The most difficult part of divorce is wondering, “Can you find true love after divorce?” The truthful “yes” to that question may not be obvious if you are newly divorced and wondering what just happened to your life. And I will show you why it’s still “yes.”
As a dating coach, I work with all kinds of people who have been through all kinds of life experiences. Some are young and have never been married. Some are older and have never been married (and wonder if it is too late for them). And, some have had long marriages, filled with children and plans for the future.
Those who know what marriage is like all come to me with the same question: Can you find true love after divorce? They know what it’s like to fall in love with “the one,” buy the house, raise the children…and then have their worlds yanked out from under them. They have invested huge chunks of their lives in a marriage with the hope for “forever love” and then it had failed.
After divorce, you instinctively know that your beliefs have been shaped by all those years you spent as someone else’s “other half.” And divorce hurt (maybe even still hurts) – a lot.
If this is where you are, then this is where our work begins. No one asks, “Can you find true love after divorce?” without hoping for confirmation of the possibility that you really can find it.
“Why’s this so hard? Why can’t I get over my divorce and get on with my life?” may be familiar thoughts.
The journey of finding love after divorce isn’t as simple as pulling up your old dating site profile and reactivating it.
Like it or not, divorce doesn’t erase your marriage from your life — especially if you have children — and it doesn’t turn you into a blank slate.
You’ve been shaped by your relationship and by your ex. Your beliefs have been conditioned, maybe altered, by your experiences as a spouse and possibly a parent. And there is work to be done in order to be ready to move forward toward a new relationship.
Coaching people on the journey of finding true love isn’t just about getting through the romantic part of dating. The most important part of my work with a client is helping him or her prepare for dating and a future lifelong partnership. Moreover, to help you trust yourself again.
Because it’s natural to make decisions based on past experiences, part of you may still be tied to a relationship that doesn’t exist anymore. You may still judge others by your ex. You probably still “hear” your ex in your head. You may even respond to things that have nothing to do with him or her based on what s/he would have expected from you.
Going through a divorce is like going through a death — except your ex is still living and may be present in your life as a parent to your children. You probably wouldn’t feel the need to rush into a new relationship if you lost a spouse to death. You would understand and embrace the natural grieving process.
Divorce, despite the obvious differences in circumstances, needs to be grieved too. The first part of the word divorce is the same as the first part of divide. And it’s not just a marriage and its assets that were divided. In many ways you were divided too.
Anyone can “get a date” without too much effort. But if you come to coaching with the question, “Can you find true love after divorce?” I assume you are looking for something more…something lasting. And that means you have to complete the unfinished business of the relationship you once believed would last forever.
Trust me, I know grief is hard. Dealing with any kind of loss is hard. I too had to go through the rites of passage to deal with an agonizing divorce and my loss of my happily ever after dream when my marriage ended. I grieved the loss of this and the fact that I would not be having a family.
On the surface it seems so much easier, so much more practical, to just “get on with life.” After all, you don’t have your ex to please or answer to anymore. You don’t have to feel guilty for being attracted to someone else. And you won’t be betraying anyone by responding to a new person’s advances.
But looking for true love means you must be true to yourself. True to your children, if you have them. True to your values. True to the person who could become your future love.
And that means you have to heal emotionally so you don’t carry all that old baggage into your new relationship. Get your ex out of your head so you can see and hear a new potential partner for who he or she is.
Grief doesn’t have to take years. And it doesn’t have to happen linearly or all at once. But you do need to give it permission — and space — to happen. Then you have to be ready to leave behind your past and move forward.
As we travel from “Can you find true love after divorce?” to “Yes!” and “I did,” I will be working to keep you on track for the greatest chance of success. If you are willing to clear the old stuff out of your path, you can move forward into the exciting part of finding true love. And I can be there to help you with all of it.
Here are some additional tips and inspirations for finding true love after divorce:
- Treat this time as a do-over. You have the opportunity to transform your life by transforming yourself — not on the outside, but on the inside.Accept your marriage as a learning experience that gave you amazing insights into yourself. Embrace them — good and bad. Learn from them. Develop what you love, change what you don’t.Get excited — this is your time to rewrite what’s possible for your life and relationships!
- Be fearlessly, unapologetically celibate for a while. There’s no sense in confusing yourself or potentially hurting someone else by rushing into a sexual relationship.Spend time with your awesome self. Pay attention to your own voice inside your head. Listen to what you tell yourself and take note of how you feel about yourself.Believe me, when the time comes for you to explore a truly meaningful relationship, you will have so much more to bring to the experience — both emotionally and sexually.
- Clean out your friendship closet. A divorce will help you know very quickly who your real friends are. And at this time of great change in your life, you need to be surrounded by loyal supportive friends who have your best interest at heart.
- Consider Coaching –Understanding your life’s purpose, what’s truly important for you in your life and what didn’t work in your marriage can help you move forward. Having a safe, supportive environment in which to express your feelings can be both edifying and clarifying. Coaching will help you develop a path to a new and improved you!What a wonderful way to open the door to new possibilities!
- Learn something different and do something new. Remember, you get to create what’s possible for you in your life. Learn something new and anything that you find interesting. Take a me-myself-and-I trip to a bucket list destination. Travel with your gal pal that you may not have been able to do when you were married. Join some group activities.The point is to be open. By doing new things, you’ll set yourself up for even greater success in the coaching process.
If you are still asking, “Can you find true love after divorce?” I hope you are feeling more hopeful in answering with “yes!” By trusting that you are going to be all right and believing that true love is in your future, the grieving process and alone time won’t seem so frightening.
Believe it or not, some of the happiest couples that came together as a result of my coaching have been those who took their time and made wise choices after divorcing. They used their former marriages as learning experiences of what did not work for them. And they courageously worked on themselves so they could offer their best self to a new partner and build a very fulfilling life together!