Happy unimaginative, consumerist-oriented and entirely arbitrary, manipulative and shallow interpretation of romance day!
Okay, it’s almost Valentine’s Day and your valentine is gone.
Your ex-valentine has a valentine of his own, and it isn’t you. How do you handle all of that anger, bitterness, and yes, the desperate sadness you may feel on Valentine’s Day during and after divorce?
Valentine’s Day for singles is often an agonizing ordeal … especially those in the middle of the heartbreak of divorce. We’re usually pissed off and sad and all of a sudden, everyone seems to have a valentine except us.
The thing is, we’re grown women. Intelligent, competent women. We know it’s just one dumb day, but suddenly around February 14th, we turn into fourth graders. We want to be someone’s Valentine! I tried to be intellectual above it, but I, too, reverted to grade-school thinking, especially when I found out my ex was giving flowers and valentine candy and a little heart- shaped box to his girlfriend.
My First Valentine’s Day During Divorce
For me, that first Valentine’s Day during my divorce was agony and despair. On the way to the gym that morning, the radio was offering last minute gift suggestions. Heart-shaped pizza. An oil change for your car with free roses thrown in. Money off any red car on the lot! Stop! Enough already!!
I saw florists’ vans full of red and pink balloons. On the front counter at the gym were two vases of roses with red and pink glitter sprinkled around. I know I should have channeled my Bad-Ass Warrior Woman persona as we’ve all been trying to do, but I was suddenly overcome with grief. My ex had been my valentine for 33 years, and now he loved someone else.
Before even one trip around the workout circuit, I grabbed my towel and my gym bag, walked to my car and drove home crying and furious for letting one stupid, manipulative, shallow, commercialized “day of love” get to me that way!
I have discovered over my years of helping women get through divorce that, especially after divorce, even the most stoic woman among us doesn’t want to be the kid with no valentines in the carefully decorated, ever-hopeful box. (I guess that’s illegal in classrooms these days. Everyone has to get exactly the same number of valentines in his or her box!) We don’t get guarantees like that in real life…especially after divorce.
So what are we supposed to do with Valentine’s Day During and After Divorce?
Here are some simple tips for not just getting through this crazy, ridiculous “Love” holiday, but for restructuring how we look at Valentine’s Day after divorce and in the future. First of all, stop focusing on “Poor me!” Remember, it’s just one day! Now read some of our suggestions for re-imagining Valentine’s Day.
1. If you don’t have a Valentine, you are not alone!
According to latest numbers, there are about 120 million singles in just the United States. There are about 876,000 divorces every single year, so many people are single because of divorce. Many of those divorcing people didn’t want to be divorced and many are probably hating Valentine’s Day this year.
Join the Valentine’s Day Resistance Movement.
An article in the Wall Street Journal years ago talked about the growing resentment people (both singles and couples) feel about the compulsive nature of Valentine’s Day. This is still true today!
- “Cupid is Dead” parties are still cropping up.
- “Anti-Valentine Day” specials for singles at bars and restaurants are more popular.
- The Catholic Church, unable to verify the history of St. Valentine, struck Valentine’s Day from it’s official calendar in 1969. (And by the way, all three of the potential St. Valentines were martyred — just saying!)
- “Unmarried and Single Week/National Singles Week” has been widely adopted Nationwide on the third full week of September.
More and more people are rebelling and refusing to participate in what they see as a crass, forced show of affection just on the principle of the thing – they don’t want to be guilted or pressured into showing someone they love them on Valentine’s Day.
2. Love Yourself first! CELEBRATE YOU!
Use Valentine’s Day to appreciate your own unique, funky, funny and resilient self! We will all be better off when we quit trying to be someone we’re not so people will like us.
BE PERFECTLY YOURSELF! Revel in every flawed, but fantastic, inch of your authentic self…extra pounds, warts, scars and all. As long as we depend on someone else to give us value, we will never have the life we are made for! What’s considered as the Bible’s “Greatest Commandment” is found in Mark 12:3. It says simply, “Love God, and love others as you love yourself.” That means loving and cherishing your own wonderful, imperfect self and then you can love others!
Start by Pampering Yourself! (Just a few simple ideas)
- Get the most expensive lipstick or nail-polish you can afford and use it!
- Get one perfect lamb chop or steak and all the fixins’ and enjoy every bite!
- Eat a decadent dessert and don’t feel guilty! Lick the plate!
- Get a special “power cup and saucer” that no one else is allowed to touch.
- Get a stack of MovieStar magazines and see how ridiculous those people are.
- Take a lavender bath and get a good night’s sleep! This will all be over tomorrow!
- Do whatever the heck you want after work or all day long!
3. Share your generous, caring self with others!
- Give the sacker at the grocery store or the delivery guy a $20 tip in a valentine card.
