HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) The last thing many people want to think about after a divorce is dating. When a marriage shatters, putting the pieces back together can be a daunting task, but there's a new social networking site that may make it a bit easier to get back in the saddle.
"I was all over the place with two kids, going through a divorce trying to pick myself up," remembers Sheila Blagg. "Because every day that is how it is; everyday you pick yourself up."
Licensed counselor Pam Sanabria says there are certain things that can help you put your life back together.
"It's really important to acknowledge the fact that you've been hurt, you have pain from this," Sanabria says. "Sometimes individuals feel they must be strong and go on as if they're picking up the pieces immediately."
Divorce is ugly, but some people have discovered a new website that is helping them move past the hurt a divorce can cause. They're moving on with the help of Blagg's website, Divorce 2 Dating.
Blagg says it isn't just a place for divorcees to hook up, it also provides members with a big picture approach to starting over. The site offers free time with an attorney and fitness expert and links to financial help and counselors. Perhaps most importantly, Blagg says it's a trusted interactive community of people in the same boat. That is something Sanabria says is critical to healing after a divorce.
"It's a very crucial step in acknowledging the loss in a grieving process, to say 'This is painful, I am hurt' and just to talk to others about that and receive support for that," Sanabria says.
Blagg polices the Divorce 2 Dating site herself, keeping creeps out and fostering new relationships.
"[I am] protective of the site, who is on there, who is giving advice and who is participating in the everyday flow of the site," Blagg says. "I keep a very close eye on that."
While misery loves company, Divorce 2 Dating members say the blogs and the chat rooms are more therapeutic than toxic.
"It definitely shows to me the power of the website, [how it can] definitely bring people back together and do a lot of healing," one member says.
It's healing that Sanabria says can be found by letting people in.
"Regardless of what we have experienced, we still have needs to be met, which is being comforted and supported and given attention to," Sanabria says. "So it's important to allow others to meet those needs."
Blagg says for her, watching the website grow has been both empowering and touching.
"The first time I saw people interacting and blogging, I'm sitting in front of the computer in tears, thinking 'Oh my God, thank you. It's working'."