Valentine’s Day!?! How do you cope with a broken heart when all you see around you are hearts and loving couples all around when you feel HORRID?
The chocolates, the teddy bears, the lingerie! The constant reminders of the day when all you’re trying to do is get through each day as a single parent/human trying to make things work while going through heartbreak or the complexities of separating from a crazy ex!
Valentine’s Day pre-separation wasn’t celebrated much for me/us, other than the token flowers (it was sporadic) or card. We did however try to go on a date night if we could line up babysitters. What I am trying to say is, it wasn’t a big deal for us.
Post-separation Valentine’s Day DID become a big deal.
It seemed like a constant reminder or maybe it was the emotional place I was? The first few years post separation Valentine’s Day seemed like a constant reminder of what I didn’t have — especially going through the emotional roller coaster of letting go of someone I’d loved since university.
How go combat Valentine’s Day separation Blues
1. Set up distractions
For me this was setting up a special dinner — just me and my kids (because, of course, on Valentine’s Day my ex was busy!).
I was fine with this. Until I had met someone worthy of spending time apart from my kids, there was no one else I would rather be with. I would organise early dinner date with my kids and any single girl friends with kids to celebrate LOVE.
So, get your tribe together and celebrate it together.
For those who may not have the kids or have dived into dating then have some fun! Dating on Valentine’s Day after a long relationship with your ex may be refreshing and exciting so it may be a great option for most of us (at the least, a great distraction!)
One year it was just me and the kids eating dinner on the trampoline (as we did on special occasions). To this day it remains one of the fondest memories for my kids!
If you are in a situation where you would rather focus on other people than where you are at in your life, and you don’t have the kids, volunteering and helping others actually gives back to you. There are so many soup kitchens and places where you can volunteer.
If you are new to separation, then consider disconnecting from social media! The constant posts about love when you are going through the separation wringer might be best avoided.
Be kind to yourself and do what works for you.
If you don’t feel the need to disconnect from social media then don’t! The point? Do what is right for you!
Going on long beach walks always helped me disconnect. I always felt so much clearer. Trying a new activity such as a cycling class or a boxing class is always so beneficial for your physical and your soul. So try something new, and get out of your comfort zone, what you learn about you may help you “disconnect” a lot easier!
“And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey
Love the one you’re with” – Stephen Stills
3. Set up your tribe
I found that surrounding myself with family or friends who loved me helped! If you have single friends in a similar place then look at supporting each other, whatever that may mean for you. Drinks, dinner at home, or getting single friends with kids together. Or if you are like me, I was happy to spend it with my little peeps just being silly!
If you have no kids, perhaps another option would be to do a little self-care and love yourself enough to have a massage and just breath, for you!
Finally, the volatile emotion you maybe feeling just after separation WILL pass and the sensitivity you may feel about Valentine’s Day will also get better with time, as do most things!
Recalibration to MOST things post-separation takes time, but once it passes the new vibe you have may be what you were missing all along!