Modern Family Matters

How to Prepare for Dating After Divorce: Starting Again and Finding Love

October 23, 2023 with Shaunna Lee Season 1 Episode 114
Modern Family Matters
How to Prepare for Dating After Divorce: Starting Again and Finding Love
Show Notes Transcript

Join us as we sit down with Best Selling Author, Shaunna Lee, to discuss how to move forward from your divorce and start the process of introducing dating and love back into your life. In this interview, Shaunna covers the following:

•    So You're Divorced, So What?
 •    The Art of Self-Care 
 •    Taking time to yourself to tend to your wounds. 
 •    Self-Discovery and permission to create a new version of yourself.
 •    Shifting your focus and expanding your vision for what is possible 
 •    Defining what you want in a future partner. 
 •    Self-sabotaging your success because of an upper-limit problem.
 •    How your beliefs are holding you back from being successful in the dating world.
 •    Steps to keep your working relationship with your ex focused on what is best for the kids 
 •    How to move from searching for love to being In Love.
 •    Ways to have fun with the process and make it feel lighter. 

If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys, please call our office at (503) 227-0200, or visit our website at

To learn more about how Shaunna can help you, you can visit her website:

Disclaimer: Nothing in this communication is intended to provide legal advice nor does it constitute a client-attorney relationship, therefore you should not interpret the contents as such.

Steve Altishin  0:32  
Welcome, everyone. I'm Steve Altishin, Director of Client Partnerships at Pacific Cascade Legal. And today I'm here with Best Selling Author, Shaunna Lee, to discuss how to move forward from your divorce and start the process of introducing dating and love back into your life. So before we started on this, Shaunna, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Shaunna Lee  0:54  
Yeah, absolutely. Well, first of all, thanks for having me. I'm very excited to be here today. Um, let's see, how did I get started in this whole world? Well, first of all, I'm very familiar with divorce, because I have been divorced three times. And after the third divorce, I hid in a little hole. And I was very ashamed, had lots of concerns about how the world would view me being a three times divorcee, and saying divorcee doesn't make it any better, by the way. Sort of makes us feel a little bit better, because it sounds pretty. But no, I had a very shame filled experience kind of coming to terms with the fact that I was divorced for a third time. And through a lot of healing and kind of my own journey, through--you know, I spent 20 years in corporate America and I was very familiar with single mom life, I had done it several times before-- I got to the point where I lost my second job in a single year. And I was forced, it was this really kind of come to Jesus moment for me where I had to ask myself, What am I doing? Is this really the path I want to be going down? And I had always had the nudge to write a book my entire life, I wanted to be an author. And in my healing journey, through lots of meditation, lots of journaling, I was kind of hearing the nudges, hearing the whispers to write a book. And one day, it just hit me and I thought, oh, my gosh, this is why I've had these three experiences, because I have experienced every type of divorce that exists. The hard, World War Three version, toxic, chaotic, all the way to the quote, unquote, super amicable where it looks like everyone's getting along, and kind of everything in between. And so I took all of that experience and put it into this book, which I say is the prettiest divorce book you will ever read. It is quite beautiful. But it is really an empowering book that is your guide to how do you put your life back together? How do you put one foot in front of the other after the trauma has been induced, and you're ready to take that one little tiny step. That's when you read this book. And it will show you how to properly heal, it will kind of guide you through embracing the situation for what it is, this opportunity that you have to create a new life to create a new identity to really define where you're going next with intention and purpose. And so that is how I came to write the book. And then from there, you know how life just takes you from one thing to another thing to another thing, I ended up hosting a podcast. And it is quickly becoming like near and dear to my heart, it is what I will probably say later in life is my purpose in life is this really incredible experience where I am just talking to a bunch of people, and I am highlighting stories of people who have done just that: they've started again, after loss, whether it is divorce, or any other loss that life hands us. All of these people that I'm highlighting and getting to know on my podcast are just kind of embracing that. Oh gosh, am I too old to do this thing? Is it too late for me to do a new thing? And so it's called Start Again with Shauna Lee and we just highlight stories of those start again moments. And so I have now built an entire business around starting again. all because I got divorced a third time.

