Surviving an Unwanted Separation and Divorce. My Story. My Faith.
Monday, February 9, 2015
Guest Post: Huffington Post….How to Spend Valentine's Day for the Recently Single
So here we are at Valentine's Day. I have been married since I was 19, needless to say I am not used to be alone on Valentine's Day after 37 years of marriage. Here are some survival skills brought to you by Ian Oliver via Huffington Post.
Valentine's Day is right around the corner and for those who are recently single, it means having to watch overt displays of affection at every turn, commercials of happy couples getting jewelry, social media postings of their "friend's" boyfriend or husband's outlandish displays of affection, and other constant reminders of your single life will be out in the droves this week. If you weren't ever worried about being single and "alone," chances are this week might send you into a black hole of feeling forever doomed to never find love.
I have to constantly remind my clients that this shouldn't be a week about hiding from love, but celebrating it. Yes, celebrate love even if you don't have a "lover." Just because people other than you are getting overt displays of affection doesn't mean you should trash the concept. Here are my five techniques to coping with Valentine's Day as a recently single person, without all the bitterness.
1. Be happy for others.
Just because you didn't get a dozen roses and a box of chocolates doesn't mean that you should scoff at the idea. Be happy for others and admire that they are content or in a relationship where gestures of love are shown. Don't be jealous, be happy and know that being in a happy place for yourself and others will put you that much closer to finding the right person. No one wants to date an unhappy or bitter person. And if you let yourself get to that place of resentment of other people's happiness, you might get stuck in that hole. (I have no problem being happy for others. I also think we can give that box of chocolates, or gift of flowers to those we love and care for and they don't have to be a love interest to be given a token of our love and care)
2. Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers -- it's for love!
Show those you love or those who have been extra supportive of your split just how much you appreciate and love them. A homemade Valentine card, flowers, or even a handwritten letter to your best friend or mom, dad, brother, sister, etc, will let them know just how much you appreciate them. Giving something to those that you love will make you feel amazing and chances are, they'll stick by your side even more now that they know how much their support has meant to you.
3. Love yourself a little extra on Valentine's Day.
Sometimes after the hurt of heartbreak, we forget that the first person's love we should seek is our own. Just because someone fell out of love with you (or vice versa) doesn't mean that you should do the same to yourself. Love yourself! Write all your good qualities down on a piece of paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Remember why someone fell in love with you in the first place and remember why someone else will. Treat yourself to a spa day, a pedicure, a day on the golf course or even just a long walk out in nature. Spend some quality "me time" and notice the difference you feel when you put that love and energy back into yourself. (I will do just that:-)
4. Know you are loved.
I'm not a very religious person, but I do know that there is one source of love that drives us all. Connect to that source. Whatever you may call it, this energy and source of love is all around us. From the beauty of nature, to the beauty of humanity, try and see the good and love of all that surrounds you. (I have been trying to do that every day for years. When several of my family members died in a short period of time I began to look for God's beauty that surrounds us even in the difficult times. This practice has continued through the pain of my marital split. God is good and I trust him with my life)
5. Make Valentine's Day about giving rather than receiving.
Yes, it would be great to be a real-life version of one of those jewelry commercials, but since we aren't, let's make Valentine's Day a day where we show our love by giving back. Volunteer, donate, walk your elderly neighbor's dog, do things that show the world you care. You will get it back tenfold but the point is doing it because the act of giving is more rewarding than receiving. If you have a lot of extra time and love to give now that you are single, think about adopting a pet. Nothing says "I love you" more than a wagging tail and sloppy kisses when you get home and you will be saving an animal's life. (My dog Brodie is a rescue. He has been by my side through it all. I think I will give back to him on Valentine's day and buy him a special treat and take him on a long walk. Thanks Brodie:-)
There are so many ways to love and feel loved daily. Don't let heartbreak be a roadblock in the pursuit of love and happiness. (Amen to that)
(Ok so here is our plan. Enjoy that beauty that surrounds you this Valentine and thank God for it. Don't focus on what you don't have but what you do have. Do something special for yourself and for those who love you. If you have a faithful dog pamper him a bit too:-)
Brodie:-) Happy Valentines Day. Let me know what you plan to do for this beautiful holiday.