As if divorce itself wasn’t stressful enough on its own, you suddenly find yourself getting back to the social scene. Where do you even start?
You might feel you have lost your social skills, or that you cannot navigate through the dating world that smoothly.
What’s more, it happens quite often that parents have difficulties with coming to grips with the fact that your and your partner’s mutual friends decided to take sides in the aftermath of the divorce. And since kids are very attuned to their parents' emotional states, how you will balance coparenting with your social life will also take effect on their well-being as well.
That is why you ought to do your best to enter this entirely new phase of your family’s life with a bright outlook. You just need to allow yourself some time and space to rediscover who you are as a social being.
Reclaim your social life with the help of family and friends
The need to close off and seclude yourself from the outside world after such an energy-sucking process of divorcing your partner may easily overwhelm you.
However, bottling up your thoughts and emotions could be very damaging to your self-esteem. I would advise against succumbing to this urge.
And as much as you have neglected your interpersonal relationships outside of your marriage, you must remember that no man is an island. There are people out there who will give you a helping hand - you just need to ask for it.
Whether it is your family members, friends, work colleagues, or neighbours, you have to find the will and the motivation to rekindle your relationship with the people that genuinely care about you.
And soon enough, you will be invited to this and that event or gathering, which will allow you to slowly get back on the social scene after the divorce.
Take your time
Of course, nobody expects you to jump right back into socializing after the divorce.
As with everything, allow yourself time to ease into this new reality. Not having a person by your side on whom you can rely on 24/7 for your daily dose of attention and comfort might seem outright horrific at first.
However, by allowing people outside of your marriage (back) into your daily routine, you will be able to shake off feelings of loneliness or discomfort.
Furthermore, some experts believe it is even beneficial if you do not make radical lifestyle changes right after the divorce.
As you and your kids are adjusting yourself to the ‘co-parenting schedule’, an abrupt switch to you going out on the weekends or hosting dinner parties regularly might be quite destabilizing both for your kids and yourself. Your child might interpret this as a kind of rebuffing of your family life. In other words, even though you are no longer with your partner, it is important to maintain a healthy family dynamic while co-parenting your child.
Allow yourself time to process your past and the feelings you are experiencing now that the divorce is finalised.
The same applies when it comes to your children - be sure to talk with them throughout the process and gauge how they are dealing with the numerous changes coming their way. This should help you create a healthy foundation for rebuilding your personal and social life, one day at a time.
Seek counselling if need be
Taking your time to come back on the social scene makes sense for a couple of reasons.
First of all, your eagerness to close a chapter of your life as soon as possible might not work in your favour.
For example, rushing into dating after the divorce might seem like a good idea, where in fact you might not have resolved issues you might be dragging from your previous relationship. In that sense, conversational therapy might help you make a recap of where your marriage might have gone wrong and how you should proceed.
Opening up to someone new too soon, be it a love interest or an acquaintance, might be too painful or unhealthy after riding the emotional rollercoaster called divorce. In that sense, a therapist can provide you with an objective and encouraging overview of your post-divorce situation.
Try out new things
Finally, as much as you might be tired or unwilling, consider opening yourself to the outside world as an opportunity to actually explore your inner world.
Going back to the social scene should involve intense periods of trying out who this ‘new you’ is and what you like to do. New experiences, insights, people, and emotions await if you just unlock the door and let them in.
So, embrace this opportunity and let yourself experiment by trying out a new hobby or a sport, alone or with a friend. This is the most organic way to meet and bond with people like yourself, people who share the same interests and sensibilities.
You can also explore old and new interests or philosophies, make art, write poetry, start a collection, go on hikes or trips you had been postponing ad infinitum while you were married… Basically, you can do whatever you want to do with your life.
In turn, your kids are bound to enjoy your new-found curiosity and openness to new experiences. Exploring your interests and creativity will help you take your and your kids’ mind off of the divorce, allow you and your kids to move on, and harbour a healthy outlook on life that will shine through to people you meet along the way!
And FamiliPay is here to support you every step of the way. Start our three-month free trial today and get co-parenting administration out of the way to make time for more important things.