Valentine’s Day is an occasion to experience and share love. But what if you’re thinking about divorce, in the middle of divorce, or recently divorced? What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?
You might be uncertain of how you feel and that’s OK. It might be just another day, memories – good or bad – might arise, or it might be a reminder of the loss you have experienced. Sometimes these moments in our life mean you need to reflect on the past and the love you shared. Feel free to grieve and honor those feelings of loss and sadness.
It’s also possible to feel a sense of relief. It might be the first Valentine’s Day you don’t have to deal with the other person! If you’re thinking, ‘he never gave me flowers,’ you don’t have to wait for those flowers that won’t be arriving and the disappointment that often followed. A sense of freedom might be present. And guess what? If you want flowers, a box of chocolates or whatever makes you happy you can get them for yourself!
The important piece to remember is that you are free to feel however you need to and acknowledge where you are in the healing process. It’s’ OK to hibernate and be quiet if you need to or you can find opportunities to express yourself.
If you have kids, put your energy into them! Make chocolate covered strawberries, a heart pizza, bake their favorite dessert, watch a movie – the point is to get your creative juices flowing and have fun with your children.
Spending time with friends can also have wonderful effects on your heart. Some women celebrate Galentine’s Day during the week. Get together, go out to dinner, have a spa night and rejoice in your friendships. Searching for a community service opportunity can also make you feel grateful in the spirit of giving.
You CAN celebrate love. It may just look a little different than it did in the past. But that’s the whole point. Open a new door and walk through!
If you’ve done the work to prepare yourself for a new relationship there are places to look. Join an online dating site (do your research to make sure you’re in the right one), get with people with similar interests through Meetup, join a church or other spiritual group, or think about hiring a dating coach if you need help.
The idea is that Valentine’s Day can mean many things. Be honest with yourself, take time to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings, and find what you need to take care of yourself.
And if you’re feeling stuck, always reach out for support.