Preventing your health risk factors from rising after a divorce is as important as hiring a highly qualified attorney before a divorce.
Should you want to improve your chances of finding someone to form a romantic relationship with, more actions are required. In addition to prohibiting yourself from indulging in bad habits, you should consider adopting some new ones as well. Divorce is not just about separation and managing to survive, but it is also about the recreation of yourself and learning to thrive.
Reorienting yourself after being defined in contrast to someone else is no easy task. Many clients have shared the places and practices that have helped them during my time as a divorce attorney in Boca Raton.
Make a Vision Board
One of the best things for men who have recently completed their divorce is to meet with a therapist. Individually or in a group setting – it doesn’t matter. There are many service providers throughout Palm Beach County for therapy and counseling to help process emotions associated with divorce. Thriveworks®, the Relationship Center for South Florida, and The Talking Solution, are just three of the many options available in the Boca Raton area. Statistically, however, it is unlikely for men to make that effort.
Magazines from Men’s Health to Psychology Today describe men as having an aversion to counseling and therapy. The blame for this is placed on “masculine norms”. Medical publishing outlets like Harvard Health Publishing and the National Center for Health Statistics have put a number on the effects of these norms. Men are about half as likely to seek counseling as women. Oddly enough, as therapists are usually less expensive than a divorce attorney and less studied in the psychology of the human mind, men will often talk extensively with their divorce lawyers. Rather than sharing resources that have a low chance of being used by our readers, I want to present another option: Making a Vision Board.
Vision Boards are one part of a popular movement to apply positive psychology techniques to your life. Oprah promoted The Secret and The Vision Board: The Secret to an Extraordinary Life, which describes in detail their use. The Secret was so well received for the advice that it gave that it launched a movement called the Laws of Attraction. While stylistically unique, it is similar to what self-help strategist Tony Robbins has long taught: Where focus goes, energy flows.
Vision boards are impactful as they require you to direct conscious energy to set goals you want to achieve. Visualizing what you want to accomplish or obtain encourages the behavior required to achieve them. Making one can be done in just 5 easy steps:
- Collect Art Supplies
- Collect Images and Text
- Set you Intentions
- Create your Vision
- Reflect on the board daily
There are many places to pick up art supplies that will enable you to externalize your inner hopes after a divorce. Posterboard, glue, scissors, and any other decorations you may want to create the vision board can be found at the following locations:
- Blick Art Materials in Fort Lauderdale.
- Easel Art Supply Center in West Palm Beach has been in business for 43 years.
- Hobby Lobby locations in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Lake Park, Pembroke Pines, and Royal Palm Beach.
- JOANN Fabric & Craft locations in Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Margate, Miami, Pompano Beach, West Palm Beach.
- Michaels locations are in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Hialeah, Pompano Beach, Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach.
There are many places to find supplies in the Palm Beach and Broward County areas for images and textual components of a vision board, including:
- Barnes & Nobles in Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Wellington, and at the Broward Mall in Plantation.
- Books-A-Million in Sunrise.
- Craigslist Palm Beach County or Craigslist Broward County often has old magazines in the Free and Books section of their online postings.
- After you have extracted the images and text that you presently appreciate or aspire to manifest in your life, mentally set an intention that by making this board – you will help make it happen. And then make it!
Keep in mind that you are the only limit to this post-divorce ritual. It can be artistic and without clear direction, or you can structure it as a statement of work to be done! I recommend thr latter, for when your goals are S.M.A.R.T., a mnemonic acronym which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound – they are more likely to be achieved. You can produce this yourself into the board as best you see fit, or your buy kits on Etsy to help focus your action.
A vision board is nowhere near as effective as speaking with a professional therapist. Nevertheless – making one is a worthwhile practice to help you be appreciative of what you do have and to direct yourself towards what you desire from life.
Improve your Self-Presentation through Fashion
In Crazy, Stupid, Love, Steve Carell’s character, Cal, meets Jacob Palmer, Ryan Gosling’s character, shortly after Cal’s wife has suggested they divorce. After hearing Cal’s story over drinks in a bar, Palmer takes pity on him and commits to helping him rediscover his dignity. After insulting his style, he points out that he doesn’t present himself in a manner that is either attractive or commands respect.
While the aphorism “Clothes make the man” may seem pretentious, this phrase was coined by Erasmus Roterodamus – a Catholic priest, theologian, and social critic that the European Union decided to name their international scholarship program after him. Recognizing the power of clothing to influence the perception of others and yourself is, in other words, no trivial consideration.
