Woman puts a lighthearted touch on her divorce by 'soft-launching' it online
Sierra Gonsalves turned her separation into a game by spending months leaving subtle clues about her upcoming split. It was a fun way to help her cope.
We all know that divorce is a painful process. It can disrupt families, be a huge financial burden and cause emotional turmoil in a myriad of ways. It’s the second largest life stressor, right after the death of a spouse, and has its own similar stages of grief that last…well, however long they have to last. In her book “Divorce: Causes and Consequences,” psychologist K. Alison Clarke-Stewart says it can take up to four years to recover.
But can divorce actually be…fun?A woman named Sierra Gonsalves seems to think so, and her unique, lighthearted approach to her own divorce is currently going viral online.
Gonsalves shared in a TikTok how she had been “soft-launching” her divorce for months leading up to her separation. Normally people implement a soft launch at the beginning of a relationship to let folks know that someone new has come into the picture. Gonsalves decided to turn this concept on its head.
In the video, she revealed subtle hints she had been dropping—leaving her husband out of Instagram posts and stories, taking solo pictures (even on holidays), removing her profile picture that was from their wedding and setting her relationship status on Facebook to “private.” She even dropped some not-so-subtle hints like sprinkling divorce memes throughout her page.
@sierraontiktok Hard launch 🤝 #greenscreen #divorced #divorcetok #divorcediaries ♬ original sound - Sierra
"Am I a celebrity? No. Am I an influencer? No. Do my followers care? Probably not, but this was fun for me, and it helped me cope a little bit,” Gonsalves said.
She told Insider that she had been with her partner for six years, but had only been married 11 months before deciding to separate. Wanting to dissolve her own sense of shame around the situation, she hoped that making a game of it all would help, rather than holding onto a secret that was “eating her alive.”
"I feel like people try to hide divorces as much as they can," Gonsalves said. "But, you can't really hide it. People are going to notice that person is gone. I figured I might as well make it fun—If I get a laugh about it, then that's good enough for me. If someone also wants to join in and laugh, that's a bonus."
Gonsalves was clearly onto something, because not only did her video get over 50,000 likes, but she got an overwhelming amount of positive support as well. Rather than the expected condolences, many even congratulated her divorce announcement. Quite a few even had their own similar experience.
“When I posted my Spotify Wrapped on IG I said ‘this song helped me get through my divorce’ in tiny letters and so many people were like WAIT WHAT😂” one person commented.
Another added, “Haha! I’ve been doing most of these things for months! I didn’t know it was called a soft launch!”
Look, maybe seeing separation as something fun is a bit too far-fetched for most folks. But by tipping the scales in the opposite direction, as with Gonsalves’ soft launch, or by adopting more amicable divorce practices, perhaps we can at least begin to view it as something a little less devastating.As current divorce rates indicate, it’s still a fairly normal thing, so it would probably behoove us all to adopt a healthier mindset toward divorce. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we thought they would. Closing the chapter on major parts of our lives isn’t easy, but we have the agency to handle the transition in a way that personally feels healthy.