The idea of making new friends as an adult can be intimidating to many. The prospect of navigating your post divorce social life can be downright debilitating. In this post, we cover how to talk to your friends, make a clean break from others and gain new friendships.
Pick up the Phone and Call Friends
We get it. You could bcc your mutual friends using email and cover a lot of ground. Resist the urge. Divorce is personal so when dealing with your close personal friends, have the decency to pick up the phone. After all, do you want it to become a reply all nightmare? Same advice for text, it may be simple but text, just like email, can be misinterpreted and unless you have the ability to craft a message together, is likely to only be from one party’s point of view.
Understand that if they are friends with both of you, they may be in unchartered waters and would appreciate some input. Let them know whether it’s ok to invite both of you to social events.
Know When To Fold Them
Accept that some of your friends that you met through your ex will pledge their loyalty to them no matter what you say or do. Even if there is dirty laundry and you weren’t the one making it, their mindset is stuck in 1st grade and they won’t switch alliances.
What about friendships acquired when you were together? If you are able to continue adult discussions, factor friendships into the equation. If you are very close with other married couples, start here. Most often, the division will fall along gender lines. Be aware that even though divorce is not a communicable disease, your divorce may trigger something in the still married couple and they may begin to phase you out of their lives. The inner workings of their mind will remain a mystery and you should not concern yourself.
Making New Friends
Whether you are on the board of a nonprofit, or seeking a monthly hands on activity, sites like Eventbrite, Facebook events and Volunteer Match pair organizations with volunteers who can meet like minded peers.
You can even dip your toe into the world of workout buddies online. There are Facebook and Meetup groups for people doing Weight Watchers or 6 or 12 week kickstart programs. If you join one of these groups, you can view their Facebook profile before you reach out to meet in person to workout.
Colorado has many recreational co-ed sports leagues like Sports Monster and WASA where you can play soccer, kickball, etc. If you live in a less active area, your local gym or recreation center will have group classes for a similar effect.
If you are a working professional, or better yet a business owner or entrepreneur, attending a networking events or joining an association is a surefire way to expand your professional and personal networks. Avoid networking groups that are completely leads based and select groups that have weekday coffee, evening cocktails and seminar or classroom events, conducive to learning a new program or skill.
In future blogs, we’ll address the post divorce pitfalls you may encounter online and at the holiday dinner table. Part of a mediators role is to ensure our clients are equipped to handle their post divorce reality and money, children and material possessions are not the only realities parties must attend to.