Use the "ease in" technique
One of the early difficulties of single
life is what Harlan calls "moving to a
new country"--even though you may still be in the same town.
- It is suddenly very much different than when you were married.
After Divorce, you no longer go to
the places you "always" went, and eventually you learn the places that
- But that doesn't necessarily mean you immediately start going there.
Psychologists talk about "approachavoidance";
things we really want to do while at the same time we're afraid.
- Then the closer we get to
doing the thing, the more frightening it becomes,
the last minute we turn around and run.
It seems to me this may be one of the primary reasons it takes many
recovering from divorce, newly-singled people months and even years to go
out to singles events and other places to meet people. The closer they get
to actually going, the more frightening the idea becomes and
finally they "chicken out."
- Such behavior is "normal" in the sense that lots of people do it
however, it's also unhealthy in the sense that it delays you
getting started on your social life.
By changing your approach, however, it is possible to win out over your
anxieties about going some place new for the first time.
STEP BY STEP
One way to make something do-able is to break it down into
smaller parts, and this process works for going to new places. It's
simply a case of turning big fears into little fears that we then handle
one at a time.
For instance, when going out to a new "night spot," the first thing
you might want to do is simply drive by the place sometime during
the day, to see where it is and what it looks like.
Next time drive by at night, to see what it looks like then, how many
cars, and that sort of thing.
- Next time go and just "peek" go with the intention of just looking
around briefly to see what type of people are there, how the crowd
This is good to do when you're on the way to somewhere else, then you
don't feel obligated to stay.
Then the next time you'll know what's acceptable dress, what the musk's
like, and you can plan accordingly.
- Again have a short time expectation, just "drop in" and stay
a short while, to see how comfortable you are with the crowd.
By this time the place is going to seem fairly familiar to you,
and not all that intimidating, so that by the time you want to plan an
entire evening in the place, it will be relatively comfortable for you.
Occasionally a girl friend and I will go out for an evening with the
specific intent of "checking out" several new places, where we
mostly just peek and get some idea of how we feel about the place.
- More fun with two, and you can share your first impressions.
ONE SMALL STEP FOR SOCIAL KIND
For some reason we often seem to think that when we're going to do
something new we have to throw ourselves in full force, or not do it at
all. I advocate a more gradual approach;
Tell Your Divorced Or Widowed Friends About This Article And Site, Send Them This Page Or If They Do Not Have A PC, Print Out The Article For Them
When in Divorce
Recovery process....give yourself permission to just "ease in" to new
places and things.
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