Steve Altishin  4:29  
I like it, I like it. You're perfect. I also ,by the way, thrive on talking with people. And so I love talking with people who love to talk with people. And yeah, yeah, that's what we're gonna do. This is really interesting. One of the reasons that we were so interested in talking to you is that lawyers moving forward after divorce, we've done three or four podcast, live streams about it, but I mean, we're talking about changing your name and making sure your bank account and updating your will and all the legal stuff are very important. All very important. But you know, we're not talking about what you talk about so much, which is that personal emotional challenge that they're going to face and again, and how to move on. So let's just kind of start with that. You know, in your book, I think you had a chapter called Your Divorced, So What? 

Shaunna Lee  5:32  
That's the title of the book, yes!

Steve Altishin  5:33  
So what?  liked that, it's like, you know, get past that. But how do you start getting past that? 

Shaunna Lee  5:41  
Well, you know, I've gotten, I've actually gotten a little heat for the title of the book, because people think that I'm very flippant about divorce, and that it's no big deal, or that I'm encouraging people to get divorced, which couldn't be further from the truth. Really, what the title is implied to do is to de stigma the whole thing, right? So take the sting out of the fact that you are divorced. Because one of the very first lines in the book is basically this doesn't define you, it doesn't mean anything about you as a person, because you're divorced. And so the book is really intended to be empowering. And to, you know, the first step is to put your shame aside and say, It's okay. Like, this is this is your current situation, it doesn't mean anything about you as a person. And I think that really is the first step.

Steve Altishin  6:37  
Is there a timeframe before you can start moving on, maybe? Is there sort of this space you have to kind of go through, I know that a lot of people grieve, I mean, and shame comes up, and all these things come up. Do you just kind of plow through those and move on or allow time to let them kind of go?

Shaunna Lee  7:02  
Yeah, so it's funny, because, you know, we've got all these cliches, time heals all wounds, and a lot of people will encourage a newly divorced person to just stay single for a long time. I'm a big proponent of everyone is different. And the timeline looks different for one person to the next. But what is important, more than how long it takes you, is that you've gone through each of these steps. And so like one chapter in my book is about healing, like, take the time to actually heal from the loss, then there's a whole chapter on grieving because grief is a whole thing. And everyone processes it differently. And I think we don't really allow divorced people enough room to grieve, I think, you know, people want them to be angry at their spouse, or they want them to, you know, throw them back into the dating world. And I think that that's a mistake, because I think there is time that is required, the length of time is different for everybody. But I think we do need to take time to tend to our wounds to make ourselves feel whole again, to really figure out what we want. Now, that is one of my favorite questions to ask, because I think far too few people actually ask them of themselves, you know, what do you want? And the time after divorce is the perfect time for you to sit with, what do I want? Is this the career I want to be in? Is this where I want to live? Is this how I want to look like there are so many aspects of who we are that we get to kind of reinvent or rediscover, after divorce. And I think those are really important steps that you take before you take any big, you know, next step in life.

Steve Altishin  8:42  
It's kind of like, a new beginning. I mean, it's like, there's an end, but that always has a beginning. And so, kind of when you're ready to move on, or when you feel like okay, I'm not going to just think negatively about everything I'm going to like actually look forward, what do you start doing? I mean, what did you even start doing? I mean, how does that go physically into something?

Shaunna Lee  9:14  
Well, listen, I'm pretty sure I took longer than I needed to in any one of these stages, which is one of the things I tell people by working with me, I'm going to get you through each stage a little faster than I did for myself. I think we we all have the ability to do it yourself. But I think a lot of people get stuck in any one of these steps after divorce. And so it's really not about like plowing through and getting to the next thing. It's about just taking your time and being intentional, but not staying where you are like giving yourself permission to let it be a new beginning to see the opportunity. I mean, this is the biggest mind shift for a lot of people is seeing that you have an opportunity in front of you instead of seeing Oh my gosh, this horrible thing happened to me. And so I think that is exactly what you said, you know, highlighting that it is a new beginning. And there is opportunity there. And you get to define what it's going to look like.

Steve Altishin  10:11  
When people come in to start a divorce, one of the things that we talk about is setting goals, or plans, or thinking about what you want at the end of the divorce, snf don't limit yourself. And you kind of talk about that a little bit, don't you, about sort of preparing that, and being careful not to limit yourself because oh, your divorced.

