By Rebecca White

In Tamsen Fadal’s newest book about love, titled The New Single: Finding, Fixing, and Falling Back in Love with Yourself After a Break-up or Divorce, the relationship expert discusses how hard it is when a relationship and love ends. With a realistic and proven game plan, the relationship author gives readers a road map to radiating confidence, taking better care of yourself inside and out- from career and finances, to home, health, and fitness- and gives expert love advice on how to survive a split and start over, 90 days at a time. In our exclusive author interview, Fadal opens up about her own divorce and shares wisdom that can inspire anyone to move on from heartbreak.

Relationship Author Discusses The New Single

Can you give us some background about the book and what the term “The New Single” means? How does this book differ from others like it out there?

I went through a divorce a few years ago. As I was coming out of it and trying to figure out where to start over again and who I was, I realized it’s not only a new beginning for me; my divorce was a public divorce here in NYC and really all over the place. My ex-husband and I ran a matchmaking business, so it was interesting to people that the marriage didn’t work out. Nevertheless, when I came out of my marriage and came into my divorce, I realized there’s this whole new group of people out there that are a new version of single. It’s different from days past- being single means something different because the world we live in is not the same anymore. It’s fast-paced. We’re dating online now. We’re moving at speeds we’ve never moved before. And I needed different things to help me get through it. I didn’t need a dating manual. I needed real life day-to-day advice.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen recipes and financial planning in a post-divorce or break up book. It’s practical advice that I think is necessary for everybody. It’s not just for somebody who feels like they’re heartbroken. It is real advice for the world we live in today. We hit on a little bit of everything, because I think until you have balance and wholeness in your life, you can’t do anything for anybody else.

What do you think will surprise readers most about it?

I think that there was this one line that everybody keeps going back to: sometimes the simplest advice is the best advice. There was an old colleague of mine that I had run into right after my divorce became public. I was embarrassed and I didn’t want to see him (of course that’s the person you always run into, right?). I walked in [to a party] and I thought, “Oh, no…he’s just the last person I want to see.” He put out his arms to hug me so I gave him one of those half-hearted hugs and smiles and he said, “I just want you to remember something. It’s not going to be like this 365 days from now.” I said, “I don’t want it to be like this two hours from now, what does that mean?” But, he was right and it hasn’t been like that. It takes time to start over again and to rebuild and reinvent. I think that’s what this book really teaches. The thing that surprises most people is how that simple advice has really helped so many.

Related Link: Author Ellen McCarthy Discusses ‘The Real Thing’ About Relationships and Love: Find “Someone Who Appreciates Your Whole, Quirky, Imperfect, Wonderful Self”

During the writing process did you have any profound moments or epiphanies about your own life that really shook you?

Yeah, I did. I realized at one point, when I had started to get back out there, that I was making some of the same mistakes I had early on. I call it turning your red flags to pink, which is making everything seem like it’s okay and look really pretty when it isn’t. I found I was doing that all over again as I started to date someone else. So, that was difficult for me. I think that at a couple points I realized that, as I was 43 and 44 while writing this book, it doesn’t matter how old we get. If we don’t start to change those habits then we will keep repeating them.

Tamsen Fadal Gives Expert Love Advice Post-Divorce

What is the best piece of love advice you’ve ever been given?

From my dad, he said, “It’s better to be alone than lonely with someone.” I didn’t understand it for a long time. We’re not taught to think about things like that. To me, “lonely” and “alone” were the same thing, and to a lot of people they are. When you understand the difference between those two words, I think that you have evolved. One is just population, having someone physically with you, and one is having somebody that speaks to your heart.

What tips do you have for longtime couples who are struggling to keep their marriage going?

I think that you have to step back. I’ve certainly been there and it’s a lonely place to be. You need to evaluate where you’re both coming from and who you’ve become. We change when we get into relationships and that can often times be difficult. You need to know the person you’re dealing with, because it might not have been the person you moved in with, walked down the aisle with, or first met when you had that cup of coffee. You need to know your audience and who you’re talking to. You might end up liking this person better. It’s really important to be honest with yourself. I realized often times that I wasn’t being honest with myself, and it’s a tough revelation. You need to assess whether or not you need to bring in a third party in terms of therapy or counseling. You need to keep the lines of communication open and make that is your number one focus. If you don’t fix that part, it’s very difficult to do anything else, whether it be finances, career, or taking care of your children and extended family properly. Those are the three places I would begin.

Related Link: ‘Snap Strategies for Couples’ Offers Efficient Relationship Advice for Busy Pairs

How do you radiate confidence when you truly don’t feel very confident after a breakup?

I didn’t for a long time, and I really wound up doing things that seem kind of mundane and practical and not really relationship-driven to maintain that confidence. That’s what a lot of the book is about, finding things that were important to me. Yoga: one yoga class that I succeeded in made me feel a little bit better. Work: one good story or changing someone’s life made me feel good. Volunteering: I started doing that and got involved in a lot more charities. That’s what I started to do to radiate that confidence even though I didn’t feel it. I also did a lot of to-do lists, which sounded kind of goofy to people. But that was really the only way I could stay on point and stay focused in order to really structure my life, so I wasn’t thinking “woe is me.” Instead I was thinking about what can I do outside to bring more inside.

Check out The New Single on Amazon! For more from Tamsen, follow her on Twitter @TamsenFadal and be on the lookout for her on WPIX at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m.