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Starting Over At 40 After Divorce

Submitted By Dennis Marshall :

That empty feeling

After a number of years in a marriage the prospect of being single again can be daunting. You are likely to feel out of touch with modern dating techniques, or worried that you will not be able to develop an intimate relationship with a new person. A good way to cope with being single again is to take stock of the person you are today.

Out there

Many people who find themselves unexpectedly single begin to behave as if they were 16! To some extent this is to be expected but, before you hit the nearest club, think about the way in which you have changed since you were last single. What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Could you benefit from being alone in order to reflect on what has happened. Hang onto the idea that being single is OK – you do not have to rush into a new partnership to prove to yourself that you are still desirable. Learn to relish some of the freedom that living alone can give. After all, you can eat and sleep when you want and hog the duvet all night!

The last time I was single I was 18. How do single 40 year olds act?

Well, you are 40 so that is how they act! Don’t put on an act. Be true to yourself; now is the time to get back in touch with the real you. You are still who you are and that is true even though you are now alone after many years.

All my friends are married. Where can I go as a single person?

There are plenty of places you can go as a single person. Try pursuing your interests – whether it’s sport or art or cooking, there will be classes and groups that you can join that will also allow you to meet new people. Visit your new social life. Be brave, the first step is the most difficult.

I look in my local newspaper and see adverts for singles clubs, over 40’s discos etc. It does not feel like me, but my friends keep telling me to go. Do you have any advice?

Ask your friends to go with you. You will feel more safer and comfortable in a group. This way you can get a taste of what these events are like. However there are many alternatives, which might be more ‘you’, so why not start with these? Sports clubs, special interest activities, and other pastimes advertised at your library and in those local papers.

Is it possible for a single man and women to be just friends?

Only if you are both honest about expectations. Misunderstandings happen when one person says one thing but means another. These friendships can be very important and if you reach a stage when you can be open and honest with one another then you will have found a real companion.

Next Steps

  • Use the support of friends to get you back into socialising as a single person
  • Be yourself
  • Stick to what you enjoy rather than make yourself like something you hated before
  • Ask yourself who you are now and what you want
  • Have fun! You have a second chance – many people never have this

Need to knows

  • Singleness can be daunting
  • You will feel out of touch
  • You don’t have to behave as if you are 18
  • You should use your time to reflect on what you want for the future
  • Don’t rush into new relationships approach the singles scene with care

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