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Ask the Oracle - How do I start dating after a painful divorce

Ask the Oracle - How do I start dating after a painful divorce

Dear Oracle,

It’s been almost a year since I finalized a messy divorce. The last few years of the marriage were very rocky. I tried so hard to make it work with the man I was planning to spend my entire life with but he kept lying, cheating and breaking my heart. We also had to sell the house I loved and I had to get my own apartment.  

Once it was all said and done, I didn’t leave the apartment for months. I’d had a couple bad breakups in my teens and 20’s but this was so much worse. On top of the broken heart, I felt ashamed. The whole thing did a number on my self-confidence and left me feeling ugly and insecure. 

With the help of some amazing friends, I eventually crawled my way out of that pit of despair and have been trying to put my life back together. Recently, I’ve been going out with a couple of single friends to bars. It’s not really my favorite thing to do, but I don’t have a ton of single friends so I just go with the flow. 

My friends always get approached by men and asked for their numbers, but no one is ever interested in me. I feel like there’s a sign on my head that says, “DIVORCED”. How do I get past this and starting dating again?

Doubtful Debbie

 

Dear Debbie,

You’ve gone through an incredibly stressful life-altering experience. Ending a marriage or a long-term relationship can leave anyone feeling depressed, angry, hurt and vulnerable. Divorce is almost like a death and you’ve got to endure the grieving process. The picture you had of the future has changed and you need to re-evaluate who you are and where you want you life to go. It’s an overwhelming process. 

It is completely acceptable to take a break from dating during this time. Don’t put pressure on yourself to start a new relationship or get back out there. Take all the time you need to heal and, instead of worrying about your dating prospects, focus on yourself. Consider your values, your goals, and what makes you happy, in and out of a relationship. Do things to rebuild your confidence. Talk to a therapist. Get a haircut. Refresh your wardrobe. 

An active social life is great but that doesn’t mean your activities have to center] around meeting single men. Plan a girl’s night out that doesn’t take place at the bar. Take a class. Join a group activity you’ve always been interested in. Someone when you stop looking is when you find exactly what you’ve been searching for.

Yours in light & love,

Oracle