Life After Divorce

What You Must Do BEFORE You Start Dating After Divorce

Couple holding hands as they embark on their adventures dating after divorce.

Use these 5 signs to confidently know if you’re ready to start dating again.

How will I know when I’m ready to start dating after divorce? This question is one nearly everyone who divorces eventually asks.

And coming up with an answer to it is complicated by the fact that this question (hopefully) brings up other questions. Is there a difference between dating and a hook up? Where can I find someone to date? What is dating like today? How will my dating impact my kids? And on and on.

Divorce is tumultuous and frightening so it’s normal to have a bunch of questions as you start moving on with your life by deciding if you’re ready to start going out again after divorce.

As confusing and complicated as it is when you first start contemplating whether you’re ready to begin dating after divorce, there are 5 signs you’re ready to get back out there.

  1. You love yourself.Divorce takes a huge toll on your self-esteem. You start to question whether you’re lovable not only by others, but by yourself too. By being able to truly love and care for yourself before you start dating after divorce, you’ll know you’re ready to get back out…

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How Long Does It Take To Be Happy Again?

Being happy again isn’t a time thing. It’s a you thing.

One of the most frequently asked questions about divorce recovery is “How long does it take to be happy again?” It’s asked not only as a reflection of what seems like interminable pain, but also because there is so much conflicting information out there about how long it takes! For example, back in 2010, the Daily Mail reported that it takes EXACTLY 17 months and 26 days to get over divorce. Others report that it takes 2 years and still others say that it will take 1 year for every 4 years of marriage.

And you know what? All of these numbers are horribly wrong – at least when it comes to you.

Why? Because no one else has gone through EXACTLY what you’ve gone and are going through and no one else has your EXACT personality.

Yup, your personality has a lot to do with how long it takes you to feel happy again post-divorce.

Are you someone who carries a lot of negative emotion? Do you dwell on unanswerable questions about the past: “What if…” or “If only…”? Are your fears controlling your life? Do you doubt that you’ll ever be happy again?…

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Some Promises Are Meant To Be Broken

When you divorce, you’ll make promises to yourself that don’t make sense to keep for the long haul.

Last May my husband (he’s my second) and I (I’m his third wife) celebrated our anniversary. But it was an event that almost didn’t happen because of a promise I made to myself after I divorced.

When I got divorced in 2002, I hurt. The pain was so intense that I wasn’t sure I’d survive it.

I kept having fleeting thoughts of suicide, but I was assured that those thoughts were pretty normal. I was still worried though. What if those thoughts started to stay around longer? What would I do then? How would I stop them? I was terrified by the unfamiliarity of these self-destructive thoughts that kept popping up. Was I losing my mind?

I also wasn’t taking very good care of myself. I mean we all have trouble sleeping when we’re going through divorce, and I was doing my best to try to get better sleep. But that wasn’t eating either. Food had mostly lost its appeal.

But I was also withholding food from myself for two other reasons. First, I didn’t want to get fat. In my mind I associated being fat with…

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3 Post-Divorce Resolutions You Should Make (And Keep)

Woman who’s serious about making resolutions to ensure her life after divorce is fulfilling and happy.

Resolutions are definitely not just for the New Year.

Obviously, you’ve heard of New Year’s resolutions. They’re those little promises you make to yourself on January 1st each year that you rarely follow through on. You have great intentions, but they tend to evaporate toward the end of January or beginning of February when life goes back to “normal” again.

But that’s one of the really great things about divorce. Your life doesn’t go back to “normal.” In fact, it will NEVER be that “normal” you had while you were married ever again.

And that’s exactly why making post-divorce resolutions is so powerful. You already have to change how you live, so you might as well make your life after divorce as great as you can make it right?

What resolutions should you make?

Well there are the typical New Year’s resolutions:

  • Lose weight – You’ve probably already lost enough weight because of the “divorce diet,” so this resolution won’t work.
  • Stay fit and healthy – Staying fit and healthy is never a bad idea and might even be extra important if you lost too much weight on your “divorce diet.”
  • Enjoy life to the fullest– Absolutely! This is one of the best resolutions you can…

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What Makes Gray Divorce Especially Difficult

Unlike divorces that happen earlier in life, it’s not the kids.

Every divorce is full of challenges, frustrations and problems. But gray divorces (those that occur when people divorce in their 50s and beyond) has a unique set of issues.

Most couples who divorce later in life are empty nesters. Their kids are out of the house and living their own lives.

You could say this simplifies a gray divorce because you don’t have to worry about child custody or child support or visitation. (But just because the kids are out of the house that doesn’t mean they won’t have difficulty with their parents’ divorce.)

But this seeming simplification for gray divorce is offset by a major complication – retirement.

When you’re over 50 and divorcing you’re at most 15-20 years from retirement. And all those retirement plans you’ve been making for the decades you’ve already been working? They dissolved along with your marriage.

It’s this decreased time to recover financially from divorce that makes gray divorces so challenging.

So what do you do? You think carefully about every decision you make.

After years of marriage, a couple’s shared assets are much greater and probably more complicated than those of couples who have shorter marriages.…

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