Life after divorce for men can bring many new opportunities to learn and grow.
In part one of this series, I outlined some of the common challenges of life after divorce for men. Now that you have a sense of some of the ways you may need to adjust to a life after divorce, it’s time to switch gears and highlight some of the opportunities this new chapter in your life has in store for you.
Ah, now on to the fun stuff. Yes, life after divorce for men can be positive and full of hope and opportunity. Here are some ideas on making the most of the new chapter in your life.
1. Dating after Divorce
The most common advice to men after divorce is to take your time getting back into the dating scene. As a divorced dad, I second this and suggest not to rushing into the dating scene right after divorce unless you feel really ready.
What does it mean to feel ready? While the short answer is it depends, you should take into account how dating might impact the lives of your children.
One place to start is to consider what you want from dating. For example, are you looking for a steady, monogamous relationship or do you want to take your time and play the field? In any case, don’t rush the process. Like most decisions in life, trust your gut. Just make sure it’s your guy (instinct) and not your johnson.
The reality is, you may have more baggage than you realize after divorce. So, it’s best to give yourself some time to heal and adjust to changes before bringing in another person into the mix.
Here are some ideas on getting started:
1. Prepare before you date
- Learn from past mistakes: If you took some time before dating, you should have an idea or two of what works and what doesn’t. Stay far away from what doesn’t. Learn to spot that shit early on and stay clear.
- List must-haves: What you want and need in a relationship after divorce is probably different than what you wanted and needed before you got married. So, making a list could help you lock in finding a better match.
- Build your confidence: Exercise is a great way to feel good about yourself. You can also get some new duds that are age appropriate. Suit jackets and dark jeans can work well for almost any occasion. Looking good can help you to feel more confident.
2. Relationship with your Kid(s)
If there is any upside to having a shared parenting schedule it may be that you will have concentrated time with your kids. During your parenting days, you call the shots on how you’re going to spend your time.
By being 100% present with your children, you can really build on your relationship with them. Sure, this should be the case whether or not you’re a divorced, but life can be busy sometimes causing us to get distracted.
As a divorced dad, the time I have with the children is sacred. This helps me focus on them and us. I never take it for granted and neither should you.
Here are some ways to maximize your time:
- Talk to them about divorce: there isn’t a one size fits all method to discussing divorce with your children. Depending on age, family dynamics, needs, etc., you’ll need to tailor the conversations in order for it to make sense. But staying in tune with how they are feeling and trying to clarify any issues can go a long way.
- Go on vacation: Dad vacations are the best. Going away doesn’t need to be expensive. Again think about age appropriateness.
- Plan activities together: Sign your kids up to take a class or kids’ activities in your neighborhood. Libraries offer all kinds of free and affordable activities. Activities and community events are also great places to meet other single parents.
3. Life improvements
While it’s true the divorce is extremely difficult, what happens post-divorce doesn’t seem to get as much attention. It can be a time for you to do the things that you always wanted to do to grow and enjoy life.
- Bucket list: pick something that is actually achievable and do it.
- Start a side hustle: the internet provides all kinds of opportunities to start a side business or invest on the side.
- Learn a new skill: building a new skillset can help in a variety of ways. Redirecting your attention to positive and new things can help rewire the way you think about negative things like divorce. It can also open up new opportunities to meet new people.
If you get anything out of this article, I hope it’s this: life after divorce can be filled with new opportunities, growth, and love. It doesn’t need to fraught with regret or hurt.
I truly hope you find these suggestions helpful as you start your new life after divorce.