And… it’s back!
Valentine’s Day can be an extremely difficult, anxiety induced time for both people who are not actively dating as well as people who are actively dating but are not in a committed relationship.
Valentine’s Day can also be especially troublesome for those who have recently experienced a breakup, separation and/or divorce. Instead of celebrating love, many people spend the days leading up to this supposed magical holiday trying to find ways to stop thinking about the fact that they’ve just ended a relationship or worse yet, a marriage and won’t be getting any Valentine’s gifts or getting ‘any’ this year.
If you have recently broken up with your partner, husband or wife, I hope the following advice will help you not only survive but thrive on this lovers’ holiday!
Embrace Your Independence as a Free Man/Woman
Being single is not a curse, rather it is a blessing! For many people, it is a way of life. Not having to report to anyone when you come home late from a party or be interrogated about that hottie you were talking to on the phone is a blessing in itself. At some point, you will start dating again or eventually get remarried, if you are open to it. So why not, enjoy your freedom now, while you can.
“Embracing being single is also a great path way to your personal and spiritual growths.”
If you can be happy alone, you can be happy as a couple too. However, it’s not always the other way around. Having a significant other doesn’t shield you against loneliness. Loneliness is a state of mind. And perhaps you will agree that being with the wrong person is way lonelier than being alone. This is a perfect opportunity to reflect and understand what it is you really want in love and in life.
Keeping busy helps. Reading, learning new things and exercising are among many productive hobbies that not only keep your boredom away, but also help you expand and grow as a person. Also, it’s so crucial to count your blessings. And if you continue to feel jaded, look within yourself. Maybe it’s your attitude that needs some adjustments?
“You may feel like you have to start over and it can be hard at times. But isn’t it exciting that you get a second chance to finally be your own architect of your life!”
Eliminate Reminders of Your Ex
During the days leading up to this special holiday, you should pack up anything that is going to remind you of your ex. Put the items away in the storage if you plan to keep them, drop the items off at a local charity if you no longer want them or discard them entirely.
“Take this as a symbolic opportunity to declutter your home, and ultimately declutter your life.”
The first day is going to be super hard as some of the old memories may rush in. That is ok. Know that, it is a start of your healing process and that is how it’s supposed to be. Acknowledge whatever feelings that come to your mind and trust that they will go away as these old items are gone. Your home and your future self, post Valentine’s day, will thank you for it!
While you might not be able to control your thoughts entirely, you can control your own surrounding at home. By doing so, you minimize the likelihood that everything you look at reminds you of your ex. When what remind you of him/her are out of sight, s/he will be out of mind too. Well, eventually.
Do Something Nice to Yourself and Others
Just as love is a universal language, so too a Valentine’s day is the day of love for everyone, not just for romantic couples.
“Accept that NOW is the time for you to be happy and make your soul sing with love, to yourself and to everyone around.”
Buy yourself a nice bunch of flowers and have it delivered to your home because you deserve it. Write yourself a love note because only you know yourself best. Give to charity because you can and want to help others in need. Call your family members and/or friends to thank them for always being there for you. These are among many kind things you can do to express your gratitude and limitless capacity of love.
When you make the decision to love and give to yourself and to others around you, new doors can be opened unexpectedly. It’s hard right now, especially this time of the year when you see couples holding hands, but your time will, too, come when timing is right. Accept your life right now as it is. Accept the love that is already in your life right now. And know that you can give love not only to a romantic partner, but also to the world itself and all the people around you.
“Love and give to yourself and others without conditions. Now, that’s true love.”
Go on a Date with Yourself
Since you probably won’t enjoy eating a meal out when you are surrounded by googly-eyed couples (freezing to death under a tiny heat lamp in pandemic style’s outdoor dinning lol), plan a special meal you can enjoy at home. You can make it a Netflix and chill night or join one of the many online speed dating events catered for singles since we are still in pandemic and most events are moved online these days. Alternatively, you can indulge yourself with extravagant bath salts, aromatic candles and a glass of good wine for a couple of hours of spa-like bliss. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the saddest day of the year for you, even if you no longer have a significant other to share it with this year. Simply find something you enjoy doing without a date, let loose and have fun!
Pav Lertjitbanjong, CDC Certified Divorce Coach®, Data Scientist, MBA – MyCoachPav
Pav Lertjitbanjong is on a mission to help people make better decisions in divorce and in life so they can love and live fearlessly again. She is a Data Scientist and Certified Divorce Coach at MyCoachPav.com. She also runs Our Divorce Stories channel on YouTube. Connect with Pav about Divorce Coaching and get her expert divorce advice via LinkedIn and Facebook.
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