Shaunna Lee  10:42  
Yes, exactly. Well, one of my chapters is called Dream big. So it's really about giving people permission to want something more than you think is possible. Like, sky's the limit, what do you what do you want? And I think, being able to take those limits off of it's kind of like the blinders horses where you know, like, you take those off, and you realize, oh, wow, there's a whole world out here I could, I've been worried about splitting the items in the house are where the bank accounts are gonna go. But really, I could be thinking about starting a new job or writing a book or traveling the world. Like there's, there's all sorts of possibilities that are there. If you allow yourself to think about what you're wanting?

Steve Altishin  11:29  
Yeah. How important is it to believe you can actually do it?

Shaunna Lee  11:34  
Oh, that's critical, like, believing it's possible is the miracle behind the things happening. So a lot of what we talk about is limiting beliefs. So uncovering what they are, what are you believing about yourself, or the world or your current situation that is limiting your potential. And when we shine a light on it, we can say, oh, wait a second, that thing actually is not true. That the walking around believing this thing is true. And it's not actually true. That's when it's like this aha moment. The light is brighter, you know, the sun shining brighter, the flowers smell prettier. Like, when you realize, oh, my gosh, I've been limiting what I thought was the potential of my life. Because of this belief I was holding to be true. That's when everything opens up. So I think belief is everything. 

Steve Altishin  12:25  
Oh, I cannot agree more. Now, let's get to the dating part. You talk about, you know, starting the process of introducing dating and love back into your life. I love the term process. It just isn't a snap your fingers thing, probably.

Shaunna Lee  12:51  
No, there is a certain amount of deciding you're ready. That is a snapping your fingers kind of a moment. Because it's a whole vibe to get behind the idea that you can do this thing, right. And that, you know, I work with women, and I have a whole dating course around, preparing your heart to get ready to date. And so a lot of that course is around breaking down some of these barriers that people have. Because here's the thing, anytime someone will come to you saying, you know, this is my issue, this is my concern. This is how it's working. For me, this is why dating doesn't work, XYZ, all the things, they are the only thing standing in their way of success. And it's being able to break down those barriers and what you believe to be true, it's, again, the limiting beliefs concept, but when you can believe that it's possible, and that you deserve to be happy. And you deserve to have love again. Like that's when everything changes. And so from there, then we can talk about, okay, how do you be? How can you be intentional about that? What do you want in a future partner? One of the things I talked about in that course, is is attracting to you this perfect mate. And what I believe to be true is this whole Law of Attraction and this concept of like energy, you're gonna attract wherever you're vibrating. And so I teach women how to raise your vibration so that you meet the match that you're looking for. So part of it is yes to find what you want in your future partner. But the other part is, are you that person that that person wants? Are you the match for who you're wanting? And so we do a lot of work around preparing ourselves and getting ourselves to the place where one of my favorite mantras I actually took from Amanda Francis. She's amazing. She teaches on money mentality, but I applied a lot of her concepts to attracting love, and her. Her mantra is so amazing. I tell everyone, she says, I am the catch. I am the prize. I am the whole damn vibe. And I'm like when women are approaching dating that That's what you need to get behind. Like, you're the catch, you're the prize. You are the vibe. And so that really, it changes the whole perspective. It's not I'm looking for a needle in a haystack at that point, it's a wait, I'm just going to meet a bunch of people. And I'm going to see who I'm vibing with. And it just it makes it a whole lot easier and smoother process.

Steve Altishin  15:20  
Does co-parenting, that whole kind of thing, does it interfere with, not interfere with, help? I mean, how does that fit? If you've got a couple kids, and you're doing co parenting with your ex, and you're wanting to date and move forward?

Shaunna Lee  15:42  
Well, I will say kids complicate everything. The best possible ways. Yeah, I think when kids are in the mix, it is more complicated. You have to consider them in how you are approaching dating. And people do it all various different ways. I don't know if there's a right or wrong, I certainly think I know what's right or wrong. But I think yes, kids are a factor, for sure. And that's one of the things when we're talking about, you know, what do you want in a future partner? Be honest about whether you or not you want that partner to have children and know what that brings to the table? If they do and if you do, I think it's definitely a factor that has to be considered. And co parenting is a whole thing. I have another course on co parenting because so many people struggle in this area, like you ended up divorced because you had issues with this person. And so now you're supposed to be working together and this amicable way for the good of your children. And so I teach people how to do that better. Because yeah, co parenting is a whole thing.

