THE BLOG

Being the Best Divorcée

04/16/2015 02:53 pm ET | Updated Jun 16, 2015
lzf

As a twice divorcée myself, I've mastered a few things about how to go from a "we" to a "me." Some of these lessons were learned the hard way, and others were taught to me by watching other people go through their own situations. Dealing with a divorce, healing from a breakup, getting back on the dating wagon and standing on your own two feet, after having an extra pair of legs to share the weight, can all be overwhelming. I'm lucky that I have a great support group that tells me how it is, and doesn't let me get away with pity parties of one. They inspire me to be a little less crazy, and to be the best divorcée I can be. These life tips helped me, and I hope they will help you.

Leave when you are ready. You will know when to go when you know. I wasn't sure I wanted to separate from my husband, and I would go back and forth in my mind, and then one day I just knew I needed to move out. And believe me, your ex will continue to show you why you left. The universe rewards you with sign after sign that you made the right decision.

Do know that your ex will move on. If you can't stand the thought of them being with someone else, then stay, but the pain of seeing them with the next one will eventually dissipate, and you will move on too.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If you do it, they can do it, too. If you have an affair, they can have an affair. A friend of mine's wife cheated, so he went and cheated too. It didn't make it right, but he felt that he had the right.

Do stay away from cheaters. If they do it with you, they'll do it to you. Cheaters are cheaters, and if a guy I'm dating tells me he cheated on his ex, I run. I watched a woman I love get involved with a married man who left his wife for her. Then he married my friend, cheated on her and left her for the next woman.

As soon as you know you don't want to be with someone, let them go. Don't do the slow fade and eventually disappear. Be an adult and end it with love, honesty and compassion. It's really disrespectful to lead someone on when you are not sure what you want. Before getting into a relationship, do some self work and figure out exactly what you want in life.

Stay friends with your exes. I've dated a lot since my divorce, and for the most part, I can still call any of my exes, including my ex-husbands, to catch up, get advice or when I need a friend. Thankfully, I've only been with nice guys who would be there for me if I need them, and it's comforting to know I have "brothers" who have my back if I need to borrow a truck, and in return, I can give them girl advice. I believe love doesn't leave, it just changes forms, and if I loved them once, I'll love them forever, just in a different way.

If someone shows you the door, use it. You can justify staying all you want, but in the end, you need to leave and you shouldn't waste time because you won't get it back. I've dated guys who showed me their true colors and I decided to be color blind, but eventually the colors were so bright I couldn't help but see them.

Know your worth. Sometimes we don't realize that we get what we accept in life. Don't settle for less than you deserve. If your friends tell you the lover you are keeping isn't good for you, it's because you don't think you deserve more, but you do. Ask for more, and you will get it. Maybe not from this person, but definitely from the next.

Let them court you. Let the date woo you and try to win you over. Don't give it all away too soon, as the beginning of a relationship only happens once. Slow down and enjoy the journey, as it's not a relationship race. When a person jumps in too soon, they are likely to jump out fast, too.

Have some self respect. Don't keep texting when they don't respond. No excuses, just be done when they're done. It feels bad when you reach out to someone and they don't answer back. The person who treats someone like that doesn't deserve your attention.

Tell the truth. It's never a good thing to lie; it only makes you nervous that you will get caught. Honesty is the best policy. Sometimes we think that a white lie to protect someone's feelings is the way to go, but most times the person will find out later and be more hurt and feel betrayed that they were lied to. Lying hurts worse than any truth.

Just breathe. Tomorrow is another day, and you will get through whatever problems you are dealing with today. I've literally woke up in a sweat, filled with anxiety about things going on in my life. Then I recognize the fear, take some deep breathes and remind myself that in a year from now, I'll look back and think, "Why did I let that situation get the best of me?"

In a nutshell, just being the best divorcée you can be is the healthiest for everyone involved. Taking the high road in all your relationships, having self-esteem and a deep respect for all the people in your life will make for a more peaceful existence. Knowing yourself and what's important to you will keep you on the right path. I've gone from "me" to "we" to "me" so many times that my family stopped keeping track, but I won't give up looking for the ultimate, permanent, love of a lifetime "we." I know I'll find it if I continue to be the best divorcée I can be, and if you focus on being the best person you can be, then you'll find it too.