Divorce doesn’t just end your marriage, all too often it ends friendships as well. Particularly those ‘couple’ friends who may now feel they have to choose between you or your ex. Or, those friendships you made through your ex. Of course, there may also be those that don’t know what to say or disagree with your decision to divorce that fade away too. Although it’s hard, this is a time to look forward and one great way to do that is to cultivate a new tribe post-divorce. Here’s how.
Why Friendship is So Important
It’s no secret that friendships enrich our lives, but you may not realize that they help our overall health as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, having strong social support can reduce risk of health problems such as high blood pressure and unhealthy body mass index (BMI) as well as depression. Additional benefits of having friends to lean on as you navigate post-divorce life include:
- Helping you to cope, of course!
- Increasing your sense of belonging and purpose
- Boosting happiness and reducing stress
- Improving your confidence and self-worth
- Encouraging you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits
Keep in mind that it’s not necessarily the quantity of friends you have, but rather the quality of the friendships that make the difference.
Cultivating a Post-Divorce Tribe
Admittedly, it can be harder to make friends as an adult although much like in the school lunchroom having good snacks to share still helps! But you also need a way to find this fabulous new tribe. It just so happens we have some options:
- Co-Workers – Perhaps you have one or more coworkers you’re friendly with that you could invite to lunch or happy hour. Or if you’ve avoided those invites in the past, this is a great opportunity to branch out. You already have plenty in common or at least common ground to complain about, right?
- Friends from the Past – As we get older and life happens, it’s not uncommon to lose touch. Whether it’s your high school BFF, college roomie, former neighbor or other it’s never too late to reconnect. Luckily social media makes it even easier to do so. Chances are if you’re not already connected to them, someone in your network will be.
- Neighborhood Friends – If you don’t already know your neighbors, maybe it’s time to change that. And don’t just limit yourself to those next door, again social media is a great way to connect. Most neighborhoods have Facebook or Nextdoor groups and often you’ll find posts inviting other women to book clubs, socials, walking/running groups and more.
- Volunteer – If there’s a cause you’re passionate about or interested in learning about, sign up to volunteer. Not only can it get your mind off things, you’re likely to meet other like-minded people in which to connect.
- Take a Class – We’re not necessarily talking about going back to school – although you certainly could – rather, pursuing a hobby, learning a new one or just trying something fun. There’s a class for everything from gardening to cooking to wine tasting to dancing to archery (just don’t take aim at your ex).
And certainly, don’t forget those tried-and-true friends that have stuck with you before, during and post-divorce. Cherish them like gold because you now know how hard to find and truly invaluable they really are!
We’re here for you too! Should you need additional support and guidance as you navigate divorce, our experienced team offers fully virtual coaching and mediation services. Contact us today to learn more or for a free consultation.