Divorce means the end of one relationship, but it opens the door to another. Loving again after divorce is possible, but it is more difficult for some people to move on than for others. With a few tips from the experts, you can jump-start your life once your marriage ends, and even learn to love again.
In some states you have to wait for months before you are permitted to get a divorce, but contrary to popular belief, there is no predetermined period of mourning after a marriage ends before you can start dating again. Marriage expert Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., says that you are the only person who can decide when to date again. When you are ready, Dr. Orbuch recommends you open your mind to online dating, accept blind date set-ups from friends and join groups that engage in activities you love.
You'll have to let go of the old to ring in the new, according to Dr. Orbuch. Lots of recent divorcees track their spouses on Facebook, Instagram or via the gossip mill. This is not an evil pastime, but it is counterproductive to moving on because it keeps your focus on what you've lost, not on your future. So block him on your social media accounts and refuse to listen to stories tossed your way by well-meaning friends. Out with the old -- in with the new.
While you are waiting to extinguish the embers of your marriage, and before you revel in the joys of a new relationship, take time to love the most important person of all: yourself. Psychologist Mark Branschik advises that this is the time to get back in touch with yourself, with your magnificence, by remembering your own, unique qualities. Invest at least 10 minutes a day in doing an activity you love but rarely have time for, and figure out what really makes you happy.
Some swear that the happiest couples they know are those in second marriages -- the people who really took the time to learn from their mistakes. Investigative reporter Pamela Cytrynbaum talked to some second-timers to find out what made their relationships smarter and better, and this is what she heard: whatever role you played in marriage #1, you get to rewrite the rules in #2. This means you get to reinvent yourself -- transform yourself from the inside and rethink your priorities.