While many stores in strip malls across America have shut down, not all are dead. Town Center at Boca Raton, which first opened in 1986, is still a lively place for shopping. With over 200 stores, you can walk in with one style and out with another. They have fashion lines like Hugo Boss, Express, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and JCrew. From Boca Raton to Jupiter, Palm Beach County has numerous other high-end malls that will allow you to find fashionable clothes, such as:
- The Mall at Wellington Green
- The Palm Beach Gardens Mall
- The Palm Beach Outlets Mall
- Harbourside Place
- Worth Avenue, Palm Beach
- CityPlace, West Palm Beach
- Downtown, Palm Beach Gardens
One of my clients near retirement had recently divorced. He decided he would no longer wear business-like attire on weekends. This simple act of wearing more casual couture, he shared with me, made it far easier for him to relax and adjust. Because he no longer felt that he was always on, he was approached less often by people looking to network.
Improve your Self-Presentation through Grooming
Having hair and nails that are presentable is equally significant when out socializing. YouTube has an entire category of haircut transformation videos with millions of views. The end of the videos show men looking younger and more attractive thanks to the artistry of hairstylists. Palm Beach County has numerous places oriented towards men, including:
- ManCave for Men has storefronts in Boca Raton, West Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Wellington.
- The Final Cut has been open for more than 17 years at their Boca Raton location.
- Roosters Grooming in Palm Beach Gardens is a luxury-oriented chain with 85 locations across the East Coast.
- A Better Cut Salon in West Palm Beach has almost 200 5-Star Google Reviews.
With your wardrobe updated and your hair styled, you will feel more confident. Others will notice this about you. You may not be ready to start dating just yet – but having a lasting feeling of self-assurance is certainly one step to help you get there.
Upgrade Your Social Media Conscientiousness
Dating after divorce will be very different for those who married before the rise of social media. You need to prepare yourself for a whole new set of dating norms. Without a basic understanding of this, any time you spend on one of the many online dating sites – such as OurTime, Plenty of Fish, ItsJustLunch, eHarmony, Match.com – is going to be misspent. In this section of the Men’s Guide to Divorce in Boca Raton, we focus on two things to be conscious of, Reputation Management and Image Management.
The modern social age means that we now live in a giant fishbowl. Any person interested in finding out about you has an extensive set of tools at their disposal to do so. Just because the thought of looking up the person you are going on a date with has not crossed your mind does not mean it has not crossed theirs. In fact, according to a survey of 2,000 Americans by JDP, an employee screening and background check company, 77 percent of people said they researched potential dates previously. Shockingly, 38 percent always look up a date. Americans are not alone in this habit of investigation. Survey results from Australia show 75% of women and 59% of men get ready for a first date by internet searching the person they will be meeting.
Are there negatives to this new habit of playing private investigator before going out on a date? Absolutely! Zoë Miller, a relationship columnist for Insider, describes them in All of the reasons you should – and shouldn’t – look at your date’s social media before going out. In this article, she says that what you see online could be exaggerated, untrue, or might give you the wrong impression. If this is the case, it’s hard to keep an open mind about who you might meet for a date. Research from Cornell has found that people recognize this and respond accordingly. How so? They lie in their profiles to increase their chances of obtaining a date (Toma). Welcome to the new normal!
What does this mean for you? Like it or not, you have to make some effort in curating an online presence.
Is your social media account public? Your enthusiasm for Fantasy Football or your political views could be a cause for pre-mature disinterest. Consider making your social media accounts private. Your date can learn about your interests over dinner.
Is there information posted about you online that is false and damaging? That’s called defamation. In addition to serving as divorce attorneys, our law group takes on cases of defamation. Don’t let lies published online negatively impact your life.
Now that you have the clothes that make you the man you want to project to others, you need digital pictures so you can show yourself off! Social media platforms for meeting potential romantic partners require photos to help capture interest.
Session photography is one way to accomplish this. There are many high-quality companies located in Boca Raton that do this:
- Kenneth Appelbaum Photography has been in operation since 1997.
- UndertheSun Productions has over twenty 5-star ratings on Google.
- Francesca Bliss has been servicing the South Florida area for over a decade.
- SLRPhotography is rated five stars on Yelp.
- Audrey Blake Photography has photos featured in several magazines.
Since you likely had an event photographer at your wedding, there is an almost poetic symmetry to having professional photos taken at the beginning of your return to single life.
With many smartphones now coming standard with a high-quality digital camera, you can also take a more organic approach – selfies while out and about and photos captured by friends. Want to view some of the best Instagram-Worthy Sports in Palm Beach? There’s an app for that – GPSMyCity.
Several resources online will help you find the best photo backdrops if you want to scout the locations in advance, such as:
- The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in #ThePalmBeaches made by The Official Tourism Marketing Corporation for Palm Beach County.
- The Most Instagrammable Spots in Palm Beach County according to Boca Magazine.
