Knowing how to be social after your divorce can be exceptionally difficult. A divorce is a life altering event, and it can leave you feeling lacking in many ways. Whether you’re a man, a woman, or gender non-conforming, marriage can put you into a kind of social isolation, if only because you don’t have to put yourself out there nearly as much anymore.
Discovering How to be Social After Your Divorce
A divorce, obviously, changes that. Suddenly your social circle might be halved. And romantic possibilities will almost certainly require dating of some kind. So how can you be social after your divorce?
The answer depends a lot on your: the nature of your marriage, the reality of your divorce, the temperment of your disposition. Are you a social butterfly? Or do you have difficulty talking to strangers at parties? We offer the following advice in the hopes that it will at least help you think through some of the ways that you could get yourself back out there and start making new connections.
Get Social in Structured Settings
One way to help yourself become more social after a divorce is to be social in structured settings. What’s a structured setting, you ask? Well, it might be best to, perhaps, give you some examples:
- Meet Ups: People often have similar interests. Maybe there’s a vibrant film appreciation community in your area. Or a strong photography vibe. In either case, there’s likely a group that meets up to enjoy their mutual hobbies. You can find these groups on any number of websites, including Facebook, Instagram, or the aptly named MeetUp. These types of groups usually make new members feel quite welcome!
- Speed Friending: We all know about speed dating. It’s where you have tiny, microconversations with a large group of people in a very structured setting. (This isn’t a bad idea if you’re divorced, as well.) Speed-friending is the same basic concept, only you’re looking for friends instead of looking for romantic partners. Whether you look into speed-friending or speed-dating really depends on your desired outcome.
- Adventure Groups: These are kind of like “Meet Ups,” but they feel almost more like grown up field trips. The group will organize an outing to a baseball game or a mountain climbing facility or something like that. These grown up field trips help you have a good time and make some new friends.
Making friends and being social can get harder as you age. But it’s important to make these social connections. Doing so in a structured way can take some of the pressure off yourself. You can either make friends or not, no big deal. And it sure beats approaching random strangers to start conversations!
Get Social in Digital Spaces
After your divorce, it can be pretty difficult to start dating again. That’s why the advent of digital dating has been so beneficial. I know many older people take a dim view of online dating, but it’s one of the best low-stakes ways to put yourself out there. These days, you have plenty of options:
- Casual options: Online dating now has options for strictly casual connections. Options such as Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble (the latter of which puts women in the driver’s seat) allow you to put yourself out there in a casual way with low stakes.
- Relationship options: There are any number of dating websites that behave more as matchmakers. These sites, such as OKCupid, are perfect for finding a possible date or two (or making some friends as well).
Here’s the thing about online dating, though: you need to be clear and honest. Online dating usually works best for those who are transparent and communicate well. One of the possible benefits of going through a divorce is that, well, you have a better understanding of what you want out of a relationship. Online dating apps make it easier to achieve that.
Do What’s Best for You
After a divorce, it’s always a good idea to take some time and focus on yourself. You could, for example, take ten minutes a day and grieve for your previous marriage. That’s normal, that’s healthy.
But it’s also normal and healthy to move on with your life. It’s not a bad idea to get some professional advice in terms of how long you might need to recover from your marriage. Do some research, listen to what your mind and body are telling you. And be nice to yourself.
Knowing how to be social after your divorce can help all of that, of course. Surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones can have all kinds of benefits. Sometimes after a divorce, you need to start over. But that’s okay, because you’ve learned along the way. Being social after your divorce is a great way to actually do that work of starting over–and it can lead to even bigger and brighter benefits along the way.