Dealing with that first Valentine's Day post-split, can seem like a daunting task. It may have been a few years, or many years since you have had to face this day alone, and the way our society, and our media builds up this day, only serves to make us feel worse about not having a special someone to spend it with.
Good or bad, after you've had someone to spend this day with for years, it may feel like that is the only option, and may leave you feeling out of sorts, like, perhaps, more a failure than you already did, and make you start to question if you made the right choice to split. These first holidays on your own can be tough, but keep in mind that you did not come to the decision to be on your own lightly, and that it is the day that is making you question yourself, not the ultimate decision. Come tomorrow, things will feel clear again, and you can be reinforced as you listen to all the stories around you of Valentine's gone wrong. So what should you do with yourself on your very own first Valentine's Day in quite some time?
You can take a page from me and do something for yourself that is positive and working toward a goal you had set for yourself during, or even before your marriage. I always knew I was going to finish school and be a Psychologist, so I spent my first Valentine's Day in 9 hours of class, and did not feel the least bit sad about it. I focused on the fact that I was working hard towards a goal I had made for myself before I even knew who my ex was, and that I was one step closer to achieving it. This particular option also served as a welcome distraction, as it gave me something interesting and demanding to focus on for the whole day. Now, you do not have to go to those extremes, but finding an activity that is rewarding and distracting is not a bad way to pass the time on this holiday.
Another route you can go is to make plans with your friends to go out or stay in together and do something that you would never do with partners. Be fun, be decadent, and be spontaneous. Enjoy each other's company like you may not have been able to in quite some time. Some of the best memories of mine and many others Valentines were the "happy accidents" you have with your friends. I can think of one such Valentine's Day when, unknowingly, my best friend at the time and myself, both, separately, decided to go for a drive and clear our heads. We passed each other in our cars, flagged each other down, and decided to go to a nearby Italian restaurant for cappuccino and cake. Completely random, completely spontaneous, and completely one of my favorite Valentine's memories I have to this day. Embrace your friends, embrace the moment, and focus on each other and the memories you are making.
Last, but certainly not least, as some might consider this the boldest most of all, do something for yourself and by yourself. While this might evoke thoughts of eating a tub of ice cream while watching the Notebook and crying, it does not have to be this. Although, there is nothing wrong with ice cream, the notebook, or crying. Rent something you have been waiting to see, eat something that is completely corrupting of your healthy diet. Stay in your pajamas the whole night. View this not as something sad or lonely, but as an assertion of your independence, and of your own support of the choices that you have made. The choice to be by yourself and embrace it, can be liberating. After all, if you can feel resolved and strong today, you likely can most days. Choose to make Valentine's Day a celebration and validation that you have made the best choices for yourself, and that you are a happy and strong person on your own. That you are worthy of your own love, time, and attention. Nothing could be truer. Happy Valentine's Day!