I know a lot of singles on the prowl, and most of them are divorced. It's just not uncommon anymore for people to get divorced — even at midlife and beyond — and try to start over with someone new. A dismaying number of my friends have also lost spouses to illness in the past few years, and some of them are tiptoeing out into the dating scene as well. According to marriage and divorce researcher Terri Orbuch PhD, there are 100,000 million singles in the US, and four out of 10 were already married once.
But 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? Can one really find love again?
Unlike many relationship advice books, Dr. Orbuch's is based on more than 25 years' worth of scientific data and research. She directs the longest-running study of married and divorced individuals in this country, ongoing since 1986 and funded by the National Institutes of Health. As in her previous book, Five Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great, Dr. Orbuch has taken key findings from her landmark study of hundreds of married, divorced, and repartnered individuals, and translated these into doable strategies that readers can put into practice right away in their own lives and relationships.
Dr. Orbuch set out to answer these questions: After a long-term love relationship has ended, what's the best way to go about finding love again? What can other singles learn from those who are happiest in their newfound relationships? What are some of the biggest obstacles to finding love again, and what are the mistakes to avoid?
Some of Dr. Orbuch's study findings are quite fascinating and surprising. For example, the majority (57 percent) of divorced singles in her study who found new partners do not share living expenses. Most of these people, she discovered, have lasting issues or concerns from their previous marriage regarding the sharing of finances and money — and they simply don't want money woes to burden their new love relationships. Makes sense!