After The Divorce…
Who To Hang With
by Lisa Lombardi
June 11, 2019
Don’t assume hanging with couples will turn you into a third wheel. “Divorced men and women need time to heal. Going out with couples can be a safe and fun thing to do,” says Ellen. And the bonus. When you go out with a couple that has a great relationship, “you can observe what makes for a happy marriage,” she adds.
Ellen knows firsthand. Once she was back on the market, she spent a lot of time at the home of a happily married pair she knew. “I learned a lot from them about how to handle conflict and show affection,” she says. Maybe that made her more open to the romantic opportunity just around the corner—or, down the street, rather. “I met a man who was working one block from this couple’s house, and we ended up getting married.”
Susan Silver, a writer in New York City, also believes hanging out with paired-up pals has its fringe benefits. “Going out with couples is the best for meeting someone, because they’ll look around for you with no self-interest,” she notes. “And men tend to have more guy contacts.” (In fact, Silver went on several dates with buddies of her married male friends.) Besides, logging time at the home of a cozily married pair can ease your transition into the wide world of dating. “I am very grateful to my couple friends for bringing me along and inviting me to their homes for the weekend,” she continues. The challenge, of course, is to not spend too many nights wedged on a sofa between two marrieds, inhaling popcorn and watching Dancing with the Stars!
Selected Single Friends…But Try Going Out Alone
It sounds crazy and it sounds terrifying, but there are some very good reasons to consider holding your head up high and hitting that party/book reading/open mic night alone. Such as? The biggest pro is “you can do any activity you want—rather than stay home and miss it and wish you had gone,” says Sherry Alpert, a divorced executive in Canton, MA. “We singles who don’t have kids at home can use our freedom, which we have more of than couples because we’re not answering to anyone.”
Plus, planning your own itinerary means you’re more likely to stumble upon a like-minded partner. You have more control finding someone to your liking if you choose the type of setting or event. And when you go alone, you are much more likely to meet others, since you’re less reliant on your friends.”
That’s true even when you’re attending decidedly unromantic events. Alpert happened upon someone special at, oddly enough, an acquaintance’s mother’s memorial service. “I certainly didn’t go to the memorial hoping to meet someone,” she says. “But we talked there, met each other afterward, and had a two-year relationship.”
So go ahead, venture out at least once without that security blanket of friends. Ask for a table for one. Chances are, you won’t be dining alone for long.