Being Single Again

Building a New Identity After Separation

Building a New Identity After Separation

Whether you’ve only been together for a couple of years, or it’s been decades and you can’t remember what it was like to be single, transitioning from being in a relationship to being a divorcee can be challenging to adjust to. 

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In a marriage/cohabitation, we often associate our identity with that of our partner. The social roles we take on might have also become a significant part of our identity. Some examples would be recognizing yourself as a wife/husband, a daughter/son-in-law, a sister/brother-in-law, an aunt/uncle, and so on.

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Everyone Needs to Adjust to Your New Role

Being a divorcee, although divorce has become more common over the years, is still a new role to get used to. If you’ve never been divorced before, you may have a difficult time imagining what it is like. You may feel that people are reacting to you differently, now that you are divorced. You may also notice some people relating to you differently, and that could be confusing. The truth is, divorce causes a lot of emotional changes, not just to you, but to your friends and family as well. They too need to process your separation as a reality.


Once the divorce has been finalized, your life will be completely different and you may need to make a lot of adjustments simultaneously, which is not a simple task. First of all, it’s important to mourn your cohabitation, so you can get closure and start this new stage of your life. You’re separated and are now single and free, but that doesn’t mean you are alone.

Shaking the feeling of loneliness, even if you also felt alone when you were married/cohabitating, is maybe one of the toughest challenges to face. However, jumping into a new relationship, without being ready for it, is halfway into making the same mistakes you did when you were in a relationship.

How to Mend Your Heart?

Although it will probably be difficult at first, you will eventually heal and feel better about yourself, as well as the circumstances of your separation. Nevertheless, as is the case with everything worthwhile in life, you need to put in some effort, in order to build a happy single life.

Make a List of What You'd Like to Do

When we’re married/cohabitating, we often make concessions, in order to adjust ourselves to our partner. Along the way we might stop doing some of the things we loved the most. Now is the time to dig out whatever it was that you used to love doing! Once the list is ready, decide what you are most excited about. It can be anything at all, such as starting to play a sport again, going to church more often, doing volunteer work, going back to school, starting your own business, etc.

Set New Goals

Now that you have created the list from the previous point, this should be easy for you. Pursuing your own hopes and dreams will help you cope with divorce and being single again.

Resume Solo Activities

Going to the movies, taking care of your household’s paperwork, or just going to the supermarket is enough. You need to feel comfortable with being on your own and independent again. Of course that takes time, effort, and persistence, but it is very rewarding at the end.

Make New Friends

Of course keeping old friendships is very important, but in order to create a new life and fresh routines, it can be useful to have some new friends to help you forget about your cohabitating life and old habits. Remember, you’ll need to start creating new habits in your new life.

Build a Clear Image of the Partner You Want

You’ll be more likely to find someone close to what you dream about, if you actually know what you want. Besides, having a clear understanding of whom you’d like to invite into your life will help decrease the chance of dating people who are not right for you. Just remember that you should not be too harsh with your criteria, and that it’s not possible to find someone who resembles your ex. That is why it is crucial to look for new people, who would also help you change for the better.

Create a List of the Mistake You Won’t Repeat Again

That’s also important to help you define what you want and what you need, in accordance with your new identity. It takes a lot of introspection, but in the end you’ll come out stronger and happier.

Full reference: 

, (Jan 6, 2016). Being Single Again. Retrieved Jul 14, 2024 from

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