By Kimberly Pryor
When your marriage ends you divorce more than your spouse. When you were married you often double dated with other couples. Or you hung out with your in-laws. And now that you’re on your own you need new friends whether it’s a partner in crime who will hit the town with you while your married friends will likely be home with the kids or spouse or simply someone you can call at the last minute when you feel like sharing a meal at your favorite restaurant.
Here are some ways to find new friends after divorce and ways to stay connected to your old friends.
Give Your Married Friends a Chance
First, don’t give up on your married friends completely. Ask them to meet you for drinks or lunch or to attend a daytime event with you. Sometimes they’ll be busy doing married people things or can’t get a babysitter. But sometimes they might just say yes. Even if they can’t do a nighttime cocktail perhaps they can attend a daytime Renaissance festival with their kids in tow. And if they say no the first time, try again. Just remember they might need more notice than your carefree and unattached single friends.
It’s important to go out by yourself. If you’ve been part of a couple for a long time, I know it’s hard. But go ahead! Do it! Because the rewards are great. You’ll meet new friends of the same and opposite sex this way. Maybe not every time you go out. Some nights you may have to rely on people watching to entertain you. But odds are, if you keep going out alone and act pleasant and happy, you’ll meet new people.
I went out alone to the Lone Eagle Grill, a high-end lounge on the beach at Lake Tahoe. A man standing next to my table started talking to me. He was probably 20 years my senior so not dating material. But he was a sweet man who added sparkle to my night. He asked the guitar player to dedicate “The Rose” to me since Rose is my middle name. We talked for an hour or more. When it was time to leave he told me I had made his night by talking with him.
Another time I ventured out alone to watch a performance at the Bruka theater in Reno. A long-time friend of mine was performing in the show. The maître d sat me next to a fellow writer who introduced herself as Dawn. We were friends by the time the show ended. A few weeks later, Dawn and I drove to Los Angeles together to attend a writer’s conference and we’ve been friends since.
Send Out Peaceful Vibes
If you feel self-conscious going out alone or if you’re starting to feel sorry for yourself, here’s a technique to take your mind off your awkwardness or self-pity. Send out vibes of blessings and peace to everyone in the room or at the event. Imagine rays of peaceful light shimmering down from above and swish this peace all over the room. Send peace to the men drinking beer across the room. To the twenty-something’s in the corner.
What about the happy couples in the room, you’re wondering? Do I have to send peace to them, too? Can’t I just dump my drink atop their heads if only to temporarily stop that dreamy gaze in their eyes? No! Don’t give in to that temptation! And yes, send peace to the happy couples, too. Because the more peace you send out, the more that will come back to you.
Norman Vincent Peale used to do this. He did it once on a bus, sending peace out to everyone there. To his surprise a woman in front of him turned around and started talking to him.
Seek Out People with Common Interests
Despite the old saying “opposites attract,” psychologists have established that we’re drawn to people who are like us. It’s only natural. So go alone to events where you’ll meet people who have gone through what you’ve gone through and events where you’ll meet people who have the same hobby as you. You’ll return home with at least one or two new friends.
Author Kimberly Pryor wants to introduce you to new friends at The Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce Mountain Retreat, September 15 – 17, 2012 at North Lake Tahoe. You’ll meet people who will empathize with what you’ve been going through and know exactly how you feel. Fifteen experts and authors at the event will show you how to feel whole again after divorce, rebuild your wealth, avoid the losers and attract more quality people as you venture out into the dating world again, how to survive the holidays on your own and much more.