Learning to like living alone after a gray divorce
According to findings from the Pew Research Center, “the divorce rate for adults aged 50 and older has roughly doubled in the last 25 years.” The phenomenon is known as Gray Divorce. Couples grow apart. They want different things. Many of the women in these relationships are seeking reinvention and greater control of their lives.
Learning to like living alone is transformational, but it does not happen overnight, especially if you have been part of a couple for many years. One of the best places to start is by looking inward. It’s a great time to take stock of who you are, and who you want to become as you enter this next phase of life. The choices are yours. How and where do you want to live? Will you travel? Start a business? Go back to school? It’s up to you. Prioritize yourself and build the life you deserve.
You are the queen of your castle. While for many, that's freeing, some are overwhelmed at first with how to fill their days. It is important to build a routine that works for you. Schedule regular workouts, housework, shopping, and tasks, but make sure to leave some time for discovery. Lose yourself in a good book. Try new recipes. One of my favorite sources for meal planning is Skinny Taste. Always be learning. I set aside time each day to get smart about something new. My interests tend to be travel, décor, wine appreciation, and writing. I subscribe to several online newsletters to stay current.
If you have moved to a different city or neighborhood because of your divorce, frequent nearby small businesses. Become a regular. Pretend you are on vacation. Visit local landmarks. Take along a camera and share your discoveries with friends. Treat yourself to brunch or lunch at an outdoor café and have fun people-watching.
If you would like to give back, consider volunteering in your new community. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people. Is there a hobby you have always wanted to try? I built a website and launched a lifestyle blog. There is nothing to stop you.
And don’t underestimate the power of nature. Put on your walking shoes and turn off all the voices in your head for 20 or 30 minutes each day. Be in the moment. Now that you are no longer part of a couple, renew old friendships. If you find yourself feeling sad or lonely, talking to a girlfriend does wonders. Consider getting a pet. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog to boost your mood and you will also meet nearby pet parents.
The single greatest advantage of living solo is that you are the decider in your life. It is empowering. And as I’ve said before, being fulfilled does not require a plus one. Listen to your inner queen and give her what she needs to live her best, authentic life, unapologetically.