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12 Ways Love Is Different Before and After Divorce

05/14/2015 04:17 pm ET | Updated May 14, 2016

After 16 years I found myself single again having experienced only one mature relationship. I hoisted my big girl pants up and reluctantly put myself back out into the dating world.

One day I went on a non-date and decided, to my shock, that I wished it were a date. My non-date then asked me on a real date, which I thought was another non-date. After two months of decidedly real dates, I decided I wanted to stop dating my other dates and only date this date.

If you are struggling in your relationship and think "the devil you know is... " I have news for you. GREAT news for you. Sometimes the devil you know, is the only devil you will meet.

Here are 12 ways love is different BEFORE and AFTER Divorce.

1.
Before: You think love has to be hard to be worth it.
After: You find that love doesn't have to be hard. At all.

2.
Before: Everything is your fault.
After: Your life, and love, are free from blame.

3.
Before: You're so afraid to be yourself that you are no one.
After: You are utterly loved for exactly who you are.

4.
Before: You feel physically invisible.
After: You're told, "wow, you look pretty. You are pretty." You blush.

5.
Before: Your opinion doesn't matter.
After: Your opinion is what matters most.

6.
Before: Your life became smaller until tiny and finally unreachable.
After: Your life gets louder, brighter and your entire world expands exponentially.

7.
Before: You fear making noise.
After: You are given the freedom to stomp loudly.

8.
Before: You revolved around someone else.
After: You become the sun.

9.
Before: You loose your voice.
After: You find it, you use it and never shut up again. It makes your man laugh.

10.
Before: You cry silently, unnoticed, wishing for peace.
After: Your man is pained by your sadness, being with him is your peace.

11.
Before: You accept less than you deserve.
After: You demand what you're worth and you get it.

12.
Before: You fear the breakup, the divorce, and the unknown.
After: The breakup, the divorce and the unknown is what you are grateful for. Everyday.

We're looking for new bloggers on HuffPost Divorce! Have an inspiring story about moving on post-split? Email your blog pitch to divorcestories@huffingtonpost.com.

Quotes To Strengthen You During Divorce