There are so many losses that you feel when you get divorced or go through a bad break up. One unfortunate loss is friends, probably just at the time that you need them the most. When a couple divorces, it’s not absolutely necessary for friends to take sides, but in reality it can be difficult for people to remain friends with both you and your ex. You might think that it’s cruel and terrible timing for them to stop spending time with you, and there’s truth to that. But from their point of view, it can be awkward and sometimes they are put in the middle hearing both sides of a story that they don’t want to hear. Also, the fact that you’re getting divorced suddenly makes them nervous about their own relationships. I’m not defending fair weather friends, just encouraging you to accept the facts if it has become obvious that a friend has stopped being a friend or chosen to side with your ex. At that point, you will likely have to get out a bit and make more friends.
The easiest way for you to make friends after a divorce or break up is to join regularly meeting classes or groups in something that really interests you and is fun for you. Classes where you go out on a limb, such as improvisation, acting, singing, and dancing are great for making new friends. The act of being vulnerable and being willing to possibly make a bit of a fool of yourself unites everyone. In these classes, people encourage each other and applaud each others’ efforts, because awkward as your attempts might be, they’re pretty courageous.
If you’re at all athletic, joining a softball, volleyball, or soccer group could be fun too. Anyone who played sports in school can attest to the feeling of camaraderie that comes from being on a team. Plus afterward, people usually go out together to enjoy their glorious win or commiserate over their loss.
Some classes like yoga and meditation, which encourage people to go inward, don’t lend themselves to chatting during or after class, much less going for a coffee or drink afterward. So while they are certainly helpful for your emotional and physical health, they don’t necessarily offer the best opportunities for making new acquaintances.
Also, if you’re looking to start dating, the acting, dancing, and singing classes are especially good choices for men because the women tend out heavily outnumber the men in these classes. (FYI men: There’s nothing women love more than a man willing to be vulnerable!) As for women, go the sports route if you’re looking to meet men. Meeting people this way also gives you something in common to talk about, such as each other’s scenes, songs, and missed shots. Whereas with online dating, people often spend so much time just talking about how long they have been doing the online dating thing.
So after years in a relationship with a regular routine, your life may have revolved around your partner, your kids, your work, and a few friends. Now that your spouse and a few friends are gone, you may not be used to meeting new people or trying new activities. Joining a new class or group that interests you is an easy way to get to know new people and fill some of the social void left in your life. Now go break a leg or score a goal!
From your own experience, do you have any suggestions for how to easily make new friends after a divorce or break up?