After the messy divorce, the custody and support hearings, and the grieving, is it really possible to clean one’s slate and start out fresh, with a positive mindset, and open up one’s heart to someone new? It turns out that divorced singles who successfully enter into new, serious relationships handle key issues, including money, very differently than they did in their previous marriage. In my longitudinal study of marriage, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health and has been ongoing since 1986, I followed the same 373 married couples over the years—through the early years of marriage and, for 46 percent of them, through divorce. In addition, divorced singles who consciously set about to change one significant behavior (such as quitting smoking, working fewer hours, or getting regular exercise) were not only more likely to find a new partner, but also described themselves as very happy and hopeful in their new relationships. From letting go of the past and not blaming their ex, to giving more daily attention to their new partner, the lessons learned from divorced people in my study amount to excellent marriage advice.
Yes, you can find love again, no matter how old you are or how terrible your previous marriage was.


Learn more about how to have a successful second marriage and discover the marriage lessons learned from divorced people in my new book, Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship (Sourcebooks, 2012).
Terri Orbuch PhD is a professor at University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and director of the longest running study of marriage and divorce in the US. See all articles from Red Hot ReadsFriendships & Family Duchess Digest: Three Tips to a Spring Rendezvous! See all articles from Friendships & FamilySex & the Single Minded Woman CONTEST! Tagged: Lady Antebellum, Ready To Love Again, music, lyrics, song, text, words, typography, graphics, digital, . In fact, divorced people are especially well equipped to have a healthy and successful second marriage.


When divorced men and women from my study find a new partner, I ask what they’ve done differently (or have changed) in their new relationship. You can change your attitude and unhelpful habits, untangle your biases and unrealistic expectations, reconnect with your priorities and values, and take a big step out into the dating scene. For instance, almost 6 out of 10 divorced singles (57%) who are now in healthy new relationships don’t share living expenses with their partner.



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