Steve Altishin  16:47  
Oh, yeah. And a lot of the sort of challenges and tools and ways to do it are similar to what we've already talked about, then the whole limiting belief. Getting past shame, all of that stuff, you know, putting away your anger and your negativity. It's, you know, you're dating one person, and you're sort of dating your kids, because you're co parenting.

Shaunna Lee  17:16  
It's just, yeah, oh, it's such a juggling act for sure. And I think, for me, when I am intentional about the way that I am moving forward in life, that means I'm co parenting better. And listen, I'm, I'm not perfect. I'm human, like the rest of us. So I have my moments. But when I can keep my kids front and center as the priority, I show up better. And when I am making that working relationship a priority, then it puts me in a better headspace to move forward and meet a new person or, you know, how I interact with the rest of the world gets a little easier when that one working relationship is smoother. So it's all interconnected.

Steve Altishin  18:01  
Oh my gosh, I agree. You also talk about the tools you use to succeed. And and again it's fascinating, the intentionality of the approach. It's like, okay, here's what I want, this is what I'm gonna do. So I'm gonna go. And now I'm going to use some actual nuts and bolts tools to do it. And I know journaling is one and meditation is one that you talk about, could you kind of go through a little bit of how those tools work?

Shaunna Lee  18:36  
I mean, twist my arm to talk about meditation and journaling one more time. I would say those are the two things that have truly changed my life. If I were to give it kind of a quick summary, meditate, both of them allow you to be intentional. And I would say that probably is the theme and everything that I'm teaching everything that I'm sharing, it all comes back to intentional, be intentional with where you're going what you want. But meditation lets you practice that. Journaling lets you work through a lot of things and practice. So those tools, I think are a good way to work through difficult emotions, uncover limiting beliefs, be able to practice what you want to feel like in any given situation. So specifically meditating, and spending time thinking through how you want this next interaction to go. How do you want the first date with this person to go? How do you want your next conversation with your ex to go, being able to sit in meditation and kind of practice what that looks like and what it feels like in the way that you want it to go? Is setting attentions and then journaling one of my favorite so two big things about journaling might my first is practicing gratitude. And the second is practicing kind of future situations. So that example I just gave with meditation you can do with journaling as well and you can kind of write ate through. I'm so grateful for this experience and talk about this scenario that you want to have happen. As if it's already happened as if it is your current day present reality, I've met this man, he is so amazing, he makes me feel this I'm so in love, like being able to write through how it will feel to have this person in your life. And the same goes for conversations with your ex, like, difficult conversation, like how many of us have lost sleep over a potential conversation like, I find it's more helpful to think through how you want it to go and practice that. And so journaling lets you do that. But then my other thing about journaling that I love to tell everybody about is this kind of framework for gratitude journaling. And this is where this little tiny framework can give you the ability to start small and create a daily habit. So I think that on the days that I have meditated, and I've journaled things go smoother, I show up as my better self. So I know how beneficial it is to me. And gratitude journaling was a really good practical way for me to put it into practice. And so it's it's three steps, it's, the first one is three to five things that you are grateful for. The next is something that you are proud of. And the next is something you're looking forward to. And so it's all about future gratitude. But we are not conditioned to be grateful in this society, we're conditioned to look for problems and solve problems and what is missing and what is wrong. And so gratitude takes practice. And so that's where I think journaling is a really good way to help us kind of practice this gratitude mindset that has to be cultivated, and built over time. 

Steve Altishin  21:46  
I love that. I love that. And one of the things I think it also does, because you're writing stuff down, and when you write stuff down, you think of Woodstock, and stuff that you maybe haven't thought of for years. It really good for like getting your brain to start, you know, flashing again on the old synopses that haven't been used forever.

Shaunna Lee  22:15  
Yeah. Oh, for sure. I think one of the concepts, or one of the tactics for journaling that I've heard is this whole stream of consciousness, where you can kind of ask God angels universe, you know, a question and then just start writing. And this stream of consciousness is really kind of you tapping into the divine and, and getting the answers that you're looking for. But if you just free flow, write it out. It is amazing what comes up from that. It can be stuff from the past, it can be aha moments for how you can change your perspective. It's, it's really amazing what putting pen to paper can do. 

Steve Altishin  22:51  
I love it. I could not agree more. So now, I love another thing you talked about where you moved on from divorce and on to dating. And now it's time to move along from searching for love to being in love. What does that mean?

