According to seasoned relationship experts, this is the absolute worst thing to say to someone who is going through a divorce. You probably have the best of intentions and think this is a reassuring statement that would make your friend feel like you’re on their side. However, it can come off as an inadvertent insult. There is implied judgment of your friend’s choice of partner and it can make them question their own instincts.
Avoid diminishing the ex-spouse’s character and give your friend the possibility to grieve. If they are venting about their ex to you, you may say “you must feel so angry and hurt”. By echoing their feelings back to them you refrain from any hints of judgment.
Some divorced people may need some time to cocoon at home and that’s okay. However, it isn’t healthy to let this phase drag on for too long. More often than not, a divorced person will find themselves with much more free time than before, and the best way to fill it is with a human connection. After all, this is what makes us feel most happy and fulfilled, and losing the love of your life is a big loss of connection.
“Socializing is one of the most dramatic changes divorced people face later in life,” says JoAnne Pedro-Carroll, a clinical psychologist and author specializing in divorce. “Acknowledging that change is one of the best things you can do.”
Like always, this statement or question comes from a well-meaning place, you’re just trying to help your friend move on. But when it comes to playing matchmaker with someone who went through a recent divorce, timing and sensitivity are everything. Suggesting it too soon may come off as trying to stick a band-aid on their loss.
A breakup or a divorce can make one question what they know of themselves, their worth, and their value. Beginning to date too soon can amplify these doubts, and be the opposite of helpful. Every person will take a different amount of time to be ready. In the meantime, all you need to do is remind them that they are valuable and worthy of love with or without a significant other.
5. Did you try counseling?