5 Tips for Getting Back on Your Feet after a Divorce

Editor’s note:  I have another guest post for you today from Jack Martin. He’s got some great advice for you today on how to get back on your feet after a divorce.  I hope you never have to go through that experience, but if you do (or are going through it or have gone through it), I hope this advice can help you!

 

When do things get back to normal?

Many people ask themselves this question after a divorce, but the answer might not be what they expect. Your life gets back to normal when you allow it to. “Normal” isn’t always the default setting for your life. After a divorce, your life may need rearranging and adjustment to find the new “normal.”

Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Create a New Schedule

During the divorce process, your schedule can become stretched and smashed in all the wrong places. Many of your familiar routines may have come to a halt and need to be restarted. Other routines just might not be possible anymore, and you need to reimagine how to achieve your goals. But you’re in a position to make changes for the better.

Determine what’s most important to you:

  • Do you need to set aside time for new obligations to your children?
  • Is your physical health in need of a jumpstart?
  • Are you happy at your job?

Set aside time in your schedule to confront your most important challenges over the next few months. Fill in additional items around these most important few. It won’t all go perfectly at first, but continue to adjust your schedule until you feel you are on track to achieving your most important goals.

2. Get Back into the Dating World

When you feel that you’re getting your life and schedule back on track, it might be time to dip your toe back into the dating pool. No, you don’t want to dive in head first, but a gradual move back into the dating world can help you gain confidence.

If traditional dating isn’t so appealing or if you are hesitant to “put yourself out there,” online dating can be a low-risk way to meet people. And there are plenty of fish in the online sea. It’s been estimated that over 20 million people use online dating every year.

Ensure that you’re searching in the right place by joining a dating site specific to dating after divorce or single parent dating. You don’t have to find a soul mate, but just meeting new and interesting people is a huge positive step.

3. Reconnect with Old Friends

Friendships are often put on the backburner during a marriage or divorce. You most likely have friends with whom you haven’t kept in touch. Well, that’s the wonderful thing about friendship, isn’t it? Your friends are still there. You just need to communicate with them. Rebuilding old friendships as you start a new chapter of your life can be an incredible blend between the new and the old.

4. Travel to a New Place

Human beings fall into patterns. Some patterns are good, but others could be better defined as “ruts.” Many times, your location can intensify the feeling of being stuck in a rut. You need to change it up every once in a while.

Visit someplace new. It doesn’t have to be for a long time. It’s just about mixing it up. Trying something new. It can actually be pretty hard to do, but taking yourself on a short vacation can free you up. You can’t follow your patterns perfectly when you’re in a new place. You need to make adjustments. Learn how to adapt on the fly, and then bring that problem-solving energy back home with you.

5. Do the Thing You’ve Always Wanted to Do

Easier said than done, right?

Wrong. You can set goals for yourself. We let so many obstacles stand in the way of what we want. But just how big are those obstacles? If you push them together and pile them up, it may be a wall too high to climb and too thick to break through. And that’s how many of us view the obstacles that stand between us and the things we want.

But what if you examined your obstacles one by one? That large wall is just a series of small problems, and if you handle them one-by-one, you can get past them all. Pick a dream, any dream, and make it happen. The harder to accomplish, the more accomplished you’ll feel afterwards.

Jack Martin is a freelance writer based in Seattle who spends his hours writing about relationships and Seattle family law. You can reach Jack by leaving a comment or connecting with him on Twitter.

17 comments… add one

  • candice michelle May 11, 2012, 12:46 am

    After people obtain a divorce, the next thing which comes to their mind is what to do now? But, one must make sure that divorce is nothing but the end of one relationship, and this would not close your road to a happier life ahead.
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  • Grady Pruitt May 11, 2012, 4:09 am

    I agree, Candice. Although I am happily married and have no plans of ever getting a divorce, if it were to happen to me, I might take some time for myself and examine myself for anything I could have done better, but eventually, I feel I would want to get back out there.

    Thanks for your comments!

    Reply
  • candice michelle May 15, 2012, 2:06 am

    Nice topic Grady! once again thank you for sharing this with us! Just keep you good post coming!
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  • Debbie@happymaker May 11, 2012, 10:55 am

    Hi Grady and Jack,

    Been there and done that. Great tips here Jack. “Do the Things you always wanted to do.” Like that and I would add, becomes the person you always wanted to be. Now is the chance.

    Yes, divorce is hard, but with a positive attitude it can be a wonderful new chapter in your life. I always say, don’t get out of the marriage until the crying is over. By doing this you start out with a good attitude about the divorce. You know that it is the best thing that you can do for yourself and you look forward to making new schedules for yourself and kid if you have them.

