By Jennifer Cho
Hi! I’m Jen. I first came to SinceMyDivorce as a way to gain support through my divorce as I’m sure many of you have. I’m not writing this post to get you to go outside or get out into the dating scene; I would just like to tell you my story in hopes that it might help you like this blog has helped me. So, here it is.
I married quite young, which might have been my first mistake but of course, I thought, “This is the man I want to be with forever” and at the time he was. Eventually we simply fell out of love with each other, found ourselves not cooperating, arguing, and both of us never at home. Fortunately, we were too young to have children and no one had to suffer, well except us.
After months and months of reading Since My Divorce and other divorce support sites in bed every night I got tired of crying. One day I literally thought, “This is stupid. Why am I crying all freaking day??” It wasn’t until months after that I had a great realization that we weren’t good for each other and I didn’t need to keep crying but I still didn’t feel motivated to try again. I mean, why would I? Why would I put myself out there for the same thing to happen again?
After a lot of pushing and prodding from my friend “Melanie,” I finally decided to go outside. She suggested we have a girl’s day and this is exactly where my story begins.
A “girl’s day” is just a day where you and your close friend(s) do things you all find fun basically. The first thing Melanie and I did was go shopping around Union Square (I live in SF). Melanie suggested we head into Bloomingdales for this gorgeous dress I have been eyeing even before the divorce but never thought I could afford. Immediately I thought again, “This is stupid. Why am I in here if I cannot afford this dress?”
She forced me to try it on anyway telling me we weren’t leaving until I did. Beautiful, just beautiful. This particular dress had elegant lacing and beading to die for. Surprisingly, I checked the tag even though I knew exactly how much it was. Guess what! IT WAS ON SALE. I bought it. This was my first step towards getting my confidence back. I thought, “If not now, then when?”
That has been my motto since. As silly as it sounds, immediately I felt like a new woman. I hadn’t bought anything since the divorce and buying this one item I had wanted for ages kind of made me feel like I was starting over. Symbolism at its best.
The next stop? A medi-spa. The last place I ever thought I would be. Again this woman on a budget would never spend carelessly on anything so I had never been to a “medi-spa” before but Melanie had a plan. She had prepaid a few treatments for me to have done specifically for this day.
We walked in to this San Francisco dermatologist who just happened to be three blocks away from Union Square where we were shopping. Clever woman she is… We walked in and were immediately greeted by a few smiling faces. The first thing we did was microdermabrasion.
I had no idea what this even meant! Basically it is a treatment that exfoliates the top layer of your skin to remove the dead skin layer. As they were using this little handheld device on my face the two ladies began chatting. I didn’t want to get into anything so I just told the nice ladies where I worked, what my interests are, just general things but my friend had a different idea.
She instantly blurted out that I had recently been divorced and this was our day to get me outside. Flabbergasted I probably looked very very awkward. The ladies began to ask me about it and I suddenly felt the need to cry. I realized I had not spoken to anyone about how I felt during or after the divorce. I began talking and talking and crying and crying, they were nice enough to bring me some tissues hoping I didn’t ruin the treatment I was having. Just talking felt like a release to me, I had been completely bottled up since we began the divorce and I didn’t realize I needed to let my feelings out. This was probably not the best time to do it; however, it felt incredible to cry.
The ladies were so incredible and nice, and insisted on giving me some make-up advice (apparently mine was all wrong) and even dating advice. Finally, I went home, tried on that dress and looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “This wasn’t stupid. I look great and I’ll probably get some looks in it too ;)”
Eventually I found my way through the dating world just by being honest with myself and whomever I was seeing.
You first must be honest with yourself about your dating goals. Whether long-term or short term, decide what is best for you at the moment, there is no need to rush. You being happy is the most important thing. When I finally realized this, I did get a little selfish but I think that’s OK. This time is all about you right? So do what makes you happy.
A few months ago I began a long-term relationship with a man I love. I’m not sure that I will be ready for marriage anytime soon but what I feel about myself now is indescribable. It takes time but you will find your way and the feeling you will get when you do will be just as indescribable. Don’t be discouraged.
My words of wisdom to you are have a girl’s day, you have friends who care about you. Lying in bed every night crying might be what you want to do right now, but can you really do that forever? It took me one day and a friend to get me thinking I can do this. So ladies I have a challenge for you, I’d like you to take these few steps in helping you get your sexy back.
- First off, make no mistake, it’s “you” against “you” every day. So you get to decide who wins. The dark you or the bright you.
- Don’t ignore your friends, they care about you deeply just like my friend Melanie. Tell them what you love about them and vice versa. Focus on the good!
- Write a letter to your ex for helping you learn a, b, and c. Forgive yourself and him for whatever happened and know that both of you are better off.
- Write a letter to yourself from your better-self and then read it aloud. You are guaranteed to cry but this is a releasing exercise and crying is what it’s meant to do.
- Join a dance studio. By yourself or with a friend. This is guaranteed to get your butt in shape AND make you feel sexy from all the new moves you learn. Try belly dancing or salsa. It may feel a little awkward at first but everyone feels like that in the beginning. When you feel confident in your dance moves, go to a salsa club and show them off!
- Go shopping and go to a medi-spa. This may seem like a silly thing to do, I certainly thought it was, but it worked. I felt sexier than ever after buying that dress and having that treatment. The looks I got after wearing the dress just reinforced the thoughts I was finally started to think about myself, “Hey, I’m pretty sexy.”
- While taking things slowly works well for some people, others find sex for its own sake exciting and even liberating after a long relationship. This is all dependent on yourself and what you’re comfortable with. At some point if you feel confident enough then go ahead! No one is stopping you.
- Don’t think everything is “stupid” as I did. This is simply just a tactic your low-confidence self is creating to get your to stay in bed forever. Not everything is stupid and once you put on that sexy outfit you won’t think so either.
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