Dealing with loneliness after the divorce was very hard for me. I am writing this article over 2 years after the fact, and I still struggle with loneliness at times. As I researched the topic, I mostly came across information that points to Jesus and our relationship with Him, that what we are truly lonely for is a relationship with God. Maybe I am a bad Christian, but that just didn’t satisfy my quest on dealing with loneliness after divorce.
I have a relationship with God, some days it is better than others but what I am talking about is filling a void that used to be filled with another human being. Not having any close friends to turn too made my loneliness worse. I had pastors and people to talk to but no one my age or in a place in their lives where we could hang out as friends, they were mostly older mentor types. That just didn’t cut it on Friday night when I was sitting home alone and wanted to do something fun.
Good, bad, indifferent I dealt with my loneliness in several different ways after the divorce. In the beginning, my loneliness was turned to anger and bitterness towards my ex and God. I guess this is where I had the most pity parties. Do I suggest doing this… probably not but it is what happened to me. Is there a way around it? I don’t know.
As time went on the loneliness started to subside. I took on new hobbies and began to fill my time by trying to achieve new things, reading, writing, photography, home business, etc. Whatever it took to take up that time when I felt lonely. I was able to reconnect with God during this time and receive more of the love and peace He had for me. Improving my relationship with God did help fight the loneliness; however, I believe that God created us to have more than a relationship with Him but other flesh and blood human beings as well.
It seemed the older I got, the harder it is to make friends. There were several ways that I used to try and meet new people, but this is how it boiled down for me:
- People in the workplace – Being in management at work I couldn’t hang out with employees, not that I felt I was better than they but I believe you need to keep a degree of separation from your personal and professional life.
- Meeting people at church – Getting involved at church is a great way to meet people. I enjoyed volunteering on the weekends; however, I still had issues when loneliness would suddenly come upon me.
- Meeting people on the Internet – Yes, I did do the online thing, and it doesn’t have to be just for dating. You can meet many great people (weird people too) by chatting online. I would not recommend this until you are ready to begin new relationships with the opposite sex. I even tried my luck at online dating on Christian Cafe.
The Biblical Approach to Dealing with Loneliness
As time passed, I was able to give my loneliness over to God more and more. Sure God can take away our loneliness just like God can heal blindness but does he always, of course not. Christian or not we all have to deal with unpleasantness in our lives. I think the goal is to get through it and be a better person in the end. I had to remember that God is with me and working in me and someday He is going to use this pain and loneliness for good.
I don’t have some psychobabble or special prayer that will take the loneliness away. In fact, many might say that the approach I take is a secular one. They may be right. The biblical approach focuses on reconciliation with God and the confession of sins, God’s forgiveness, and getting involved in the church. I am not knocking these things, and I highly recommend them (get involved in a ministry) but how many times do you need to reconcile and how long does it take to confess known sins and when was loneliness predictable? I do believe that we can take things to extremes and we can put things before God; however that is not what I am suggesting. So let us assume that God is a priority in our lives and we are comfortable and thriving with that relationship.
Tips for Dealing with Loneliness after Divorce
Make yourself smile! Think of things that make you happy, and there is nothing wrong with having a positive mental attitude even when you are in pain. Here are a few things I did to deal with loneliness after divorce.
- Pray and give it over to God
- Watch an action movie or 70’s sitcom (do not watch the “Notebook”)
- Engage in a hobby (do not obsess)
- Turn the radio up and dance around the house like a dork (one of my favorites)
- Crying helps a bit but when finished I suggest trying #4
- Listen to some of your favorite music
- Take a walk and look at nature and admire it
- Give your mom and dad a call
- Try to make new friends and acquaintances
- Focus on what you have in your life that you are grateful for
- REMIND YOURSELF IT WILL PASS IF YOU ALLOW IT TOO, DON’T DWELL ON BEING LONELY
Our thoughts control our emotions and the better you get at having positive healthy thoughts the better you will get at controlling your emotions. With practice you can turn negative thoughts off and this should be your goal. The longer you dwell on what you don’t have the harder it will be and you will feel sorry for yourself.