For some people, Valentine’s Day after divorce is not a big deal. They may view it as just another commercialized holiday created so that businesses can make money.
For others, it can be a very meaningful day with lots of romantic memories of celebrations with a spouse. In the early stages of divorce, Valentine’s Day can be a painful reminder of loss and loneliness.
How to survive your first Valentine’s Day after divorce.
With some preparation and organization, your first Valentine’s Day after divorce does not have to be a day to dread. Here are some tips on how to survive the dreaded Valentine’s Day after divorce.
Evaluate Your State of Mind
If you are feeling especially bitter as you walk through the mall or grocery store and find yourself cursing under your breath about the abundance of flowers, chocolates, balloons, and hearts, you probably should avoid completing a romantic movie marathon on Valentine’s Day. Don’t stoke your rage, grief, and every other negative feeling by exposing yourself to places where couples flock on February 14. Set yourself an agenda and put your strong emotions to work – paint a room in your house, schedule some serious exercise, or volunteer to help a children’s charity or animal shelter (that’ll cheer you up and sap your energy simultaneously).
Treat Yourself With Self-care
If there’s no one special to buy you a heart-filled candy, then get yourself the kind of treats you’ve always wanted on Valentine’s Day. Schedule yourself a massage, purchase the flowers you love, spend the day at the bookstore, or just participate in an activity that brings you peace, joy, and makes you happy. Take care of yourself. And if that means saying no to an outing with married friends or a party where love will be the centerpiece, then say no.
If you know you are going to need company on Valentine’s Day, make sure the group you pull together is a positive one that will help keep your mind off of your divorce and everything you’ve been through. Plan a potluck night at home with pals – eating in makes it easy to avoid the happy couples who are eating out.
Focus on the Kids
No matter what happened in your marriage, if you have children they are still the loves of your life. Show them that, even in the wake of your divorce, love is still something to be celebrated. It doesn’t have to be romantic love to count. Celebrate the feelings you have for them. Help them work on the valentines they’re pulling together for classmates, give them little treat bags of their favorite things, watch a funny movie, or plan a fun baking session. Your children can keep you busy and distracted like no one else.
Stay Off Social Media
You don’t need to have constant reminders of couples and love, and watching couples on social media can be depressing if you are alone. You should also avoid creeping your ex’s social media page if you still follow them.
Attend an Anti-Valentine’s Day Party
These are becoming more and more popular. If you are up to being social, grab a friend and attend one of these. You will be around other singles who aren’t celebrating Valentines Day too.
Don’t Forget Why You Aren’t Married Anymore
Don’t fall into the trap of glamorizing your marriage or forgetting why you got divorced in the first place. Remember that the grass isn’t always greener.
Most of all, remember that you will survive your first Valentine’s Day after divorce and that things do get better. All you have to do is remind yourself that time is the best healer for divorce and that it will get easier with the passage of time.