Dating during seperation

"Splurge on a cruise, or go to a super-fun place like Las Vegas or Hawaii," she says."That way you have something to look forward to throughout the season."8."Don't think about the holidays as something painful you have to 'get through,'" says Elaine Rodino, Ph D, a psychologist in private practice in State College, PA. If you've recently gone through a breakup, separation or divorce, you probably associate certain memories with your ex. "Experiencing holidays the old way can be painful," says Jennifer J."Know how to have fun regardless of whether you're part of a couple." Here's how to manage your expectations, handle the holiday hype and emerge unscathed. Harman, Ph D, assistant professor of psychology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.Remember that when your family pries, it's because they love you.Unfortunately, women are more stigmatized when not paired up, says Dr. "There's a public misperception that marriage makes everything better, and that all spouses are happier and healthier than singletons," she says.Decide how you'll answer tough questions at gatherings."Plan ahead so you don't get hit with an inquiry that makes you feel alone, abandoned or sad," says Dr. This is especially important for events that you used to attend with a partner, since people will naturally wonder why your ex isn't with you.

Rest assured, these 10 lessons can get you through the end of your marriage, both financially and emotionally. It may take a long time to recover—and that's okay.

"Instead, look for new ways to celebrate that won't remind you of the relationship." If you've always cooked a ham, for example, try a turkey. Find a new neighborhood to visit for holiday lights on Christmas Eve—or scratch that tradition entirely and go to the movies.2. Women who thrive on socializing will enjoy almost any event despite their single status, says Dr. But if you're introverted or feeling especially down and out, "just tell party hosts you have other plans," says Dr. Or if you're worried a dinner will be full of couples, ask the host outright if you'll be the only single person, recommends Carol Goldberg, Ph D, a psychologist and host and producer of the cable TV show .

Try: "I'm glad you invited me, but I'm not comfortable in that type of setting right now." Your friend will understand.

"When you're only a little sad, the best medicine is to get out and be with friends," says Dr. Don't obsess about not being part of a couple; partners don't stay connected at the hip at a party, anyway. "People have so many obligations around the holidays—it's totally acceptable to party hop," says Dr. Goldberg, admitting that it doesn't hurt if they have brothers, cousins or single friends.5. Take it upon yourself to host a gathering, whether it's a girls-only tree-trimming or a co-ed potluck brunch, says Dr. "It should be an event that wouldn't necessarily appeal to people in a relationship or with families."6. Rely on other single friends for activity ideas; they know how to have a good time. Check online dating sites for singles parties and speed-dating events between now and New Year's—it's a popular time for new romance. Get out of town."Go somewhere for yourself, but not by yourself," says Dr. Take a ski trip with a girlfriend who's willing to make new memories with you.

"Just as they mingle and chat all night long, so can you," says Dr. If you're recovering from a breakup, think back about the hobbies you used to enjoy that you didn't have time for during the relationship, says Dr. Reclaim your former passions and interests—you weren't born part of a couple. If you can swing it, says Lorraine, try to go over New Year's Eve.

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