The first year during and after a divorce can feel like a constant stream of brutal reminders of your newly single status. Valentine’s Day – the holiday designed especially for lovers – can be especially difficult if you’ve recently split from your spouse. The profusion of pink and red hearts covering store windows and spilling out of your children’s backpacks can lay bare feelings of loneliness and loss that often follow divorce.
While Valentine’s Day may not be what it was, it can perhaps be something different – perhaps even something better. In this blog, we will discuss a few suggestions that can help you survive this first Valentine’s Day after divorce.
Give Yourself a Gift
Especially if you and your spouse traditionally gave each other gifts on Valentine’s Day, spend that money on something for yourself instead this year. In fact, consider this an opportunity – instead of hoping your spouse would give you a gift you actually like, this year you can buy yourself exactly what you want.
Send Flowers to a Friend
Sometimes, the best thing we can do to help ourselves feel better is to do something thoughtful and caring for someone else. You likely have a friend or loved one who is also going through a difficult time right now and would appreciate a bouquet of flowers showing up on their doorstep. Alternatively, you might consider sending flowers to a local nursing home or assisted living center.
Celebrate Non-Romantic Love
Rather than focus on romantic love, make this year all about non-romantic love. Write love letters to your children and tuck them under their bedroom doors to wake up to in the morning. Decorate cupcakes with pink frosting and heart-shaped sprinkles with your kids after school. Send Valentine’s Day cards to your parents or re-live your childhood by sending cards and candy to your friends.
Make Plans with Other Single Friends
Valentine’s Day is perennially difficult for single people, and you likely have other single friends that would enjoy a fun and festive group date in lieu of the pressure to find a date on Valentine’s Day. Make plans to do a spa day or forgo the overpriced prix fixe menu for a dinner party or movie night at home.
Take a Solo Trip
Sometimes all you need is some time to yourself, especially if you have children and have been devoting yourself to easing their way through the divorce. Find childcare, book a night in a nice hotel, order room service, and turn in early. Or rent a cabin in the woods and take a long hike in nature. Consider some time away by yourself as a way to celebrate and reflect on the emerging post-divorce version of yourself.
Give Yourself Room to Grieve
It’s also important to honor your feelings and give yourself the time and space to grieve. Even if you don’t miss your ex – or even if you do – feeling sad is a completely natural reaction to the loss of your marriage. If you feel like cancelling Valentine’s Day, you’re allowed to do just that. Just remember you will get through this difficult time and come out the other side.
Divorce can be a difficult and stressful experience, but you needn’t go through it alone. At Burch Shepard Family Law Group, our experienced divorce attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients navigate through divorce toward a better future for themselves and their children.
If you are going through a divorce and have questions about the way forward, reach out to us online or call us at (949) 565-4158 to schedule a consultation.