How to Move on After Divorce

Woman Looking Down
  Matthew Sperzel / Getty Images

Going through a divorce can take its toll on your emotional and even your physical health and well-being. You can experience a whirlwind of different feelings and emotions each day as you deal with the realities of your new normal and the challenges of starting over. Fortunately, there are six key ways that you can move on after divorce and begin this new chapter of your life in a positive and productive way.

1. Practice Self-Care and Self-Love

It’s not uncommon to be extremely hard on yourself and mull over what transpired between you and your ex. However, in these moments when you’re feeling the most vulnerable, it’s especially important to treat yourself with kindness, love, and compassion. It can be easy to go down a spiral and start blaming and shaming yourself for what went wrong in your relationship, things you should or shouldn’t have said, and steps you should or shouldn’t have taken when you were still together. However, what’s most important is that you take care of yourself and treat yourself with respect, rather than being your worst enemy. Whether you decide to visit a spa or simply take a long hot bath, by spending time taking care of yourself and putting your needs first, you're taking major steps in the moving-on process.

2. Stop Holding on to the Past

Moving on after divorce entails just that—moving on and looking toward the future. But if you keep fixating on what transpired between the two of you and let these negative feelings and emotions take a toll on you each day, then you’re bound to stay stuck in the past. For example, if you continue to carry feelings of pain, sadness, and remorse, you’ll never be able to fully let go and move on because you're bringing these negative emotions into the present. However, if you choose to let go of these feelings of anger, grief, and disappointment, you’re taking a major step toward getting on with your life and getting over this person once and for all. While you definitely don't have to forgive this person, you should resolve to not let him or her continue to weigh on you and affect your life in such a negative way. 

3. Be Present 

It’s time to start focusing on the here and now. For many people, practicing mindfulness can be a great way to reinforce the importance of taking time to appreciate what’s transpiring right now in this very moment. While it’s easy to get distracted and distressed by your divorce, it's time to slow down, breathe deeply, and pay attention to this very moment. By cutting out the internal interruptions, noise, and disturbances that are preventing you from appreciating the here and now, you'll be able to find a sense of inner peace and inner strength during this challenging time in your life. 

4. Get Used to the New Normal

Adjusting to life after a divorce is an integral part of the moving-on process. For instance, this may be the first time you’re living alone after many years, are taking on the responsibilities of a single parent, or are even looking to rejoin the workforce. Whatever changes you may be facing, big and small, part of moving on is learning to adapt to your new reality and making a conscious decision to take it all in stride. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by your new reality after a divorce, but if you give yourself time to adjust, keep your head up, and decide to embrace this new part of your life with a positive mindset, the moving-on process will be that much more manageable and successful.

5. Keep Friends and Family Close

Many people can experience feelings of loneliness or isolation. It’s for this reason that it’s highly important to keep your friends and family close during this difficult time in your life. Not only will they be able to provide you with support, guidance, and likely some laughs, but knowing that you’re not alone can help you to look toward the future in a more upbeat way. Being able to rely on friends, family, and even a trained therapist can help you deal with the ups and downs of life after divorce so you can come out stronger. There’s power in numbers, and the more people you have in your corner who are rooting for you and believing in you, the easier it'll be to move on for good in every respect.​

6. Date When You’re Ready

After a divorce, you may feel pressured to start dating again. However, it’s imperative that you listen to your gut and your heart before jumping onto the dating scene. Don’t be afraid to take the time you need to heal from your past relationship before you sign up for dating apps and websites. That way, when you do decide to start dating again, it can be on your terms, and you’ll be mentally prepared and even excited by the prospect of letting someone new into your life.

Related Stories