Has your separation and/or divorce caused a change in your social scene? If it has not happened yet, expect that it may, and be emotionally prepared for this. If it has happened already, you should understand that this is a common phenomenon and happens for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, you may lose “friends”. Perhaps these individuals felt they had to make a choice between you and your former partner- and their vote was not for you. This is hurtful, but it helps (slightly) if you realize that they were obviously not your true friends to begin with. If you and your former partner are on amicable terms, it may help to discuss this. You may then be in a position to be frank with your friends, and assure them that they don’t have to choose – they can safely be friends with both of you, so long as they’re not being used as carrier pigeons for information to/fro you and your ex.
Secondly, you may have less in common with the friends that you keep. The old friends have not changed- but you have! You have made a decision, or a decision has been made for you, that will affect every aspect of your life, for a long time. You may feel uncomfortable going for dinner to a friends’ house, where everybody except you is “coupled off”. Friends may try to help by seating you next to another single person, but this can be embarrassing! In your former life, you may have gone out every Saturday night with a favorite couple; it may now be awkward to enjoy their company, as you are no longer a couple. Alternatively, you may now have a new boyfriend that does not feel welcome by your former favorite couple, or they may feel strange with him. Further, your married woman-friends may not even be willing to go out with you, on a weekend night, without their partners. That would make you the proverbial third wheel.
Thirdly, some persons may feel uncomfortable around you, not knowing what to say or how to act in your new circumstance. As a result, instead of simply dealing with the situation in a frank and caring manner, they will simply avoid you. S o, after you spend enough time, alone and miserable, staring at the ceiling, it’s time to take action. What do you do? Try some of the following tips below, to get you through the most difficult time, when your social scene changes.
- If you have a sister, brother, cousin, or any relative that HAS to be nice to you, take advantage of them. That’s right… make your brother go to a chick movie, make your girly-girl sister go to a horror flick with you. You are only taking advantage of them in the short term… and promise to make it up, when you get back on your feet.
- Take inventory of your friends that have remained with you. Show them appreciation for your contribution to your life. It will make you feel… a little better and they will feel appreciated.
- Appreciate that different friends can offer different experiences. For example, don’t anticipate that your friend who-never-goes-anywhere-without-her-Velcro-boyfriend is going to go out with you on a Saturday night dancing. However, maybe she’ll go get a facial with you.
- Muster up the energy to ask a friendly acquaintance to do something with you… anything that you know that person has an interest in.
- If it’s nice outside, go for a walk…. Okay, this is not a social activity per se, but it may lend itself to a social opportunity, if you meet nice people during your walk… you never know…
- Google the internet for a club or a meet up group in your area… join a group in which you have an interest. Be realistic… it may be that out of 40 people, you’ll only meet 1 person with whom you have a connection for friendship purposes… but that’s okay. It’s hard to meet people that are genuine friends, and its okay to spend time with nice people when you’re doing an interesting activity.
- Sign up for an activity which is completely out-of-character (but if you have it, drop it!)
- Host a crock-pot dinner at your house and tell your friends they each have to bring one nice (single? Woman /man) to your dinner.
Good luck on your journey. Remember that if you want to meet new people, you’re going to have to radiate a positive aura… so if you have to, fake it! Just get out there and smile!