6 Ways To Survive Valentine’s Day Post-Divorce

You thought you were fine. You thought: Maybe I will survive this after all! It wasn’t a happy marriage, anyway. Things are better this way. You thought you were getting through the heart-wrenching dredge of divorce when the dreaded day came along—that day of wine and chocolates; the day when men carry armloads of flowers out of supermarkets, women receive glorious bouquets in their cubicles, and accusatory red cards shout at you from the Hallmark aisle.

You know what day I’m talking about. I don’t need to spell it out for you.

February 14 is a day for lovers, they say. Couples are everywhere. It’s as if they’ve emerged full-force from a secret bat cave. They’re having dinner at the restaurant where you celebrated your anniversary. They’re walking into the jewelry store where you got your engagement ring. They’re swapping cards and flowers like there’s no tomorrow. And here you are, searching for the remaining pieces of a life that once was.

Rest assured: This too shall pass. But what are you supposed to do in the meantime?

1. Take Yourself Out

Focus not on what you’re missing, but what you have. Easier said than done, yes. But instead of making February 14 about couples, make it about yourself. Do something that feeds your soul. Take yourself out to a glorious brunch. Buy yourself something special—something you’ve always wanted but made excuses to avoid. It’s no longer Valentine’s Day. It’s You Day.

2. Keep Yourself In

Okay, so maybe you don’t feel like being part of the world today. If that’s the case, celebrate You Day on your couch, in your pajamas. Nothing wrong with that. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a pity party. Don’t shove your face with ice cream between cry breaks. Watch something hilarious on television. Eat delicious and nutritious take-out that won’t make you feel guilty in the morning. Relax with a nice book. Take a luxurious bubble bath. Use the whole bottle if you want to. Spring out a few extra dollars for some bath salts, if you want. Focus on you—even if you don’t take yourself out.

3. Celebrate With Friends

Do you have friends who also begrudge this special day? Begrudge together! Make it a night out.

4. Make Goals

I know that doesn’t sound very exciting or romantic, but goals can actually feed your soul and spirit. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, sit down and make a list of what you want out of life. Not just out of love, but out of life. You’ve entered a new chapter, for better or worse. What do you want it to look like? Remember: It’s not just the end of a story. It’s the beginning of a new one.

5. Know That You Are Not Alone

Yes, it may seem like the entire universe sprouted significant others when you weren’t paying attention. But the truth is, there’s a large contingent of people out there who dread this day just as much as you—people who are going through relationship troubles; couples going through divorce; bachelors and bachelorettes. There are a great many people who aren’t holding hands with anyone on February 14, believe me.

6. Know That It’s Okay To Be Single

For some reason, society wants us to be paired up with someone else. If you’re newly divorced and haven’t encountered uncomfortable questions about your love life yet, just wait—they’re coming. You may or may not want to find a new special someone. Either way, it’s okay. Don’t fall into the trap of what’s supposed to be. Celebrate what is. Seek out that silver lining. It’s there. You just have to be looking for it.
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Donna Arp Weitzman is a wife, mother, and businesswoman who lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband Herb. Donna earned her BSE and MSE in Counseling from Midwestern State University and completed the Harvard Business School OPM Management Program. She has served as a mayor and leader in local city government and continues to serve the greater Dallas community in a variety of civic and cultural roles. However, it's the lessons Donna has learned in the school of life that she most wants to share with others, and which she's had the opportunity to do so through GetOld.com, NextAvenue.org, Good Morning Texas and much more! Cinderella Has Cellulite is Weitzman’s first book. As a frequent public speaker, she enjoys making others laugh and opening their eyes to a new perspective on some of life's most challenging experiences.

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