Life After Divorce
I spoke with a gentleman friend yesterday who left a 15 year marriage two years ago. He’s ready for something new, but doesn’t quite know where to start. He looked into online dating, but wasn’t impressed with the women he found. I suggested he do a life overhaul.
If you’re recovering from a long-term relationship and you’re ready for something new, make a decision to create a life you love by starting with the following steps.
Take inventory of your life. Success and happiness is more about being well-rounded than it is focusing on one area of your life. Write down one thing you’d like to have in each area of life in the next 90 days, including career, health & fitness, as well as relationships. Then write down one action step for each goal. When you experience success in one area of life, it usually comes in other areas of your life too.
Start from scratch. After being in a long term relationship, it will be necessary to go through a period of shedding the old identity of being a couple to your new identity of being just you. I call this process reinvention or being the fullness of you, as my girlfriend, Meredith, likes to say. Journaling is a good tool for this time of your life as you discover the fullness of who God created you to be. Ask yourself, What’s important to you? What are you passionate about? What are your heart’s desires? What do people love about you? What gives you energy? Let this be an ongoing dialogue between you and your journal and see what percolates to the top. Decide what you need to get rid of, and what you’d like to have more of in your life.
Move forward. Decide that from this point on, you’re moving forward, which means leaving past hurts and disappointments behind. Embrace forgiveness of yourself and others. Judge not and realize everyone is doing the best they can with what they have to work with.
No guts, no glory. Make this your mantra for your new single life. Decide that if you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do things you’ve never done. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Expand your social network. Leave your comfort zone by doing one thing each week to expand your social circle. Read your book at Starbucks instead of at home; attend a speed-dating dinner; enroll in a salsa dance class; join a book club; join the gym. Join at least one new group of like-minded (single) people that you can meet with on a regular basis. Don’t sit at home alone on Friday and Saturday nights. Get out, meet people and make new friends.
Learning to live life as a single person after a long-term relationship is a reinvention process that requires your full participation in life. It’s an opportunity to create the life of your dreams so decide that from now on everything you do, you will do for the love of you, flowing in the fullness of you. If you embrace these new mindsets, life will become sweeter and juicier, this much I know.