I was married for ten years and I am currently in the middle of a divorce. Whilst I know that this is for the best, I cannot help but feel anxious about what the future holds for me and how I will cope as a single woman.
Now in my forties, I have been in a relationship for most of my adult life. I have never truly been on my own. I have been asked out on a date recently, by somebody that I really like. However, I find myself wondering if dating before my divorce is finalised is the right thing to do?
Do you have any advice for this divorcee?
Thank you for your help,
It is completely natural that you feel anxious about what life holds for you in this new phase of life. Your break up has carved out a new path, one which inevitably holds uncertainty and vulnerability as a divorcee.
It is so very important that you establish a strong sense of self during this time Sophie. Taking this moment as an opportunity to self-reflect will prove truly beneficial. Indeed, a common consideration that often arises within the therapy room is about the relationship that you have, not with other people, but with yourself. Do you hold the belief that you are okay, just as you are, on your own?
Feeling confident as a single person with only yourself to depend upon may feel daunting or even terrifying to begin with. If you find that you are struggling to cope with this transition, do not hesitate to seek therapeutic support. The counselling process will allow you the opportunity to safely explore your anxiety or fears in a confidential and supportive setting.
When it comes to embarking upon the dating scene, there is no right or wrong decision. Only you can determine when you are ready. Trust your intuition as to what is best for you. I will say that it is important that you do not feel pressured or rushed to find a new partner. The aftermath of divorce can feel, like divorce itself, to be an emotional rollercoaster. It is common to experience grief, self-doubt, anxiety, depression, a sense of failure, guilt or shame, all of which can prove troublesome to any efforts to feel positive or self-assured. Have patience and be mindful of your emotions following the conclusion of the divorce process.
“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”Lucille Ball
There are actions that you can take. For example, noting down your feelings each day moving forwards will act as a good indicator as to how you are coping. Be sure to invest energy into different areas of your life that have nothing to do with romance. Take extra special care of yourself at this time, look after your diet and your sleep regime. Make time for other family members of friends. Exercise often. Take the opportunity to pursue something that you are truly passionate about, whatever that may be. Find joy on your own, be it through travel, through pursuit of a new hobby, or a challenge that interests you.
It is often the phases of uncertainty in our lives, that prove to be incredibly defining. You are presented with a fresh start as a divorcee. Have courage Sophie. Believe in yourself. Take your decisions slowly, particularly when you do decide to enter the dating scene. Remember always that you are enough, single or otherwise, just as you are.
Wishing you confidence and peace of mind,
My Bi-Weekly Advice Column
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