DIVORCE
12/01/2013 03:08 pm ET Updated Sep 25, 2015

What It's Like To Be Divorced By 26

Jeanne Goshe

"This Is Divorce At..." is a HuffPost Divorce series delving into divorce at every stage of life. Want to share your experience of divorcing at a certain age? Email us at divorce@huffingtonpost.com or tweet @HuffPost Divorce

Below, HuffPost Divorce blogger Jeanne Goshe tells us about filing for divorce at the ripe old age of 26 -- and shares why she takes the shocked response she gets from people over her divorce as a total compliment now that she's older.

I filed for divorce about a month after my 26th birthday. You’re definitely ahead of the curve if you’re divorced in your 20s. Most of my friends weren’t even married yet and I was already finished with a whole marriage! Pretty impressive, I know.

I joke about it, but at the time it felt like a big, life-ruining thing. I think that at any age, a breakup feels like the end of the world. Whether you’re 16 or 50, it’s easy to feel like that other person is your life. And when it ends, you really can’t imagine your life just continuing on without them. But it does. I think we can all get a little melodramatic when it comes to relationships.

Like horrible, embarrassing snowflakes, every divorce is unique. For me, divorce at 26 was very different from many divorces, because I didn’t have any kids. Of course, that doesn’t apply to every 20-something. Plenty of 26-year-olds do have children. But I didn’t. So for me, it was really just a big breakup that the state of California had to sign off on.

I don’t really make a point of telling people that I’m divorced. Then again, I made the mistake of starting a divorce humor blog. So I assume they’ll just find out when they eventually Google me. In fact, as far as I know, my boyfriend’s parents don’t know that I’ve been divorced. Apparently they don’t vet their sons’ girlfriends very well. But in general, when it does come up, people are surprised. I can’t blame them. Now that I’m almost 30, I take it as a compliment. Like when you get carded buying beer and you’re just flattered that someone could possibly mistake you for younger than 21. I don't think anyone wants to look divorced.

If I could tell other young divorcees one thing, it’s to remember that nothing lasts forever. I’m not referring to marriage. Of course, if you’re getting divorced, it applies to that, too. But however bad you might feel now, you need to remind yourself that you won’t be feeling exactly this same way in a month. Or a year. Look to the future. You can’t change what has happened. But if you’re anything like me, three or four years from now, you’ll be like, 'I’m divorced? Weird! When did that even happen?!' You might not be anything like me. In which case, congratulations and don’t start a divorce humor blog.

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