Hi, I’m Melanie, I’m 32, and I just got divorced.
Okay, so that’s not really how I like to introduce myself these days, but sometimes it feels like I should. I’ll spare you the sob story but, after being married for five years, I’m newly divorced and the big ‘D’ feels very much like a major part of my identity at the moment.
My ex and I were together for nine years; needless to say, along with all of the emotional turmoil that comes along with consciously uncoupling (and trust me, there’s a lot), I’m now also single for the first in almost a decade. It’s a bizarre, unnerving, confusing, at times exciting, feeling that I’m adjusting to one day at a time.
While I’m very much still healing, I’m also adjusting to that other big ‘D’ word: dating”
While I’m very much still healing, I’m also adjusting to that other big ‘D’ word: dating. The last time I was on the scene, Obama was president (first administration, not second). Breaking news: Things have changed. Not only is it strange to be dating again, dating isn’t anything like what I remember. There are apps involved.
But it’s not just the scene that’s different. I’m different. I’m focusing on myself this time around. I’m much more self-aware and feel more strongly about what I want and need out of a relationship. That means that as I dip my toes back into the dating pool, I’m starting to realize what makes me feel better about myself. While I may be wiser and more mature, I’m still the same person—fun, self-assured, open to love, excited for the future. So though I’m still sad, I’m also discovering new ways to tap back into all those positive qualities I love about myself.
“But it’s not just the scene that’s different. I’m different. I’m focusing on myself this time around”
Enter the power of good lingerie. Besides wanting to step up my undergarment game for the obvious single-girl reasons, I’ve realized that it makes me feel super confident, super strong and super sexy. Swapping my beige cotton bra for a black plunge bra (this one, to be precise) has been making me feel damn good about myself—even if no one else sees it.
Wearing a matching bra-and-panty set is also my jam lately. I can’t explain the psychology behind it, but there’s something about it that makes me feel like I have my life completely pulled-together, and trust me, that little boost can go a long way when life is actually completely falling apart.
“There’s something about matching lingerie that makes me feel like I have my life pulled-together”
Same goes for sleepwear. I am notorious for sleeping in a full-on sweatsuit, and I’m not talking about tapered joggers with a crop top. I’m talking ratty, beat-up sweats purchased in the men’s department of the Walmart in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts (don’t ask). So lately, I’ve tried ditching that admittedly less-than-come-hither look for cute rompers or silky shorts and camisoles. They’re all things that are still comfortable and I feel like myself in…just a stepped-up version of myself. And while George, my current bedmate (a.k.a. my dog), is unfazed by my new bedtime attire, it’s another little something I can do to treat myself.
Above all else, I’m choosing better-looking underpinnings that I like, not based on what I think the guys I’m dating would be into. (Although, to be honest, it’s just one cute, sweet guy at the moment. He’s gotten a couple of sneak peeks and is most definitely on board with my choices.)
I’m dressing for a new version of me I’m just beginning to get to know.
Melanie is a Chicago-based freelance beauty writer and expert. She’s worked as a beauty editor at Shape, Good Housekeeping and Health and loves nothing more than testing out new products…though watching bad reality TV comes in a close second.