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Health & Sex

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After Divorce: 8 Tips for Reinventing Yourself

8 ideas to help you shape your post-divorce life.

6. Dare to be alone.

Being alone doesn't mean being isolated and never seeing anyone. It just means not being coupled up, or in a rush to do so.

Society is much more accepting of singles than even a decade ago, when solo restaurant diners often got the hairy eyeball.

"There are more than 30 million people living alone in this country today," Falk says. "That's a lot of people, and there are a lot of opportunities for social connection. There are possibilities to pick up new friends and enter different kinds of groups that have to do with your interests. The social dimension after a divorce can be very rich."

7. Consider transitional relationships.

This isn't about rebounding. It's about considering dating (once you feel ready) outside your comfort zone -- someone who's not your type -- without thinking that it has to head toward a permanent relationship.

"For example, maybe you've always dated people from a certain socioeconomic background," Alberti says. "Or perhaps you always preferred sensitive musicians, or athletes, or the quiet, shy type. Turn your usual preferences inside out and stretch your dating horizons a bit."

8. Embrace your new roles.

Especially if you were coupled up for a long time, your partner probably handled certain aspects of life while you managed others. Now it's all up to you. And it's not likely to go perfectly, but that's OK.

"If your partner was always the one responsible for the money -- earning it, managing it, investing it -- suddenly you have a whole new realm of learning and responsibility," Alberti says. "Dealing with those can give you confidence in your own ability."

You don't have to figure it all out yourself. Look for help.

"Even if you make mistakes, like paying too much for a car, you can learn from that experience," Alberti says. "Mistakes give you life skills and teach you that you can handle being alone."

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Reviewed on April 27, 2012

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