A Series of Articles on Adjusting to Divorce
By Harlan Jacobsen
EVERYONE WANTS TO KNOW-WHERE IS MR. OR MS. RIGHT HANGING OUT SO I CAN GO THERE AND MEET THEM
"Why waste a lot of time having me I donít want to read all this stuff--just tell me where to go so I can get with it." Thatís the normal response. We say you probably are not ready for Mr. or Ms. Right and wouldnít recognize them now if you met them. What you need now is "friends of all types."
EVERYBODY GIVES YOU ADVICE LIKE ""YOU CAN MEET PEOPLE ANYWHERE""
True, you can, and a lot of us are just into meeting people when we are in the mood and all charged up for the hunt. They may be right in front of us at other times and since we are doing something else right now, we never think of taking advantage of these great opportunities that fall in our lap.
So you need to be alert to opportunities everywhere. This includes the supermarket, the laundromat, the bowling alley. At work, eating in a public place, etc.
In other words, get your radar going.
BE ON A 24 HOUR ALERT FOR POTENTIAL FRIENDS WHEREVER YOU HAVE CONTACT WITH PEOPLE
Some singles are only open to meeting new friends, etc., when they go out Friday night between 9 and 12 pm. When you become divorced and lose all of your married friends, you are about as close to zero in the friends department as you are ever going to get.
NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY
Some collect stamps, some collect salt & pepper shakers, rocks, etc.
THE NEWLY DIVORCED SHOULD MAKE COLLECTING FRIENDS THEIR NEW HOBBY
Figure out first of all, specifically what kind of friends you want to collect. Remember, you eventually have time and room and appreciation for only a very limited number, and though you have lots of room for friends now, you still need some idea of what you are really interested in collecting out of the ordinary.
FIND OUT WHATíS AVAILABLE, WHAT YOU HAVE TO PAY OR DO TO GET THEM, AND WILL THEY BE WORTH IT TO YOU IN ENJOYMENT
Get out there and learn all about your new hobby. Soon you will recognize a real "find" and you will also recognize what would be junk or clutter in your collection. Get your collection going with whatís available and add new and better all the time, and discard those you get less enjoyment from to make room for the better.
YOUR TASTE AND VALUES IN COLLECTING WILL CHANGE OVER TIME
The big thing now is to recognize that the result of your new hobby will be over all greater happiness and success. Most peopleís happiness and success (financial and otherwise), research shows, are often directly as a result of friends and through friends.
RECOGNIZE YOU NEED TO HAVE MANY FRIENDS, NOT JUST ONE
Each one can fill a different need or some collective needs. Each will help you grow and expand your life.
LET EVERYONE KNOW YOU ARE OPEN TO DEVELOPING AND COLLECTING NEW FRIENDS
Most people have a network of single friends and are not very open about developing new ones. You will be a refreshing change. You can let your present friends know you are open and interested in developing lots of new friends. We ran a survey a few years ago of how second time arounders met their new mate.
MORE SECOND TIME AROUND MARRIAGES, FOR EXAMPLE, MET THROUGH FRIENDS THAN ANY OTHER WAY
So tell your present friends and associates what kind of new friends you are interested in meeting. They are meeting a lot of different people that you are not. You can be several different places at once by having your friends "pre-shop" for you.
THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO MEET PEOPLE AT GROUPS, JUST AS THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO HUNT DUCKS
One way to hunt ducks is to run up and down the river trying to find the place where the ducks are at the moment.
This is like running from one singles social activity to another.
The other way to hunt ducks is to build a blind and sit there waiting for the ducks to come to you and your "decoys."
When you become involved in a singles or some social group or activity and attend regularly, eventually most newly singled will stop in and check it out. Then you will meet or have an opportunity to meet darn near everybody that circulates in the social singles network.
One way requires running around a lot--often frustrating (and the ducks may be moving just ahead of you) and the other is to just relax and enjoy yourself at the blind and they will come to you.
YOUR JOB CAN BE A GREAT PLACE TO MEET PEOPLE, OR A POOR PLACE
A great place if you have a lot of contact with the general public or a poor place if the only people you meet "work there." You need friends outside of your work situation, just as you need friends outside of your apartment complex. Both can be rather awkward when you want to end a friendship, etc., and various other reasons.
ONE SINGLE FELLOW SAID HE WENT TO WORK FOR AN HOUR OR TWO (NO PAY) AT THE LOCAL CONVENIENCE MARKET WHENEVER HE WANTED TO MEET SOMEONE NEW
He had discovered when he worked there part time that it was a great place to meet people. If your regular job has little or no public contact, maybe a part time job where you meet people would help in more ways than one. Be sure you find a job where the type of fish you want go by.
RECOGNIZE WE ALL NEED PEOPLE! NEWLY DIVORCED HAVE A LACK OF PEOPLE JUST WHEN THEY NEED THEM THE MOST
So you have probably been out of practice in developing friends. You may tend to "overuse" the friends you develop. Just hang in there: practice finding, developing and strengthening new relationships with other single people. Soon it will all start to flow.
NOW THAT IíVE SAID "HI THERE", HOW DO I MAKE A FRIEND OUT OF A STRANGER? More on all this next issue.