    I looked at it as a new adventure and than got to know myself and figure out how I got myself in that mess in the first place. With this knowledge I moved on and found a wonderful new husband and partner. By the way it was through a dating service. They do work!
    Thank again and blessing to the both of you.
    Debbie
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  • Grady Pruitt May 11, 2012, 12:52 pm

    Great suggestion, Debbie. Being single again does offer some freedoms you might not have when you’re married, so if you are divorced, take advantage of it! If you’ve felt you’ve been held back from doing something, then do it!

    Thanks for the great comments, Debbie!

    Reply
  • Jack Martin May 21, 2012, 5:46 pm

    Debbie,

    I love “Become the person you always wanted to be.” Great advice.

    It really comes down to not letting your past control your future. Though we’ve heard that so many times I had to use the above examples to make that point.

    I’m glad you looked at your post-divorce life as a “new adventure.” I think adventure is a great word for it. It’s the opportunity to forge a new path. To reset your life a bit, and choose the people/activities/places that we truly want in our life. These “resets” can be valuable, and the best part (but also toughest part) is that the outcome is totally determined by you!

    Reply
  • ntathu allen May 12, 2012, 7:22 am

    Having just come out of a long and often painful divorce I appreciate your advise; especially in taking time to assess current situation n make time to see what is now normal for my girls and I. Healing is a journey and who knows I might even click on the online dating links you offered! Thanks.

    Reply
  • Grady Pruitt May 12, 2012, 10:39 am

    Welcome back, Ntathu!

    Sorry to hear about your divorce. Especially in the beginning, taking time for yourself is important. As tough as it is, it can also be great to honestly evaluate yourself to determine if you could have done anything differently. It’s hard to admit we could have done something better sometimes, but if we truly examine ourselves, we can usually find at least one thing. This is important so we don’t make the same mistakes again. But once we have done that, it’s time to put the past behind us and look to the future.

    Finding the new normal is a bit of a challenge, but you will get there. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Harleena Singh@Freelance Writer May 12, 2012, 8:54 am

    Nice post!

    I guess it takes a long time for some people to really get out of the depression that overcomes them after divorce. You need to explain yourself and understand that life doesn’t really end after a divorce. You have a life to live and think ahead, and follow the tips mentioned above that will help you move on after a breakup.

    Thanks for sharing. :)
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  • Grady Pruitt May 12, 2012, 10:59 am

    Great thoughts, Harleena. After the challenge of a divorce, it can be hard to feel like life will go on. But it will if you give it a chance. Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
  • Jack Martin May 21, 2012, 5:50 pm

    Harleena,

    Depression can often accompany a divorce. And you’re right, realizing that life goes on is a huge part of getting past that. But it’s difficult. And we know that Depression is not something to take lightly. Strong ties with family and friends can help you through difficult moments of a divorce, so use that resource. Seeking professional help for depression is important if these feelings persist after a divorce.
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  • Kate Brown Wilson May 30, 2012, 9:10 pm

    Hi there Grady I don’t know what will happen to me once that I am divorce, well to be honest I live my life with a happy relationship, I think that divorce can be considered immortal sin. some people can’t avoid this, I think that the only solution they can do is to move on.
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  • Grady Pruitt May 31, 2012, 12:03 am

    I wouldn’t go that far, but it definitely should be considered only when other options have been exhausted — or in extreme cases when safety may depend on it. Working things out is always a better way to go when possible.

    Reply
  • Kate Brown Wilson May 31, 2012, 8:36 pm

    I guess you are right Grady we can’t just move on, we can settle the problem in a better way, forget what I’ve mention about move on. you are right moving on means running away. am I right?
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  • Ryan Hoody June 11, 2012, 11:12 am

    These are some excellent tips. I especially appreciate number four, travel to a new place. Nothing can help move things forward in life like a change of scenery. Who knows, maybe you’ll even meet that special person while traveling to a distant land. It certainly raises the odds by increasing your pool size from the millions to the billions. Divorces are tough, but they are the perfect time to do some self examination, figure out what really makes you happy in life, and connect with people you haven’t been able to.

    Thanks for the great tips!

    Ryan

    Reply
  • Grady Pruitt June 11, 2012, 3:07 pm

    That self examination is very important. I agree that you need to rediscover what makes you happy and connect with people you haven’t been able to.

    The harder part of that self examination, though, is the one that most people forget to do, which is what gets them into trouble in future relationships. You must take an honest, hard look at your self and think about what you might have done to contribute to the situation that you have just come out of. It’s easy to blame someone else for everything that went wrong, but you will learn more about yourself and become a better person by finding your own failures so that you can correct them in the future.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ryan!

    Reply
  • Jack Martin June 18, 2012, 12:09 pm

    Ryan, you are right on with the importance of getting out there and finding a change of scenery. It’s a great time for introspection and reflection. And Grady is absolutely right about the difficulties self-examination presents.

    Finding a change of scenery can take you away from your situation, and it might make it easier to take a step back and examine your life. And yourself.

    Reply

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