If you’re newly divorced, Valentine’s Day can be a miserable event. One of life’s little digs that things have changed and you’re without a partner.
If you’ve been divorced for a while, especially if you really took charge of your recovery, you’ve probably grown to love going out with friends as a single. I hear Valentine’s Day is now being called “Single’s Awareness Day” in some circles.
One woman who went through my divorce recovery class years ago could not face life as a single. “I only know how to be married.” When I saw her just two short years later she couldn’t imagine giving up the fun she was having as a single to be in a relationship again. Now isn’t that good news?
I hear you asking, “How in the world did she do that?“
Facing an Identity Crisis
When we first divorce, especially if we’ve been married for a long time, we don’t know how to be single. This can bring us face to face with an identity crisis. Some people face divorce after very long marriages, even more than half their lives. It’s a really big deal when that identity goes away. “If I’m not John’s wife, or Sally’s husband who the heck am I?” The sense of purposelessness can be overwhelming.
I love it that Valentine’s Day is now called “Single’s Awareness Day” because that’s exactly what it is. You are more than ½ half of a couple, or Johnny’s Mom/Dad, or breadwinner, or pet sitter. Divorce allows (or forces) us to find our wholeness. It’s a little scary when we have to take charge of ALL of us, but once you get used to it, you won’t want it any other way.
Laying claim to our right to ourselves can seem egotistical, selfish, and self-centered. Women are especially prone to this kind of feeling. It’s not. Laying claim to yourself is as simple as putting your oxygen mask on first as they tell us on the airline. You’re of no use to anyone if you don’t show up in all your greatness. If others don’t like it, so what. It’s not about them.
A good place to start finding yourself
A good place to start finding yourself is to take a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, put “I like” and “I don’t like” at the top of each column and begin writing things down. This will give form and shape to who you are. You might be surprised at how little you know about yourself. That just shows you that some self-discovery and insight are needed. You might enlist your friends to help you. They’ve probably been paying attention to at least some of the things you like and don’t like.
Singles Get It
Divorced singles are all in the same boat when it comes to not only finding themselves, but also championing one another in the process of discovering and BEing a happy new self. So on Valentine’s this year I hope you’ll get out there with a bunch of singles and dance, laugh, play. It’s good for the heart. And the heart is what it’s all about on Valentine’s Day, right?
www.Meetup.com is a great place to find others to do things with in your local area. Just type in your interest and zip code and see what comes up. And, if you get a minute, I’d love to hear what YOU’RE going to do for Valentine’s Day this year. Please tell me in the comment box below.