Coping with Loneliness After Divorce: Building a Fulfilling Social Life
Going through a divorce is one of life’s biggest transitions, and not an easy one. When you and your partner agreed on forever, you likely didn’t see yourselves getting divorced 5, 10, 15 years or further down the road. However, as people enter new phases of life, they inevitably change; some couples do so together, and some don’t. Getting divorced is nothing to be ashamed of, but the process can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. Trying to make legal decisions in the midst of grieving your marriage can become chaotic and you might be overwhelmed by the what ifs and what’s to come.

Depending on your relationship with your spouse, you might also view your divorce as a relief. Either way, you’re making a big change going from sharing your entire life with someone, to starting over on your own, so it’s natural for you to experience loneliness in the shift. However, even though closing this chapter is likely difficult, beginning a new and fulfilling social life can help you cope with feelings of loneliness, hopelessness and more. Below are some practical strategies for building a new social life post-divorce.

Recognizing & Understanding Loneliness After Your Divorce

It’s important for everyone to be able to process and cope with their emotions post-divorce, and the first step is by recognizing and understanding your loneliness. Lonely produces a myriad of definitions:

  1. being without company
  2. cut off from others
  3. not frequented by human beings
  4. sad from being alone
  5. producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation

Loneliness can have an emotional and psychological impact on people who divorce, often leading to anxiety and depression, but there are also physical effects. In fact, those who get divorced are 20% more likely to suffer from long-term health issues than those who aren’t.

It’s common that people experience some form of loneliness after their divorce along with other emotions, making it easy to want to close yourself off and disappear for a while. Instead of retreating, strive to lean into these emotions and embrace them as part of your path forward. Try to reside in your peaceful moments, but also challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone so that you can establish a thriving, healthy social life.

Reconnecting With Yourself & Others

When your marriage ends, there’s no other relationship as important as the one with yourself. Connecting with yourself, even in small ways, can help to ease feelings of loneliness and allow for you to begin connecting with others again. A few ways you can begin to do so include: noticing your feelings and giving yourself compassion, journaling, reading, meditating, walking, and more. Once you’re comfortable with yourself, you can try some of these activities with others, even something as simple as meeting up with a friend for coffee.

Another way to reconnect with yourself is to focus on the positives that have come out of your divorce, like your new-found freedom. If your spouse ever held you back from doing something that you wanted to do, whether it was something small like trying a new restaurant or something bigger like traveling out of the country, now you get to.

Explore New Social Outlets

Getting out of the house and into your community is another way to cope with any sadness you might be feeling when you’re alone. That’s why you should explore your options for things to do in your area and do them. There are several avenues for meeting new people like at clubs, concerts, local markets, sporting events, and more. By diving into new social outlets, you can immerse yourself in a new community that can not only keep you company, but show you that happiness post-divorce is completely possible. A new experience can trigger the release of dopamine, also known as the “feel good chemical,” which can help you feel both satisfied and motivated during a time when most feel the complete opposite.

Navigate Online/Offline Communities & Support Groups

No matter what the circumstances surrounding your divorce are, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. In fact, the divorce rate out of 45 reporting states and D.C. is 2.5 to every 1,000 people, which amounts to 689,308 people. People who, like you, are experiencing an array of emotions like loneliness. There are several ways to connect with others like this through support groups or clubs where those who’ve been divorced can share their experiences with others. If you aren’t tech savvy, you might wish to stick to in-person gatherings, which offers many benefits that online communication cannot, like face-to-face interactions giving you a better overall understanding of a person, the ability to connect on a deeper level, and more. However, with the overwhelming amount of technology we have available at our fingertips, online communities can be just as beneficial on your journey of healing.

Therapy

Another excellent strategy to cope with loneliness is therapy. Like support groups, therapy can be attended in person or online. If you are experiencing loneliness or other concerning feelings, a therapist can take a guided approach to helping you pinpoint where exactly those feelings are stemming from when it comes to your divorce, and even recommend other ways to process and cope with those feelings. It’s also a space where you can feel safe and know that what you share will be kept confidential as matters such as divorce are deeply personal. It can ultimately help you build a stronger foundation for future connections down the road as well.

How Foxtrot Family Law Can Help

At Foxtrot Family Law, we know that divorce can be devastating, which is why we strive to make the process as seamless as possible. If you are considering divorce, let us help you understand your legal rights and options so that you can reach the best possible outcome at the end of it all. We will take the time to get to know you, listen to your story, and answer any questions you may have about the next steps. Call today to request a consultation. 

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