Image copyright: 123rf/Iakov Filimonov

I really didn’t want to write about Valentine’s Day this week, so I decided to write about last Saturday instead! I went out to breakfast with a group of kind, supportive women friends. We greeted each other with laughter and hugs, sat down at a large table, ordered our food and started talking. We shared stories of joy and grief, of clarity and confusion— conversations women have been having with each other for generations.

We had become a small, compassionate community sharing a meal.

Research shows that being part of a community helps us stay healthy and live longer, but often during divorce friends feel they have to choose sides and may drift away from us. Our community becomes fragmented and breaks apart, and we wonder if we will ever find a new one.

How do you find a new community?

The first step is to participate in life, even for short periods of time. Do something you love. You may want to take an art class, join a ski club or volunteer for a cause you believe in. If you are more adventurous, you will certainly want to try something new!

The second step is to be discerning. No matter how charming someone may be, trust your instincts, and don’t pursue a friendship with anyone you wouldn’t want to meet for breakfast and share heart-felt stories.

My Saturday morning might not have included the traditional Valentine’s Day chocolates or roses, but there was the sweetness of laughter and the fragrance of friendship which smelled a lot like fresh brewed coffee and great hash browns.