In the U.S., currently 45 to 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce.* These numbers strike several different chords with me. I remember very well asking my ex-husband for a divorce. It was one of the most heartbreaking and lonely feelings I have ever experienced in my entire life. I was certain that the months following were going to be some of the most excruciating to date, but I figured that was my penance for no longer having the desire to work it out with him. Little did I know that I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What actually followed was a whirlwind of romance, adventure, and the birth of my life’s passion. I discovered that my penance only existed if it was self-imposed. For the first time in a very long time, I felt like I was living, I could literally feel the blood pulsing through my veins. I was a giddy school girl most of time, and people around me took notice. For the first time in my life, I was dating, truly dating, being courted, and being adored.
I enjoyed dating so much that I started studying and devouring most things that I could find on the subject. I tested many dating theories, and started developing my own based on what I knew worked. Before I realized it, I had many women calling me for coaching on the subject. They, too, were having as much fun as me, and inspiring men to adore them.
Bottom line, divorce in itself is difficult enough. Dating after divorce is your lifeline from the black cloud of yuck that looms over us after divorce. Yet for me to tell you to just get out there and date is the equivalent of you sitting still in a herd of hyenas with meat packs on your head. You are likely to get crushed. Instead, let’s create something much different for you.
1. It’s time to redefine your fairy tale.
You can start by tossing your required grieving period out the window. With movies in mainstream society such as “Hope Floats” and “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” it is easy to see why many women get caught in the idea that a required grieving period will lead to your new prince charming running in to save you.
In reality, this is very rarely the case.
With your required grieving period, you are more likely to turn it into an extended grieving period and go for years without a man in your life or jump straight into another relationship that leaves you unfulfilled on many levels.
Actually, the idea of grieving the loss of a relationship is absolutely necessary. The flawed thinking occurs when you count on grieving alone to heal your wounds and prepare you for another shot at happily ever after.
The truth is that to truly heal, we have to have a profound element of fun in our lives. Being okay is not the same as being healed. Being healed comes from laughter, joy, and love. So why not have a side of fun with your grief?
2. Understand that divorce is an opportunity.
Oooh, Jenn, that sounds so insensitive, how could you say that?! I can say it because I know from first hand experience that it is true. Let’s be completely open here. Very few women who are truly happy with their relationship go through a divorce. Even when a women is surprised that her husband leaves her for another woman, if she is completely honest, there was something in the relationship that didn’t work on a core level. Most of the time there was something significant missing within her that needed to be fulfilled in order to be truly happy. Divorce is your opportunity to discover just that.
Case in point: me. My marriage was several years of focusing solely on my ex-husband. We spent a couple years in marriage counselling trying to figure out what was going to make us work. I spent an insane amount of time trying to fit into his world. When I asked him for a divorce, I realized that I had absolutely no clue who I was, what lit me up as a person, and what made me happy. Divorce gave me the self understanding needed to finely define my own identity.
Divorce is also your chance to part with any titles such as survivor, martyr, or victim. Here’s the thing: I teach women to be adored by men. These titles, while definitive of a situation you experienced, are not what you want to be adored for. Not only that, but they also draw a very bold line between you and men. Do you want him to want you because you’ve been through stuff? Eighty-five percent of the population has been through stuff these days. Or do you want to be wanted based on your complete spiritual, emotional, and physical package?
When you see divorce as your personal opportunity, you are personally empowered. In every opportunity, there is amazing growth and experience to encounter.
3. Stop calling yourself divorced.
I give you complete permission to stop referring to yourself as divorced. You are single and sassy. Say it out loud… “I am single and sassy!” Now say, “I am divorced.” Which one feels better? From here on out, when asked, reply in a fun, sassy, cheeky tone, “I am single! 😉 “ (Wink optional, but a lot of fun with a member of the opposite sex)
I almost never referred to myself as divorced. There are very few instances where it is truly necessary to indicate. Even though the divorce rate is sky high, the term divorced still carries a lot of stigma, especially self imposed stigma. There is no real reason to keep showcasing your red letter D on you unless you are truly committed to a life without joy. Remember you are no longer a divorce martyr, victim, or survivor. You are my sexy single siren preparing to be adored by men and live the life you want to live.
4. Learn how to date.
You think 45 to 50 percent divorce rate is bad? Try 60 to 67 percent* for a second marriage and 70 to 73 percent* divorce rate for a third marriage. Those numbers are INSANE. So I bet you are thinking, why bother remarrying when such odds are stacked against you? I say hold up, wait a minute, there is an answer to this. Learning how to date is your answer. Why? Several reasons…
- When you learn how to date, you acquire the tools to inspire him to adore you over a lifetime.
- You make better choices with men because you fully understand that you never have to settle to be loved and adored.
- You learn what truly turns you on as a woman and have the opportunity to figure out if remarriage is what makes you happy.
- You finally will understand what I know is true about you. You can create love in your life anytime you want. You are no longer subject to circumstance but very well versed in creating a legendary love experience.
- You will know the clues to help you effectively weed men out of your life that shouldn’t be in it.
- You will learn the appropriate boundaries that create the experiences you want in life.
Dating done right is better than any anti-aging cream you can buy. 😉
5. Don’t torture your girlfriends with your divorce, or with any break up, for that matter.
Yep, going through a divorce will bring up every insecurity you have ever had in your life time. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, this can be excruciating. Your girlfriend having to live the experience with you over and over again is exhausting for your friendship. (I know, I fully admit I did this, and I am not proud to admit it.)
I want you to remember you are in the driver’s seat even if it doesn’t feel like it, and you still get to make the decisions. Your first order of business is deciding that a divorce is not the end of your world. Next, understand each fun opportunity you choose to engage in is you redefining your ultimate experiences in love. Even without a man in sight, your choice to experience your grief and move on to happier pastures gives you the skill set to be adored by men. What doesn’t help is you rehashing the story over and over again with your bestie. She can only handle so much, no matter how much she loves you. So try this technique: let her know you are going to go on about the situation for 5 minutes, and then you two are going to do something fun together. Honor your word, and you not only preserve your friendship, but you also wire your brain to look for something better and so much more fun.
So there you have it, Ladies, the first five crucial steps post-divorce. Stay tuned next week for the next five. If you have found something that is particularly helpful for you post-divorce or break up, be sure to share it in the comments section below. Also, if you like this post, I super heart when you share it on Facebook, Twitter, and with your gal pals. Not on my newsletter list yet?
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*Statistics from divorcestatistics.org
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