The following is part one of a three part series: an excerpt Tamsen Fadal’s book, The New Single: Finding, Fixing and Falling Back in Love With Yourself after a Breakup or Divorce
When I was twenty-three years old, packing up my car and heading off to my first job in television news in Oak Hill, West Virginia, my father gave me some love advice. He told me:
“It’s better to be alone than lonely with someone.”
Quite frankly, the sentence made no sense to me. It wasn’t until I was coming out of my divorce did I realize exactly what my father was talking about. I had been lonely with someone, but I had refused to see it. This book is about learning the difference and learning to cherish your own company. Only then do you even have a chance at being happy with someone else.
A breakup or a divorce changes you forever. You may wonder if holidays will ever be the same again. You hate the idea of dinner parties and being the odd woman out. You feel as though nobody enjoys your company — because you don’t. The end result: another desperate night.
The New Single is everything you need to know about preparing yourself to be single again and getting ready for a new life, as well as a new relationship, should you decide you want one. These are the actions and attitudes that worked for me, day in and day out, and I want to share them with you. Maybe one or two sentences of this book will touch you; maybe you will sleep with it next to your bed stand and reread it over and over again. My hope is that you will understand that the worst is behind you, and that the future you create will be better than anything you experienced before.
Building a new future is a process, though, and, like any quality product, building it can take time.
You will experience change in phases. Expect some rough patches early on, and some bumps in the road along the way. I never thought I would be successful at anything again after my breakup. In fact, despite my professional successes, I had never felt more like a failure. But with a lot of solid advice, a game plan and a change of mind and heart, I realized that this “ending” was a new beginning for the person I am really supposed to be. I want to help you find the same place.
The only way you will fail is if you don’t move forward from here. It doesn’t mean you didn’t have great memories or amazing moments that no one could ever understand or replace. It simply means you are in a new place in your life.
It used to be about him. Then it was about us. Now it’s about YOU, and it’s about time. Time to embrace your life immediately as the New Single.
This book is a road map for the journey from your breakup or divorce to your arrival at the place where you have become the person you are supposed to be. Or perhaps the person you were all along. What is contained between these covers is a pretty raw look at how I turned the end of my marriage into the life I was supposed to be living. I want the same for you. I’ve even put together a group of heavy hitters — experts on happiness, finance, organization, career, health, and more — to share their advice and insight on these and other important topics. Think of them as your personal A-Team, ready to help you through your rough patches and celebrate your successes.
Your personal journey to becoming the New Single will take about a year. Everyone heals and grows at a different pace. Which is why I’m not saying you have to do everything at once, but eventually you do have to do it. A year is not such a long time; make the most of it by not wasting precious minutes lamenting the past and worrying about the future. “Be here now,” as Ram Dass would say.
Do what you need to do when it feels right. I have set this book up in a progression, starting from what I think you need to do first, moving toward the culmination of you as a New Single: a secure, happy woman who dates but doesn’t get caught up in the need to have a partner unless it’s really right.
Some of my favorite books, the ones that I cherish year after year, have been the ones that I don’t have to read from cover to cover. They are the ones that allow me to pick them up and open them at the times and moments that I need them most.
I wrote The New Single so that you can pick it up and use it as encouragement to move forward. Or, break glass in case of emergency. I wrote The New Single so that you can grab it when you’re asked the dreaded and inevitable question about why your relationship ended, or when you don’t have a plus one for the party, or when you can’t seem to lose that last ten pounds, especially before a hot first date. Thumb to the “You Are the Prize” section for a quick refresher course on how to make it the best date ever. This is truly the beginning. Embrace it. It only gets better from here, if you will let it.
Tamsen Fadal is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.