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My divorce is a love story. Though one friend warned me, during one of those newly-single drunken girl nights, against the use of those tired and cheesy clichés, I don't care: I'm going to help myself to them anyway. My divorce is a love story — I was released from the trappings of continuing to be someone who had really ceased to exist years back, released from the trappings of being someone who had likewise ceased to be the person I married, and grabbed the chance to love life again with both hands.
There's better advice for newly single woman out there than getting your hair cut, to be sure:
- Give yourself permission to grieve your lost marriage or relationship — because even if you were the person to initiate the break-up or it was mutually agreed upon, you probably need to mourn the vision of life you lost.
- To exist as one half of a couple means to compromise, to lose part of yourself in the process (while ideally gaining something else). Try to rediscover the "you" that you lost over the course of your marriage or relationship, or explore who you have become and who you want to be going forward.
- Learn to love yourself and your own company, because chances are you'll be seeing a lot more of yourself than before.
- Sincerely evaluate your feelings about the relationship that just ended, because you don't want to bring feelings of betrayal, pain, boredom, or cynicism into any future relationships.
- Embrace the new roles life is throwing your way. You have just become a single person. You might have just become a single parent. You might suddenly be in charge of finances you never really had anything to do with before, or have gotten a new job, or have decided to go (back) to university. When one stage of life ends, a new one becomes, and you need to give yourself the chance to grow in your novel roles.
Those tips are important for sure, where they apply, but with so many inevitable administrative hassles to deal with as well, do you really need to focus on heavy psychotherapeutic work at the start of your new life? The answer is — that, too, will come. There is space for the "silly" as well, and the "silly" is far from as pointless as a surface glance might have you believe.
The things those who have said goodbye to the old and stagnant and have vowed to welcome the fresh and hopeful engage in serve to make powerful statements, both to the self and to others.
To be newly single is to start anew. To be newly single is to shed the life we have left behind and to embrace the future. While this period of life is often painful, it can be exciting, too. How can you invite in your new self, and your new life?