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Is Valentine's Day Just Another Day in February When You Are Suddenly Divorced?

April 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 184

Though we are the sum of our experiences, we do not have to be defined by those experiences. When a marriage ends in divorce or, indeed, any significant relationship ends we add those experiences to our base of knowledge about ourselves and they do influence who we become. What we do with this new information and the degree to which it influences us is something we do have some control over.

Every holiday has its own traditions and we have just come through the winter holidays with all the emotions and stresses they entail. But February has a holiday that is the thorn in the side of so many divorced individuals-Valentine's Day.

When you are newly single, days like Valentine's Day can be really difficult. It is hard to not feel a little sorry for yourself and look back at happier times with sadness and regret. But if you're not careful, that sadness and regret can become bitterness and isolation. It doesn't have to be that way and how you go on forming relationships after the loss of a marriage has a lot to do with how you incorporate those past experiences.

During the course of your mediation all aspects of your marriage will be discussed and clarified. You can take that information and use it to give your experiences perspective. Thinking and talking about our experiences doesn't mean we are obsessing or dooming ourselves to repeat past mistakes. It means we are learning and growing from our past. Talking to your friends, family, therapist, mediator, or anyone significant in your life is an important step in healing and moving on. How quickly or slowly you heal and move on is up to you and it is important that a single day in February doesn't become a benchmark with which you judge yourself and the progress you've made.

When you are ready to restart your social life, first be sure you are really ready. Don't start dating for the wrong reasons, such as pressure from friends. Before you start dating, start socializing with friends and family to reacquaint yourself with the environment. Group dates and dinners with friends will ease you back a healthy social life. Transitional relationships are notorious for their short life so go slow. Lowering your expectations for finding that perfect "one" and focusing on meeting and learning about new people will prevent a lot of stress and apprehension. My essential point here is to look at dating as a marathon, not a sprint. Going slow and pacing yourself can ensure that you will find a social life that makes you happy in ways that you may not have been happy before. While we need to learn from our experiences, trying to learn everything there is to know about men and women can be dauntless.

Remember, Valentine's Day is just another day in February. It isn't yardstick with which to measure your life. It is a day to value all the people in your life that you love, including your children, family, and friends. So, gather with the guys or have a girl's night out while enjoying and exploring your independence and expectations for the next chapter of your life. You can make it a great one.

Brian James is an experienced Divorce and Family Mediator with offices throughout Chicagoland and Southeastern Wisconsin. He started his mediation practice, C.E.L. and Associates, in late 2005.

Brian earned his B.S. in Sociology from Northern Illinois University in 1994 and completed training in Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Northwestern University.

The first 10 years of his professional career, Brian worked in the Criminal Justice System helping domestic violence and divorcing families resolve family conflicts. He assisted with the healing process that took place after these life-changing events had occurred. His approach to mediation is client driven. By aiding his clients with the resolution of their divorce issues outside of the courtroom, Mr. James helps create a win/win situation for all parties in a divorce.

For more information please visit Brian's website, http://www.celandassociates.com or give him a call at (312) 524-5829. He makes it a point to personally answer every call that is made to him.

Source: EzineArticles
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