Updated: Sep 26, 2022
No one enters into a relationship expecting it to fail, but unfortunately, many relationships do. If you find yourself in the midst of a divorce or break-up, it can be a difficult and emotional time. However, it's important to remember that just because a relationship didn't work out, it doesn't mean that you are a failure. There is a lot to be learned from the experience, and it can be used as an opportunity to grow and become a better person.
Why is it important to move on after a divorce or break up?
It can be tempting to wallow in self-pity after a divorce or break-up, but it is important to try to move on for your own sake. Staying stuck in the past will only prevent you from enjoying the present and future. In addition, holding onto anger and resentment will only hurt you in the long run. It is important to try to let go of any negative feelings and focus on the positive aspects of your life.
What are some ways to start afresh after a divorce or break up?
1. Give yourself time to grieve: It is important to allow yourself time to mourn the end of your relationship. Don't try to bottle up your emotions or pretend like everything is okay when it's not - you've just lost a significant part of your life which means big changes are coming . It is perfectly normal to feel sad, scared, and angry after a divorce or break-up. Give yourself time to work through these emotions before trying to move on.
2. Don't blame yourself. It's easy to fall into the trap of looking at your newly-ended relationship and identify the places you "could've done things differently". You play out the scenarios over and over again, finding all the little things where you "shouldn't have said that" and you can build up anger towards yourself and the frustration over the situation. It's a normal part of the process, a useful one even, to reflect on what we could differently for our future relationships experiences, but in the moment of the break-up, it's worth remembering that there was more than just you in the relationship. And the last thing you want to find yourself doing is messaging your ex in a desperate attempt to get them to agree to giving the relationship "one last shot" on the proviso you're willing to change. Relationships are more complicated than one person's actions within them.
3. Seek out your support system and ask for help: There is no shame in admitting that you need help to get through this tough time. Whether it's talking to a therapist, reaching out to a friend or family member, or joining a support group, getting help from others can be extremely beneficial. Your friends and family can be a great source of comfort and support during this difficult time. and this is a really useful time to lean on your friends, find out who's there for you at one of your most challenging points. Lean on them for assistance and guidance as you navigate this new phase of your life and you'll find you deepen your connection with them through the process too.
4. Avoid replacing your ex and give yourself time to heal. At the time of a break-up, you can feel like your heart is being pulled out of your chest and it is SO easy to turn to the dating apps to try and fill the void. But all you're doing is putting a plaster over a traumatic event that needs time, care and attention for you to feel like yourself again. Whilst the giddy feelings of love might make you feel better about yourself in the short term, the insecurities and lack of self-esteem a break up can bring up are worth healing properly before moving on too quickly.
5. Set realistic goals for yourself and start rebuilding your self-confidence: After a divorce or break-up, it is important to set realistic goals for yourself both short-term and long-term. Trying to do too much too soon can lead to frustration and disappointment. You might understand and acknowledge the freedom and opportunity of single life, but that doesn't mean your body and heart are ready to lean into those things. If you try to take a solo trip too soon, you might find it brings up the realisation that you're doing this holiday alone - something that triggers the reminiscing of a previous life where you went on holiday with your ex. With any goals you want to achieve as a single, start small and gradually build up as you feel ready and able to do more."
It can be easy to dwell on the negative aspects of your divorce or break-up, but try to focus on the positive as well. Think about things that you are excited about in your future, whilst allowing yourself to feel your way through the challenging emotions and leaning on friends for support.
If you want the support of a community of single ladies that are navigating single life including dating, living alone and solo travel, you can join The Single Girls Club online community for discussions, zooms and live chats.
Listen to the full episode of The Single Girl's Guide to Life episode here: