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From Cary and Mchenry, IL-After Divorce: 6 Tips to Get You Blooming Again!

You're divorced, but where do you go from here? How do you think through who you are and what you want as a newly single person? What is your new life going to look like, and how do you start moving in that direction?

Everyone's story is different. Maybe you're relieved now, maybe heartbroken -- or a little of both.

Here are six steps to take:

1. Process your feelings.

That may mean talking through your feelings with a professional counselor or focusing your energy in a healthy activity that is rewarding. People like to sweep these feelings under the table, but unless you work through them, they'll poison your future relationships.

Don't tote the heavy burdens from your previous relationship into your new ones. Discover ways to process the lingering emotions from the demise of your marriage.

Remember, if you decide to enter counseling, it doesn't mean there is something WRONG with you or that you're in crisis. It's just a catalyst to a better future, with a professional who has your quality of life as the goal.

2. Dabble with relationships that are lighter, less intimate and more social.

Maybe you've always dated people from certain socioeconomic backgrounds. Or, maybe you always preferred the sensitive types or the quiet, shy types. Experiment with new preferences and expand beyond your comfort zone a little.

This isn't about dysfunctional rebounding, but about considering dating as socializing outside your comfort zone – with someone who is not your usual type -- without thinking that the goal is only to acquire a permanent relationship.

3. Allow yourself to mourn.

Whatever your divorce experience has been, there will always be emotions regarding grief, You didn't get married thinking, "I sure hope we can get divorced someday!" Regardless, even if the divorce was something you wanted, it still represents serious disappointment and a loss.

Don't dwell on the feelings of remorse for what you did or didn't do, or obsess about what you may have done wrong. Approximately, 50% of first marriages end in divorce. This means that these experiences are just facts of life. Loss is just loss.

4. Value yourself HIGHLY.

That may sound like a cliche, but the truth is that many people feel too much self-rejection after a divorce.

Many people think that there must be something wrong with them because their relationships didn't work.. The recently divorced person must put effort into building confidence and faith in himself.

This is also something you could pursue when entering professional counseling.

5. Discover a new perspective on who you are.

Divorce, though often difficult and unwelcome, has a silver lining: the opportunity to experiment with a new lifestyle. Maybe you realize that you'd like to get a different job or even spend a year living in Belize. Maybe it's as simple as a new hairstyle, trying a new sport, going back to college or taking some of the extension courses that are now offered online.

Of course, you can't take risks that might be catastrophic if they don't pan-out. Chances are, you have some very real responsibilities you must consider.

But although you might not be able to indulge your first fantasy, there are probably other changes that ARE within your reach. REMEMBER: Don't reject any change, just because you can't make every change.

Healthy and constructive changes are not only appropriate, but may actually may be necessary. Think about the person you may have been before the marriage. Would you like to go back there or experiment with something new? What are some of the things you can do differently?"

Don't dwell on what seems out of reach. Look for changes that are growth-enhancing AND realistic.

6. Experiment with being alone.

That doesn't mean isolating yourself. It just means not being in a rush to couple up. There are a lot of opportunities for social interaction. Experiment with making new friends and joining different kinds of groups that are relevant to your interests. The expanding social dimension which is available after a divorce can be very rewarding.


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