The Valentine’s Day Blues

Facing your first Valentine’s Day during or post-divorce can be like pouring salt into an open wound or a “non-event” as many people disclosed.  You may feel like holing up at home screaming at the world, or out and about as if it were any other day.  Assess your feelings to see which strategies would work best for you.

Those that did not really celebrate Valentine’s Day while married had the easiest time post-divorce.  A few who had been married to doctors that either were too busy, or chose not to commemorate this occasion, did not even remember their first Valentine’s Day when newly divorced. Kelly has been divorced twice, yet can only recall recent ones. People who had the most difficult time when newly single, were the ones who had been wined and dined on this holiday. This would be the time to start inventing new Valentine’s traditions that are special for you.

Some friends have said that their children have been a happy distraction on Valentine’s Day post-divorce.  They have a special dinner and play games or watch a movie.  They stated that it is difficult to feel lonely or “poor me” when busy with youngsters. Endear yourself to friends by offering to babysit their little tykes on this night.  Invite your niece over for a pajama pizza party and show chick flicks. Veronica had a full-blown party for her young son and his buddies on her first post-divorce Valentine’s Evening with yummy food, fun activities and luscious treats. She was having a great time and was too busy being hostess, to dwell upon any sad thoughts. This is still Veronica’s best Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's day bluesAfter Benny’s breakup, he discovered the community table at his upscale natural grocery store and spends his holidays there.  They have a salad bar and gourmet food that can be eaten on the premises with lattes.  He enjoys the camaraderie especially during a holiday and now shuns invitations from his married friends.  Erin went to her country club solo for her first post-divorce Valentine’s Day dinner. She forgot that the country club’s clientele was mainly married, so was the only diner at the single’s table. She left quickly.  Erin suggests going to a restaurant’s community table on Valentine’s Day since the patrons would mostly be single. She said these gatherings sometimes become a party, and recalls one couple who met at a restaurant’s singles’ table and now are happily married.

Pamper yourself with a luxurious facial of massage on this day. Or apply a facial mask at home while reading the latest Swedish mystery.  Indulge in chocolate which contains the neurotransmitter serotonin that amps up your good mood. Lottie put on a movie which has some male jerks in it and made sarcastic comments throughout the film. That was therapeutic for her and she felt much better afterwards.  She also cooked a scrumptious dinner for herself and her dog. A favorite movie is “The First Wives’ Club.”

You may feel like getting away and avoiding Valentine’s Day completely.  If you have other single friends then a spa weekend or camping could be just the ticket. Experience new sights with other travelers as part of a group tour. This is  off season for many destinations, so it can be an affordable choice. You could volunteer with an organization, such as Earthwatch. They have trips around the globe helping people, animals and the environment. Volunteer in your hometown and brighten up someone’s day. Emma feels taking a hike on Valentine’s Day is healthy and boosts people’s moods.  Just taking a walk and being in nature will help you feel happier.

Some churches and other organizations have singles’ groups which may have events on Valentine’s Day. Whether one is home or on the road, MeetUp.com can help unite people who may want to get together.  Remember that time really does heal wounds and you will feel better down the road.  It is hard to think ahead into the future when your heart is broken or you feel lonely.  One friend who was blindsided by her divorce years ago, happily introduced me to her fiancé recently.

Wendi Schuller

Author of The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce

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