Let’s be honest, divorce is painful and tends to hit both men and women equally. However, one aspect of divorce that’s unequal is the splitting of relationships. More than likely, you’ll lose connections with your ex’s family and your divorce may break up many of the friendships you had as well. If you were married for ten years or more, your “couple friends” are most likely going to be lost to your ex-wife. The reality is, that most of the friends you shared as couples, most likely had the wives plan your social gatherings over the years. Hence, why she’s more likely to be included going forward in future invitations.
Most men will find themselves feeling lonely and isolated as their friendships fade away and regardless of age, it is a blow to lose friendships that you thought would last forever. Some close ones may have initially been your pals and then you went out as couples with spouses. To have these pals align with your former spouse is a surprise. Look at it this way: divorce lets you know who your true friends are.
So how do you make new friends during or after your divorce? Here are a few ways I recommend to clients:
- Your workplace may have a potential pool of new friends. Ask some of your co-workers would like to go out to lunch or a drink after work. People are often surprised by how many co-workers they could hang out with outside of work.
- Join special interest groups to meet like-minded people. These groups may be political, or civic, for a particular cause such as animal rescue, or in many other areas. Some churches have singles groups, which do a lot of fun activities. I joined an international organization, Toastmasters, which resulted in many friendships and speaking engagements.
- Reconnect With Old Friends Have you let a few relationships slip by that you could rekindle? Your college roommate? Friends’ pre-marriage? Technology and social media make it relatively easy to reunite with these former pals. College alumni directories are another source to help one get in touch with old friends post-divorce.
- Meet other parents. If you have school-age children, meeting other parents can lead to great friendships. Try volunteering for school events or sports teams.
- Social media and websites. There are a lot of social media sites out there that will help you in finding people and locating hotspots for socializing. There are even sites that are exclusively for finding places for certain communities. For example, on Facebook; You will not only find people to socialize with there, but a feature on Facebook called Facebook Groups can help you meet people who share your interest. If you have any kind of interest, Facebook Groups will have a specific group for that. Other sites can help you when it comes to this like Meetup and Eventbrite. Some apps can help you find people just within your community like Nextdoor.
- Go to the same places where you become a regular. Take your laptop to one with a community table. You can get work done and chat with interesting individuals. Remember: interacting with the same people over time builds relationships.
Make sure you’re set on the idea of making new friends at this point. Look for places to socialize, learn new things and hone the skill you already have. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Get out of the house, join a club or local meetup group, or even take a class. Finding new experiences will lead to finding new friends. So ultimately, you may have lost some couple friends, but added a strong guy-friend or two. And in the long run, that’s not a bad trade-off at all.
The Divorce Coach for Men