FACT: There are 80 million adult singles in the United States according to the latest census.
FACT: Many are single, not out of choice but because of an unwanted divorce. More than 2.5 million new people go through divorce every year. You’re not alone.
Valentine’s Day is often an agonizing ordeal for single people, especially those in the middle of divorce. We’re usually pissed off as well as sad that everyone seems to be connected except us. As a midlife divorce recovery expert, I know that many suddenly single people are full of angst about this trumped-up pretend love fest. It puts even in-love people in a frenzy, too. Most people just wish this day would be deleted from the calendar. And to make things worse, Valentine’s Day advertising and promotions have been everywhere 24/7 for this whole month. They have been hard to ignore and today every radio station, television station seems to still be talking about last-minute gifts. Enough already! Heart-shaped pizzas; oil changes for your Sweetheart; buy a red car for extra dollars off; and of course, all the regular valentine staples: candy, flowers, jewels, lingerie. Bah! Humbug!
Here are some simple tips for not just getting through this crazy holiday, but for restructuring how you look at it today and in the future. By the way, lots of people are beginning to boycott Valentine’s Day. People are rebelling against this day that was created mainly to make people feel obligated to show affection …. sometimes I’m beginning to feel the same way about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day. Sometimes I don’t like to send stuff on those days because I don’t want people I love to think I’m doing it just because it’s a day on the calendar. Anyway, I digress.
Try these practical tips for Valentine’s Day now as you are going through a divorce, and keep the list for when you’re past this temporary despair and ready to make Valentine’s Day a celebration of love itself as it should be.
* CHANGE YOUR FOCUS
Today celebrate love and not lovers in general or a certain love in particular.
- Yourself – a big deal!
- Friends – your real friends
- Extended family – the ones you like
- Neighbors – get to know them
- Co-workers – they’re human, too.
- The needy – sometimes just need a hand up
- Pets – no strings attached love
- Your home – your own private oasis of comfort and joy
- Your community – we’re all in this together
- God – in whatever ways that bring you the most peace and joy and feeling of oneness
* CELEBRATE YOURSELF
Use Valentine’s Day to appreciate your own wonderful, unique, funky, funny, resilient self. We’d all be better off if we quit trying to act and be a certain way so people would like us. This Valentine’s Day revel in every flawed but fantastic inch of your real, authentic self! Forget about the one dumb person who didn’t realize you were most-likely the best thing that ever happened to him.
- Do anything you want to pamper yourself:
- Get the most expensive new tube of lipstick you can afford.
- Go get one perfect lamb chop and whatever you want to go with it and enjoy every single bite.
- Buy the most decadent small dessert you can find and eat it with gusto. Lick the plate if you want!
- Go to one of those kickboxing gyms and spend 30 minutes beating on one of those punching bags.
- Get a special “power cup” that no one else is allow to touch.
- Give yourself a manicure, paint your nails black just because that’s what you think about Valentine’s day this year.
- Get a stack of ridiculous Movie Star magazines and see how ridiculous those people are
- Join the MDRcommunity and post what you really think about Valentine’s Day
- Do whatever you want to all day or all evening after work.
- Get started on a project you’ve been putting off and show yourself you’re still in control of your life!
- Realize all this hoopla will be over tomorrow and get a great night’s sleep after a wonderful lavender bath.
*SHARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS
- Volunteer in the community. Be that person everyone likes to be around.
- Take care of grandchildren or a neighbor’s children so a couple can have the evening out.
- Take cookies to a nursing home or assisted living facility. Some of those old people are really funny. And they can teach us alot. And we’re going to be there someday!
- Give the sacker at the grocery store a valentine card with $20 in it. Make his or her day.
- Call someone who is still in the sobbing stage of divorce and take her a heart-shaped pizza to share.
- Don’t let one little square on the calendar keep you from shining your light every way you can!
• REFINE YOUR VISION FOR FUTURE RELATIONSHIPS
Make three lists:
- Absolute deal-killers in future relationships. What do you definitely not want? (Just thinking about some of your wasband’s personality traits is a good place to start!)
- What things do you really want in future relationships? Be specific! Remember, you’ve got standards!
- Consider your best traits and features and start living those out loud and proud!
Keep this where you can refer it to as you start deciding on what relationships you want in your life now.
STOP being focused on “poor me.” Concentrate instead on celebrating who you are and every kind of love you have in your life to enjoy and share. Let your light shine!
REMEMBER: GIVING LOVE BRINGS MORE LOVE INTO YOUR LIFE THAN WAITING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO GIVE IT TO YOU!
Taking the initiative and choosing to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day is empowering. You will find that you are not just getting through the day, but you can make it one of the best Valentine’s Days ever.
(On the bottom of my google home page as I got ready to post this blog, a little message showed up in red letters: “Share a special moment with your Valentine today.” (Sigh – just understand you’re way ahead of the game and you don’t need google to remind you of what you already do everyday of the year on your own to lots of different people!)
“Dear friends, let us love one another because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8