From a Divorced Girl Smiling reader: Talk to me about going to a wedding alone post separation/divorce. Mine is still fresh as can be – he told me 6 weeks ago and just moved out 3 weeks ago. Like, the invite I got today was still addressed to both of us.
Thankfully my soon-to-be-ex will not be going because this is one of my good friends from high school. Not going is not an option. How do I survive? Take my sister in law as my plus one? Or another friend? Oy. I was not prepared for this to come up so quickly.
First, I’d love to challenge you on the concept that you can’t go to weddings and other social events alone. Who says so? For some reason, women have been led to believe that we need to have a partner with us in order to show up and have fun.
It’s not true! Going to a wedding alone is perfectly fine!!
In fact going to events alone gives us a great opportunity to both meet new people and to learn to enjoy and feel confident about our own company.
Second, you will survive! You have up until this point and you will moving forward. Of course there will be some very stressful, lonely, and sad moments and you will experience them and grow from them. Trust yourself to show up and make the most of it and to survive this whole scary process.
It sounds like this divorce wasn’t your idea and yet that doesn’t mean you can’t own how you handle it. Be sad, be scared, be lonely, and also be strong. Have faith in your ability to thrive through this process. Recovery and moving forward starts with your mindset, so remind yourself every day that you are going to be just fine because you are!
Here are a few practical tips on going to a wedding alone. They might help the night go well for you!
1. Take care of yourself so that you show up feeling as self-confident as possible. Maybe that’s a new outfit or a work out or an afternoon nap. Whatever it is, prioritize some self-care throughout this challenging time.
2. Walk into that (and any event) like the badass that you are. Hold your head up and be proud of yourself for showing up alone. You are showing other women how it’s done. Often acting confident leads to us actually feeling confident.
3. Focus on the event and the people who are having the event. This is their day and they invited you to share in their celebration. Do that! Have fun and enjoy the experience of supporting your friends no matter what is going on in your life. You’ll be glad you did and they will be grateful for it as well.
4. Have a few response lines planned for when people ask you where your husband is or that status of your relationship. What do you want to say and how do you want to say it? You get to decide how much information you give to people. Rehearse those lines so that you are comfortable in the moment when those topics come up.
5. Have a contingency plan if you’re starting to feel bad. Maybe it’s to go to the washroom and call a friend or take a quick walk outside to gather yourself.
6. Avoid drinking a lot. Maybe allow yourself a two-drink maximum? At the beginning of a divorce, people tend to drink a lot, which can exacerbate emotions. Also, you don’t want to seem sloppy.
7. Dance! Isn’t that one of the best parts about a wedding?
8. Eat cake. Isn’t that one of the best parts about a wedding?
9. If you get sad at any time during the wedding, just remember that your situation is temporary. What I mean by that is, your life is going to change for the better. If you look in the mirror today and look again in a year, two years and then three years, I bet it will look very different all three years.
Going to a wedding alone takes guts, especially in your situation. Know that going in and be proud of it. Remember that whether you have fun or not is YOUR decision. You will not fall apart. You will dance. You will eat cake. And, you will remember that you went to a wedding alone and you had a really great time.
Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D., CPC is a professional certified life and executive coach, psychologist, and professional speaker. She helps people tackle that “One day I’ll do this and then I’ll be happy” goal, today. You can reach Lisa at Lisa@lisakaplin.com or lisakaplin.com