DivorceForce contributor Abby King is a magnet for people seeking separation and divorce advice. Abby has agreed to share with the DivorceForce Community questions she has received and her answers and perspective. Here, Abby tackles the topic of “Social Life of the Newly Separated.”
Divorced Not Dead
Now that I’m divorced, my friends have taken me off their call lists. They only include me in girl’s nights, which are fun, but the energy is different than a night with couples. I miss the normalcy of those Saturday nights and I miss the husbands too. I wish when they make their plans they’d remember that I’m divorced, not dead! If I bring this up will it just make everyone more uncomfortable?
This totally sucks. 50% of marriages end in divorce but the first few to rock a social circle throw everyone for a loop. Your friends think you’ll feel uncomfortable being the single wheel to their group of doubles so you get knocked off the social calendar. First, talk to your closest girls and let them know you’d rather be a 5th wheel than face another night home alone. Notice how I said 5th wheel and not 3rd? If you go out with only one couple the lone male could wind up the 3rd wheel and that will be the final nail in your social coffin. Being the single in a group of several couples will alleviate that pitfall. The onus is also on you to be proactive. On Wednesday text your group, find out who is doing what over the weekend and ask to join where appropriate. Inviting yourself will knock your ego around but if they’re really your friends, it’s likely they just didn’t ask their new (and not sure what to do with) single friend rather than actually not wanting you to join. You could also create your own plans-throw a cocktail party at home! Invite couples as well as any singles you know. Show everyone that you are ok hanging in a group of happily betrothed even when you’re on your own. Good Luck!
Partying With My Ex?
My newly separated ex and I are still being invited to the same parties. I don’t want to socialize with him but also don’t want to stay home to avoid him or make our friends choose sides, what can I do?
Often times those surrounding a separated couple feel a sense of loyalty or affinity to one of the parties. It’s great when your friends aren’t choosing sides! Follow your instinct, and don’t make them. Ideally down the line you and your ex will both feel comfortable attending the same social functions. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not there yet and bravo for being honest about it. Talk to your ex and see if you can divide and conquer the social calendar. Hopefully, you can agree on most of your invites. If not, until you can peacefully handle a night without drama or negativity you might need to take the bench for a little while. It’s much better to decline an invitation than to show up with the worst gift: anger, resentment and bad vibes.
My friends are all married and it’s been over a decade since I was single. I need to meet new people but have no idea where to go. I’ve got to get out of my dinner, movie, gym and yoga rut. Help!
Let’s start with your comfort zone. Instead of running into a yoga class and bolting after the final namaste, get to class early and linger post-savasana. Talk to the yogi who checks you in and chat with your teacher. Request that your teacher asks the class if anything is happening around town. Someone is usually doing something interesting that hasn’t hit your radar. Stretch yourself in new ways at the gym too. Each sect in a gym is its own micro-community with its own distinct personality. Go to a new class with an instructor and two dozen students you’ve never met before. Then it’s time to reach out in other ways. Connect with anyone you kinda like, that you kinda know, who is also divorced. It’s possible they’re looking for a partner in crime too. Hit your local watering hole on a recurring basis, sit at the bar chatting with the bartenders and ask where they go on their nights off. Lastly, check social media. There are always charity happy hours, Saturday community cleanups and local do-gooding of some kind. You can meet new people and help out your neighborhood.
Abby King writes about parenting, divorce, relationships and…. everything else at AbbyKingWriter.com, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Club Mid, The Good Men Project, and Philly.com. Abby dishes out reality. Abby self-professes that she is “50% together and 100% authentic.” No doubt!