- Get a packet of those little Valentine cards for school kids … pass them out!
- Get something new for your pet and give him//her your full attention.
- Send some fun “Thinking of You” cards to friends or relatives.
- Drop off cookies or banana nut bread at your neighbor’s house.
- Have a friend over and watch an old (non-romantic) movie, or a favorite old show like “Columbo” or “Friends,” or find something new like “Cobra Kai,” “Kim’s Convenience” or “Father Brown.”
4. Celebrate Love and not lovers in general or a certain love in particular:
- Love your friends (the real ones)
- Love the RADiCAL Sisterhood in the MDRcommunity (soul sisters!)
- Love your extended family (the ones who support you!)
- Love your neighbors (get to know them better)
- Love your co-workers (they are people, too)
- Love the needy (people who need a hand up)
- Love nature (being out in nature helps our immune system)
- Love good literature and music (feel the common bonds)
- Love animals (no strings attached love)
- Love your home (your own private oasis of comfort and joy)
- Love your local community (we’re all in this together)
- Love your country (appreciate the good things and make it better)
- Love your spiritual family (we’re stronger together)
- Love God (go deeper into that relationship, or figure out what you really think about God, Spirit, or Higher Power in the first place)
5. Change Your Focus After Divorce – Refine your vision for future love relationships now:
Make Three Lists:
A. Deal-Killers in future serious relationships!
What do you absolutely NOT want – List your own Deal-breakers. See if you can find the book entitled 50 Boyfriends Worse Than Yours by Justin Racz. Here are some examples from Justin’s book (It has great descriptive photos of these guys!):
- Goth Casual
- Better Looking Than You
- Friendly Neighborhood Pot Dealer
- Tortured Artist
- Momma’s Boy
- 50K Car, 30K job
- Hypochondriac Hal
Well, you get the picture. Think about what you DO NOT want in new relationships!
B. Character traits any new person MUST HAVE to be in your life!
- Not controlling
- Sees the Big Picture
- Enjoys the simple things
- Is motivated (Has a job!)
- Is friendly (Has friends!)
- Gets along with your family/children
- Is fun
C. Get Confident Yourself!
List your own best character traits and then live them … out loud and proud … especially on Valentine’s days during divorce and every other day!
Remember: Confidence is the #1 most appealing attribute for both sexes.
People like people who are comfortable in their own skin. After divorce, we often lose our confidence. Get it back!
Start with making a list of your best personal traits below…
- Confident – I like myself!
- Enjoys the simple joys of life
- Likes nature
On This Valentine’s Day During Divorce Or After Divorce…
Remember that giving love brings more love into your life than waiting for someone else to give love to you!
Take the initiative on Valentine’s Day after divorce and choose to Celebrate Love itself. It’s empowering! You will discover that you are not just getting through the day, but you are creating a new kind of Valentine’s Day that is really love-focused and love-filled all at once.
Here’s something really cool you can do for yourself. Sign up for the MasterPlan Program and Community. This amazing program includes a membership to the MDRcommunity where you can connect with a sisterhood of RADiCAL women who get how you’re feeling … women who listen to and support each other. You will cry. You’ll laugh. But mostly you’ll be encouraged and inspired and you’ll all fast-forward your recovery together!
You deserve this!! This might be the most important Valentine’s Day of your life! A day of transformation and rejuvenation and a chance to finally say to yourself, “I’m done with obsessing about him! I’m done sobbing and pleading!” You’ll finally realize that if your husband was dumb enough to leave, you’re going to be smart enough to let you go!”
In honor of Valentine’s Day, give him the proverbial finger and SIGN UP TODAY! It’s time to grab hold of Valentine’s Day for yourself and make it fun and empowering! We can help.
Hi Suzie – I believe finding your website was providential. After almost 25 years of marriage, although a difficult one, my wasband called from a business trip and said he “was done.” Within 2 months, my marriage was over. As a stay-at–home homeschooling mom for most of that, I have experienced a culture shock. Not just in my identity, but culturally. We’d moved 18 times in 25 years due to his work (2 countries and 5 states). I’m now living in a place so foreign to me culturally but at one of my lowest points, I came across your website.
Your encouragement that I “Will get through this” and will be joyful again spoke volumes to me. I have 5 beautiful children (ages 23 to 17) who I am so proud of. Their dad has left the country (again) so it’s almost as if he’s dead. I’m sure you’ve heard so many of these types of stories so I won’t elaborate.
Just wanted to say thank you for your website and if I were closer, I’d definitely join you for your valentines weekend. Personally, I spent many valentines alone (either emotionally of physically) so this isn’t a difficult holiday for me, unlike Christmas and Easter; He was an ordained pastor…go figure!
God bless you and your efforts to encourage those of us in this season of our life.