Shaunna Lee  23:11  
Yes, well, so one of the things I talk about in so in this dating course, I have I, and I'm writing a book about dating that is on the horizon. But one of the things I talk about is your daily practice. So I give homework each week in this course. And one of the things is to go be in love, go be in love for the week, you haven't met the person yet. But I want you to walk around as if you are in love with this person. And what happens is kind of miraculous, because all of a sudden, you're in love with the way your children are interacting, you're in love with this thing you saw on TV, you're like you're just you fall in love with your life. And I think that state of being is what then attracts love to you. And so it's a very intentional practice that I'm recommending. But then fast forward, you meet the person, you do fall in love. And then reality sets in. And so I have a whole chapter on self sabotage. Because there's this concept of happiness thresholds and upper limits, where we're all comfortable with being like this happy. But if I get to this happy, then I'm gonna self sabotage and bring myself back down to this comfort zone. And I was trying to remember the name of the book and the author, I think it's called the upper limit. No, it's called The Big Leap. And I don't remember the author's name, but go find it. It's got a fish on the cover is an amazing book all about this concept of us self sabotaging to keep us in this comfort zone. And really, the miraculous thing we can do for ourselves is when we bust out of that upper limit and get comfortable there and really expand what our comfort zone is for happiness thresholds because is all of this to tie back to dating, when you're in that first relationship after, after you've been divorced, after you've done the healing, you've done all the things and you've met the person. That's when all patterns start to pop up. And that's when self sabotage starts, can I really be this happy? Can he really be this great. And so you kind of it's a little bit of an uncomfortable scenario that you kind of have to push through, so that you can allow yourself to get to that really great place that you've been wanting to be.

Steve Altishin  25:28  
I love it. You quoted an author, I hear you, and all I could think of, what comes to my brain, of course, is that Rolling Stones song. You can't always get what you want. But you find sometimes you get what you need. Yeah, I love that. We're getting close to the end. So before we do, I wanted to do a couple things. First, I want to have you let people know how they can get a hold of you if they would like do it. I'm sure some people are definitely going to want to do that. And so just what is the ways that they can get a hold of you?

Shaunna Lee  26:09  
So I am simply Shaunna Lee on all of the socials. I love to play on Instagram the most, Shaunna is spelled S H A U N N A, because my parents wanted to be different. My website is where they can go find out all sorts of information about my courses, my books, I've got a lot of free downloads over there, and that's

Steve Altishin  26:29  
I love it. We have a couple minutes, so I'm going to ask you one more question I'm going to say, if you have a couple of minutes, then what would one piece of advice you would give to someone who's calling you and saying, it's not going right, I don't know what to do?

Shaunna Lee  26:50  
What would be my first advice? I would say first of all, it's going to be okay. Just take a breath, and I think one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to stop really telling the story of what's gone wrong, to stop spinning our focus and our energy on how it didn't go right or what is missing. I think the minute we can stop that momentum because I think energy is this momentum it builds like a snowball running down a mountain, right? So stop the the train in its tracks. And then say okay, what do I want? And if you spend more time and energy focused on what you want, rather than what is wrong, or what is missing, or what you don't want. That's when things start shifting.

Steve Altishin  27:40  
I love it. I love it. You gave a physics answer. Makes me feel so good. Time and energy are work, and momentum is energy. So I'd love to thank you so much for being here today, Shaunna. This was really cool sitting down and talking about dating, getting back into dating and and kind of reintroducing yourself, after divorce, to love again. I just thought it was great. So thank you so much.

Shaunna Lee  28:13  
Thank you so much for having me. It was a super fun conversation.

Steve Altishin  28:17  
Oh, it was, thank you, you made it super fun. So everyone else thank you as well for joining us today. If anyone has further questions on today's topic, you can definitely post it here and we can get you connected with Shaunna. And until next time again, stay safe, stay happy and be well.

Speaker 1  28:37  
This has been Modern Family Matters a legal podcast focusing on providing real answers and direction for individuals and families. Our podcast is sponsored by Landerholm family law and Pacific cascade family law serving families in Oregon and Washington. If you are in need of legal counsel or have additional questions about a family law matter important to you, please visit our websites at Landerholm or Pacific cascade family You can also call our headquarters at 503270 200 to schedule a case evaluation with one of our seasoned attorneys. Modern Family Matters, advocating for your better tomorrow and offering legal solutions important to the Modern Family