The high rate of divorce in this country is nothing new. According to Statistics Canada’s latest data, there were 42,933 divorces granted in 2020 – which is actually a 25% decrease from the 56,937 divorces recorded in 2019.
But what might be a little surprising, is that many soon-to-be divorced people are choosing to flip the script: Rather than position the end of their relationship as a necessarily sad development, they’re framing it as a positive turning-point in their lives – and maybe even a cause for celebration.
Enter the concept of the “Divorce Party”.
With creative themes like “Survivor”, “All the Single Ladies”, and “When Life Gives You Lemons”, these events see soon-to-be divorced people gathering supportive friends and family to mark the beginning of a new (though perhaps unexpected) phase of their lives. Some websites even suggest that a weekend-long camping trip or spa visit with friends could be in order.
Party planning stores now stock divorce-themed decorations and party favours. Bakeries offer festive “Divorce Cakes” for the occasion, emblazoned with empowering quotes. There are many websites that suggest various themes and party activities that befit the occasion, and might even be fun for attendees. For example, the gathering might feature a vision board activity, where party-goers can use supplied craft materials to get focus on their own future dreams and life goals.
There’s a practical side to this too: Freshly-divorced people often unexpectedly find themselves having to set up a new bachelor/bachelorette pad, usually at a late-life stage. At a Divorce Party, they may just receive a stash of useful gifts to help them get re-established – such as a brand-new toaster to replace the one their Ex got in the divorce settlement. There are even divorce-specific gift registries like “Divorcist”, which can point friends and family towards truly useful gifts that are needed for a fresh start.
With all that said, there’s some decorum that should be observed at these kinds of events. The OprahDaily website features tips on Divorce Party etiquette, and includes the wise advice that the gathering should never focus on trashing anyone’s Ex (and a bullseye’s target with his or her face is a strict No-No). Rather, the focus should always be on future possibilities for those who have decided to uncouple themselves from matrimony.
Call it a rite of passage, or a new beginning. This kind of positive-spirited revelry reflects the simple fact that divorce has never been a more common and accepted part of Canadian society. And while no one suggests that getting a divorce is easy, having a Divorce Party can make the transition just a little easier.