Divorce And Valentine’s Day – Four Tips

Valentine’s Day can be one of the four toughest “holidays” if you are divorced, recently divorced or singled. The other three might be Christmas, New Year’s, and your birthday if you are alone and without a partner.

It can be even worse if you were someone who was engaged or even married on Valentine’s Day. That just makes the day an emotional double whammy to deal with.

If you are alone this year on Valentine’s Day, do not despair. Trust me… it is a day that is no different from any other. It can only be a challenging day, a tough day, or a horrible day but only if you decide to make it so.

Here are some tips to help you if you find yourself celebrating Valentine’s Day on your own. Who knows, it could be your best Valentine’s Day ever!

  1. Be your own Valentine. This is my favorite thing to do. It also works for any other holiday that you may find yourself single. Take the day for yourself. Pamper yourself! Spoil yourself! Do anything and everything that you want on your schedule and not anyone else’s. Think of all of the places that are fun to go to, things to see and do that you could have all to yourself because everyone else is out on dates in crowded restaurants and so forth. But focus on yourself. Go buy some new clothes or shoes, go for a road trip, just do anything that you will enjoy that allows you to focus on you.
  2. Do something for others. When I was going to school to get my masters in counseling, one year we had class on Valentine’s Day evening. I was single after having been divorced two years prior. Myself, I was glad to have class that night but at the same time, I felt bad for all of my classmates who were married and or partnered up and had to sit in class instead of being with the ones they love. I celebrated Valentine’s Day that year by going to the store the night before the holiday and buying candy, cookies, drinks, cups, everything that anybody could want to have in class at a treat. In the end, everyone enjoyed it, the professor was easy on us that night and I had the satisfaction and fulfillment of making 30 or so people’s Valentine’s Day not as yucky as it could have been.That is only what I did that year. If you have other single friends, invite them over to see a movie, have dinner, or have a party yourself. The preparation process will take your mind off things and having a house full of friends that you can relate to and having something in common with can make it a special event not only for you but for them as well. Chances are you have a friend who is in the same boat that you are in and who is not doing as well as you are in the recovery process, think of this as a chance to really help someone else out.
  3. If you are going to wallow in it, wallow in it hard! If things are still too raw for you emotionally and you would rather just not deal with people, especially if you know you will just be a downer, take the day as a special day to grieve. Make Valentine’s Day a power-day where you focus on your own healing process. If you have to cry 14 tears to get over something and have only shed seven, this is a perfect opportunity to get the other seven out of your system. Dive into your grief full force… look at old pictures, remember your ex and your past relationship. Feel the loss and let it go the best you can. Chances are that after a bit of this you will feel better and maybe even a little sick and tired of wallowing in your pain and misery and decide it is time to move on and look at living the rest of your life.
  4. Plan for next year. Take the day to sit down and draw our a strategic plan outlining everything that you can do in the next year to make next Valentine’s Day better than this one. It isn’t only about Valentine’s day though, this is about deliberately creating the awesome life that you want to live for yourself. Focus and write down what you want all areas of your life to look like. Your career, your social life, what things you want to experience, and what you want your new relationship to look like. Extra special points if you plan your next years’ Valentine’s Day date and get clear on that and hold that vision for yourself. I can guarantee that if you do that, next year WILL be different.

Valentine’s Day this year or any other year can only be as horrible or as awesome as you decide to make it for yourself, regardless of if you have a partner or not. If you are divorced or recently single, use these tips to help you to cope with the holiday. If nothing else, think about all of those who are in miserable relationships and out on joyless dates, or worse being totally neglected on this holiday and be grateful that is not your life. Make this Valentine’s Day YOUR Valentine’s Day by using it to focus on yourself, helping others, or as a day of healing if you have to. Focus on what you want and what you have in your life and not on what you don’t want or are lacking.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day if you are single? Do you have any tricks that you use to get through the day?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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