A local support group has turned into a grassroots movement, and it started with conversations among a few friends.
Over small dinners and happy hours in summer 2020, six 40-something Tulsans discussed their midlife, post-divorce status. Messy, raw, friendly, acrimonious — their experiences with divorce and their exes were varied, but all confirmed midlife divorce is not for the faint of heart.
Themes began to emerge such as the importance of friendship, managing a new set of finances, self-care and healing, successful co-parenting and, of course, dating. Maybe, they thought, they should share their collective thoughts about life after divorce on social media.
After launching the group Divorced Over 40+ on Facebook and Instagram, group member and content manager Daniel Herrold could see they were onto something.
“Our posts started out pretty lighthearted, with photos of our small group of friends getting together and just having fun,” he says. “But when we started sharing more personal stories of divorce, what worked and what didn’t, we realized the messages were resonating.”
Virtual and in-person meetups (with safety precautions) have since started with an overwhelming response. The gatherings are not intended to be dating mixers — rather, as a way to build genuine connections with people who can relate. The group’s message is clear: Dating is fun and helpful after a divorce, but take time to heal and find friendships along the journey.
One of the original six, Amy Greene says people from other cities quickly began messaging them about starting groups in their own communities. Within 100 days, more than 20 online groups had launched nationwide.
“This all started because we needed friendship and community, and then wanted to help other people like us,” Greene says. “There’s no doubt people are yearning for real connection.”
Divorced Over 40+ is tentatively planning a ticketed Spring Fling event at Agora Event Center in April. For more information, visit divorcedover40.com.