- The Best Instagram Spots Downtown Map made by the Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency.
- The 27 best photo spots in West Palm Beach list were made by the trip planning app Wanderlog.
Another option to find compelling backdrops to show off your bachelor style is ShotHotSpot’s Best Views in Palm Beach for Photos and Best views in Boca Raton for Photos. ShotHotSpot’s list is determined via the use of the Flikr API. The API first scrapes the GPS locations of photos uploaded to Flickr. It then ranks and orders them according to a combination of where most pictures were taken. Flikr’s primary userbase is professional photographers, not anyone with a smartphone. There are some unusual but enchanting locations on their lists because of this.
In the end, cultivating your online presence is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. It ought not to become a major focus in your life. And yet a little bit of effort in these areas can have a significant impact in the period following your divorce.
Because Klein Law Group practices real estate law as well as family law, we have met several older, previously divorced couples that were buying a house in Boca Raton that had met online. Many shared that it was an attractive photo combined with chemistry in person that helped make their relationship come to fruition.
Regain your Confidence in Conversation
Your skill level for flirting with strangers is likely to have declined if you were married for over a decade. If you are not accustomed to cold contacting someone via text-based dating platforms, sending a simple greeting may cause anxiety. According to a panel of relationship counselors and therapists – that is entirely normal.
If you looked through Amazon for guidance or searched Google for “how to talk to women” for a refresher, you learned that there is a large volume of content for these keywords and that, based on the reviews, many are not good. Two books that I have heard were good include King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore and Douglas Gilette, and The Dating Playbook for Men by Andrew Ferebee.
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover examines the archetypes developed by psychotherapist Carl Jung to describe different models of masculinity. When self-identity gets disrupted due to an alliance of divorce attorneys, judges, and your former partner, understanding these models provides an interpretive paradigm with which to move forward. Confidence is gained by denying a self-diagnosis often made by divorced men: that the traumatic experience must remain a core character trait. By directing attention to the knowledge of how archetypes process the world, it provides a map to move past the trauma.
This explanation does not do justice to the lengthy and poetic speech I heard from one of my divorce attorney clients. One phrase that he shared has stuck long in my mind after I first heard it. “This book,” he said, “enabled me to do spiritual alchemy. It helped me figure out how to turn the pain I felt into a call for positive transformation.”
Though, like the last book, I have not read The Dating Playbook. I was told, however, that it was useful. One client described it as a “self-help book disguised as a guide for talking to women”. He said the book avoids the “pick-up artist” schtick and instead explains how self-confidence is the bedrock for potential relationships with romantic partners. The best way to improve that? Improve your mental vision of yourself by taking actions like those I’ve described above.
Wait to Introduce New Romantic Interests to Family
After you become romantically involved with someone, it is reasonable for you to desire that your children meet them. And you should. But, and this is a big but, it should happen after meeting some preconditions.
Dr. Susan O’Grady, the former Chief Psychology Fellow at the California Pacific Medical Center, suggests it is best to wait at least a year following the divorce to introduce your children to romantic interests.
Therapists writing for DivorceMag.com and Divorcedmoms.com, a young adult of divorced parents writing for Parents.com, and several published studies agree that parents introducing children to new romantic interests can cause problems. It can create a deep sense of confusion, feelings of betrayal, and possibly even rejection too soon after a divorce. An attorney might suggest that period be even longer. If your lawyer feels your former partner might use the introduction of a new person into your life as a cause to reduce or deny custody, it might be better to hold off.
Another consideration is to discuss with your new partner where you think the relationship is going. Parent Coach Jennifer Wolf, says that the relationship has to be serious for children to view it as valid. If that is not the case, it could worsen any underlying fears of abandonment that they may have. Just because you are a parent does not mean you should deny your emotional and sexual needs. And yet, you also do not want to be forced into a situation where you must choose between harming flesh and blood or the new person you love.
Men that go through a divorce tend to disassociate by neglecting practices to maintain physical health, abusing substances, and isolating. Boca Raton and the surrounding towns across Palm Beach County are filled with services, stores, and locations of interest to enable you to behave differently and move past the trauma of divorce.
Klein Law Group has compassionate divorce attorneys ready to help you develop a plan so you can start your life fresh the right way. Our practice areas include alimony, complex/high net worth divorce, contested divorce, parental relocation, property division, and more.
O’Grady, Susan. Six Ground Rules for Introducing a New Girlfriend or Boyfriend to Your Kids. https://ogradywellbeing.com/ground-rules-introducing-girlfriend-boyfriend-kids/
Toma, C. L., & Hancock, J. T. (2010). Looks and Lies: The Role of Physical Attractiveness in Online Dating Self-Presentation and Deception. Communication Research, 37(3), 335–351. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650209356437