Change is Good. Here’s How Much Change to Try!

When we find ourselves alone as Suddenly Solos, we tend to withdraw at least for a little while. It is part of the grieving process, whether our solitude is due to divorce or becoming a widower.

Emerging from the cocoon of solitary confinement is certainly productive as it opens your world perspective.  When precisely that emergence happens is largely up to you.  But it should happen.  And when it does, making a change in your life to express your return to society as a changed individual is extremely worthwhile.

Dr. Terri Orbuch (www. conducted a long-term, NIH-funded study of divorced singles (but her findings/advice can likely be extrapolated to widowers) and she found that those who changed at least one of their behaviors over a three-week period were twice as likely to find new love as the singles who stuck to their routines and old behavior patterns.

All it seemed to take was just one change – either changing an old habit or adopting a new behavior that will become part of your new identity.  For example, you might decide to drop your old habit of taking the elevator and walk up the three flights of stairs to your apartment instead. Or shop for fresh produce instead of picking up take-out dinner. Or find a different dog park for your pooch. Another way is to introduce something new, such as joining a book group, taking a Zumba class, or trying a weekend guitar study class.

But no matter what change you try, you have to keep with it for at least 21 days.  At this threshold, the change reaches a comfort level and you will see some results, making it far easier to continue with.

We guys may find it easier to ease into making the change by breaking it up into smaller preliminary steps.  Using the guitar study class example, first research available classes and offerings via the internet or by visiting a local music shop.  Then, calendar a day to get a guitar or take yours in for new strings and tuning.  A week or so before the start of the class, take a set time every day to do finger exercises to “get in shape.” This type of de-construction of the actual change will assist you into the new behavior pattern.  So remember these numbers: ONE change, 21 Days.  Give it a try!


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