I broke down in tears within two weeks of my split, but not because I was getting divorced. No, it was sex, or more specifically, the prospect of having sex with a new person (people!) that send me over the edge. I was having drinks with two friends, both of whom had been divorced for several years, and we stumbled upon the subject of dating. I remember my friend saying, "Don't worry, you'll even start having sex again before you know it."
Right there, in the middle of happy hour, I lost it. Seriously, I was a mom. I was a former breast-feeder, and those breasts were in a race for my knees! I had stretch marks, for God's sake, and there was no way I was going to allow anyone to see all of that. On top of it, I was over 30 and we all know that once you're over 30, that's it.
Well, no, that wasn't it. While my physical body was no longer in an unmarred, pre-baby state, I still looked pretty good. I just had all of those disempowering thoughts running around in my head, and it was up to me to change them. I had to get clear that it isn't just a physical body that a man is attracted to; I had other qualities that would be interesting to men.
If you're like most of the women I know, we don't think of sex as just an act -- it's something we do that means something. Sometimes it literally means everything. We engage in it with someone we love, someone we're committed to. After a divorce, it's not that we don't have needs, it's just that those needs take a back-seat to going through the emotions that come with divorce.
In order to open up to sex, love and dating after divorce, the first step is to heal. Healing, unfortunately, can be a pretty hard and daunting process because it means you must be willing to take a hard look at yourself and identify patterns, personality challenges, and opportunities for growth. Once you've gone through that process -- and it takes much longer than it took for me to just type that sentence -- you will eventually find someone you will want to be intimate with (I promise).
You'll also want to get your needs met, just perhaps in a different way than before. I'm a pretty touchy-feely person, so my coach suggested I get my inherent need for touch in another way -- I found that was a great excuse to get a weekly massage. You'll want to identify those needs and then find creative ways to get them met, without compromising your values.