Everyone experiences change in their lives; some good, so not so good, and some downright horrendous.
Suddenly one day, you find yourself single in your mid-life or past your mid-life, and the picture you had in your head for many years of how it is supposed to be has gone with everything you believed in, hoped for, and taken for granted was yours until the end. All you are left with is a blank screen, a void you cannot fill with anything meaningful at this time.
The relationship breakdown could be due to divorce, bereavement, or separation after being in a relationship for some time. Whatever your relationship status, it is all equally traumatic and devastating.
At this stage, I would like to tell you that there is a quick fix, but I cannot do that because each person and situation is unique in respect of the emotional impact. But I can tell you that you will get over it – some take longer than others.
If the decision to end the relationship wasn’t yours, you might be feeling rejected, insecure, low on self-esteem, low-confidence, and vulnerable.
Firstly, you need to acknowledge these feelings and allow yourself the permission to experience the grief at the loss you are experiencing; Grieving is a natural process that follows any loss and not just death. It’s okay to feel denied the rest of life that you were promised and had already for so long; angry, you need to blame someone; feeling down and depressed as the finality of what has occurred has finally sunk in, and then accepting your partner/spouse has gone for good….
When you reach the stage of acceptance (this may take months or years), the period of darkness and confusion starts to come to an end.
It is now time to leave your old life behind, ‘life does not end in divorce’, or the end of a relationship does not define you.
NOW: ask yourself the question – What do I need to start to do today to get closer to the life I desire and deserve?
Set yourself some attainable goals, give yourself something to focus on, and inspire you to take action.
- Eat Healthier (minor changes to your diet have a significant impact. Don’t try to change your whole diet because this will not be sustainable
- Walk instead of taking the car or the bus all the time
- Join a group for single people in your age range, either online or at a location
- Surround yourself with family, good friends, or a support group and talk
about how you are feeling
- Every day take a little time out and stop, think about what you have in your
life to be grateful. Being grateful makes us more optimistic and reduces
Negativity. Journaling is proven to be a great tool to assist in relationship
For those of you who are a little cynical about journaling (ME), the approach
I take is;
Every morning when I make my first cup of tea, I sit down at the kitchen table and ease into the day, pick up my pen, and think of 3 things I have to be grateful for today: my family, my health, and my friends. The next day I will think of 3 other things I am thankful for. Once you have overcome your grief, it is unnecessary to journal every day. If you get up one morning and feel down, then pick up your sheet of paper and write a couple of things down.
Every day I write down three goals I want to achieve on that day, and every night before I go to bed, I quickly jot down the single best thing that happened to me that day. Thinking nice things allows me to sleep in a positive, relaxed mood.
- Start a list of things you are good at doing. Talents, skills, and all the good
Things you do. Are you a good listener, planner, getting stuff done, a ‘go-getter’?
We struggle at celebrating ourselves – many of us were taught to be modest.
- When you feel a little negative, think about the person you were before you
became a husband, wife, mother, father, the other half of a couple. Did you have a wild, funny, and inquisitive side, enjoy history, reading, travel, and sport? Embrace and appreciate yourself for who and what you are deep inside.
Today, you are stronger, wiser, and more aware than ever before of what you want and what you do not.
On the 4th January 2018, at the age of 53, I found myself single and a decision I should have taken years before. I was finally taking the plunge, embracing a new chapter in my life and following through with the decision. Since then, I have not looked back
After a few months of being single and settling into my new way of life, I saw that friends and family didn’t necessarily understand what it was like to be happy but feel lonely.
With the benefits of some peer pressure, I decided to join an online dating platform. I found that this was not for me and played havoc with my confidence. I discovered that working my way through fake profiles and scams was a task within itself. I also struggled with shallow judgment based on a few photos and a brief bio, but mostly the self-promotion!
I eventually gave up because I ultimately became that judgemental person myself and didn’t give guys long enough to become attractive to me through their personality – something that used to happen before mobile phones became prevalent.
I found little else available for someone like me, over 50, and looking for something other than meetup walks. My local friends were all in relationships, and when they got together, they didn’t necessarily want to go out but preferred to dance around my kitchen.
I could not find any events that I could comfortably attend alone or any events that appealed to me to go along and be happy to mix with people for companionship and not be classed as ‘desperate to find a man’.
I decided to start my own ‘Select Events’ for people who were in the same position. These events and groups have become a great source of companionship for many people and we specialise in helping people who have come out of a long-term relationship, married for years, or recently bereaved and have found themselves single again. We work with them to get their confidence back and see their self-worth before starting on any dating journey”.
I also launched ‘Select Connections in 2019 which specialises in matchmaking for singles in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. it is a bespoke, confidential agency and I only take on clients that know I can work with, as it is a big responsibility.
Jacqui has successfully matched many singles over 50 since she started and continues to do so.
Next article: I talk about, the first question we ask ourselves after a breakdown in a relationship is who is going to love me?
The most common fear for men/women when a relationship breaks down is – what is my future going to bring. We will discuss how to process this and get taking time to process getting to grips with your new existence.
Realising that divorce or breakdown of a relationship in mid-life or later in life does not have to be the end of life, it can be the beginning of a new exciting journey.
Get on with your life instead of dwelling on all the things that could have been. Turn a negative into a positive and embrace a future you never imagined in your wildest dreams!
Coming to grips with mistakes you have made along the way