meditation: This can be done along with yoga for an experience that’s very healthy for both mind and body, or it can be a separate activity. Books and CDs or audio files are good ways to learn and practice meditation, and they’ll help you to relax and better understand yourself on a daily basis. Taking 20-30 minutes every day for meditation and self-reflection is great for your mental health and will keep you aware of your thoughts and feelings, making you more likely to reconnect with yourself.

Art: Drawing or painting can help you express thoughts and feelings that you may have been subverting. It’s also therapeutic to create something that doesn’t have to be judged objectively. Anyone can create art, so try looking up some local classes or simply pick up some supplies from a hobby store. You can get friends and neighbors to join you once a week for some group “art therapy” if you want to make this an interactive method of self-exploration. You might learn new and exciting things about each other that could solidify friendships and helpyou bond with the people around you.

After Divorce … Time to Move on

As the old saying goes, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ but it can go so slowly when you’re miserable. So how can you speed up time when moving on after a divorce?

The first thing is to let go of your anger and bitterness, these will only hold you back and time will continue to drag. The anger does not give you the strength to carry on, whatever you’ve been told this is never the case, it only stops you from moving forward.

Once you have accepted your new situation and decided that it is time to move on time will start to go more quickly.

But how do you rebuild your life, start to move forward?

The best way is to join new groups and meet new people. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Join a group that has monthly or weekly events –  a gardening group, a reading group, an amateur drama group, a choir, a dance class, a social group, a work out partner, a  diet group. Most of these can be found by Google or at the local library. Just think of something you are interested in doing or learning and find out where it happens in your local area.

The world is your oyster – decide what you want to do in your spare time rather than staying in.

Most of these groups cost very little to join.

Alternatively you could join a local business networking group. If you’re working, try and persuade your boss that it could bring new business if you attend, if you’re self-employed you will be able to promote your business and if you’re not working you could get some ideas for setting up your own business. You’ll meet some interesting and inspiring people and possibly make some good friends (I know I have). Most groups are very welcoming and details of local groups can be found on the internet.

Deciding to get fit can have a dual benefit of helping you to keep trim and meet new people. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Most cities/towns run a fitness scheme of some kind where you can use the gym and swimming pool and attend various fitness classes for a reasonable cost each month. Some even include racquet sports in the price.

You are far more likely to meet people that will become friends if you are doing something that interests you. Once you have things to keep you occupied time will start to move more quickly and before you know it you will have started rebuilding your life.

So why not get on the computer or pop down to your local library and see what is out there. What is stopping you from moving forward?