If you’ve been married for some time — no matter how happy or problematic that relationship was — Valentine’s Day was probably still somewhat romantic and fun. As a day to come together with your “person” for some wine, chocolate and time between the sheets, Valentine’s Day can appear daunting to a newly single person going through a divorce.
Reminders of love and togetherness are everywhere — from chocolate-covered strawberries at the supermarket to bouquets and gifts being sent or received at work. And it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that your marriage is over and you’re embarking upon your first V-day solo in a while.
Luckily, there’s an upside. It’s a great day to treat yourself well, giving yourself that love and comfort you’d normally give to another person. Here’s how to survive your first Valentine’s Day after a divorce. Who knows? It might just be your favorite Valentine’s Day yet.
Turn to your single friends
If you want to literally be alone on Valentine’s Day, you totally can. But even if you’re romantically alone, you can still reach out to your single friends and make a fun group date instead.
“I suggest creating a ritual that you enjoy doing that can double up as self-care [as] you grieve the loss of your marriage,” licensed psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist Shirin Peykar tells SheKnows.
For example, you can make chocolate-covered strawberries with friends and create a new Valentine’s Day ritual, she suggests. Or have a dinner or drinks date, bowling or a girls’ night at home with some wine, ice cream and bad romantic comedies.
Do something creative
Getting those creative juices flowing can act as a form of therapy, says Peykar. “Attend a paint night event — alone or with friends. Getting creative can be a therapeutic release,” she says. What’s more, you’ll also be in a social setting, where you might actually make a friend or meet a potential partner too. (Maybe some dessert on Valentine’s Day with a new romantic connection after all?)