Can you love again after a divorce? Many divorcees go through a period where they are skeptical about the possibilities. When I got divorced a few years ago, I swore that I would never love again and that men were scum. If I ever did marry, I told myself, it would be from a compatibility and logical point of view, and the list of negativities goes on. I was hurt, the pain was very deep and I never foresaw it going away. My parents are divorced, and growing up in a divided home, I promised myself that I would never get divorced. However, now that I was in the same position, I understood that it is possible to get married for the wrong reasons, to the wrong person, and/or before you are ready. For those unique, irreconcilable situations, I was thankful that divorce was an option.
Once you are divorced, and you have had the time to heal, how then do you move on and find love again? It is very possible and I definitely wish that for anyone out there who has been through a divorce. I’ve been through it myself and would like to share 10 ways you can reclaim your love life and take that leap of faith again.
1. LEARN FROM THE PAST
Now that you have your lessons of the past to learn from, you should be better equipped to pick a partner and start a new relationship. The worst thing you want to do is repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
2. INVEST IN YOURSELF
There are some positive things that come out of being divorced (sometimes) and having more time to invest in yourself is one of them. Take this time to explore your interests, learn a new language, improve your career, pamper yourself or do whatever pleases you.
3. BE OPEN MINDED AND FOCUSED
If you are like me, you might just be put off by the thought of starting the ‘potential mate’ dance. But you have to be open minded. Do not be so quick to shut people down, however do not confuse being open mindedness as a free pass! Stay focused and know what you want. If you meet someone and you can already tell that it will not go anywhere, just let it go. No need wasting your precious time.
4. DON’T SEARCH, JUST LIVE
Surely before you got married the first time, you were really excited about marriage. You might have been looking for love every and anywhere. But now you are wiser and should know that if a man wants to be in your life, he will fight to be in it. There is no need for you to go out of your way looking for love. Those days are long gone. Just live your life. Allah will handle the rest.
5. SOLICIT ADVICE WHEN NEEDED
Before your got married the first time, I am sure many people offered you their advice. Some might have been positive and some negative, but I like many people, maybe you only listened to those who matched your convictions. Many times, we can tell ahead of time that a relationship might not work, but we try to convince ourselves otherwise. There were signs, no matter how small, and they were times that your instincts told you to watch out. Those ‘instincts’ can be interpreted as Allah warning you. This time, pray about it, listen to advise objectively, and stay focused. Praying for guidance (and listening to it) will never lead you astray.
6. COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Once you do find someone, remember that communication is key. Lay everything out on the table in the early stages. Share your expectations, likes and dislikes and listen to theirs. Marriage is a partnership, as you already know, so communication and transparency will benefit your relationship immensely.
7. KNOW WHEN TO STOP
Not everyone that you meet will be ‘the one’. Stay strong and know when to stop. If you see that it is not going anywhere, do not be afraid to stop and recalibrate. Take your time. There is no need to rush into something you do not feel 100% about.
8. SET GOALS
Once you meet someone, it may be easy to get complacent and simply enjoy each other’s company without commitment. Set your goals very early and let him know what you have been down this road before and your goal is to get married and build a life with someone. If they do not feel the same way, it is better to find out earlier on and act accordingly.
9. IT WONT BE EASY
Anything worth having will not come easy. Marriage is work. Every day that you are together, you have to work on the relationship, and strengthen it. It helps when you and your partner are working towards the same goal. Just remember that some days will be harder than others and that is okay.
10. BUT IT WILL BE WORTH IT
At the end of the day, it will all be worth it! There is someone for you out there, and they are waiting on you, just as you are on them. We all deserve to love and be loved. Being divorced isn’t the end of the world, it is just the beginning.