Why Valentine’s day is for the broken-hearted too

cropped-p1030055.jpgIt’s that time of year that brings out a mix of the true romantics, the annual big-gesture- makers, and the cynics to have their say on love.

I am one of those in awe of true love and happy relationships; I adore romance, yet I can take or leave Valentine’s day. But I am not cynical of it. As far I as I’m concerned, if something promotes people being good to each other it is wonderful, even if it is a commercial money spinner.

It’s very easy to get caught up in other people’s expectations of how you should feel when you are single on Valentine’s day. Actually some people feel nothing at all. Some use ‘anti-hype’ about the day to remind themselves that it’s really no big deal.  Others really feel the pain of the constant reminder that they aren’t in a couple any more. Whatever you feel about Valentine’s day is fine as long as it’s your true feeling. If you need to take time out to cry and grieve your lost relationship then do it.

Valentine’s day and it’s magnification of couplehood can be a sad and lonely time for those recently broken up. But it need not be. As with everything I’ve learned about life and strife, it’s all about how you look at it.  And because it is a day that brings up issues, you can use it as an opportunity to reflect and move your healing on a little further.

Like all days where feelings of loss might be amplified, take the time to be kind to yourself. Keep your perspective, and remind yourself that you won’t be grieving forever.

Here’s how to use Valentine’s day as a gift to yourself.

1. Firstly use the gift of perspective.  Remember it’s just a day on the calendar and don’t let the significance of February 14th become all-consuming. Last year, for the first time ever, I didn’t have my children with me on Christmas day, arguably the biggest family day of the year. When the decision was first made, I felt a deep sadness for a while, but looked to other ways to make December 25th special for myself. I had a perfect day. And when the children came home on December 26th we had Christmas again! It’s not the date that’s important, but how you choose to feel about it.

2. Remember that your imagination can be your own worst enemy. A special international day for lovers makes you feel like everyone in the world is cosying up and being loved except you. It’s not really like that though. Some people are deeply in love and barely acknowledge the day. Others mark the day with a gesture but no real fulfillment in their relationship. Don’t compare yourself with others because what you picture may often not be the reality.

3. Instead of feeling envy for those in relationships, see them as a mark of what’s possible. Very few people find the love of their lives with out some heartbreak along the way. For some, admittedly, the journey is more difficult than for others. But people in great relationships have had to learn lessons about themselves and their partners along the way. Use Valentine’s day as an opportunity to create a vision of the kind of relationship you’d like to have. You honestly can learn to see your heartbreak as a necessary event to get you to the love you truly deserve.

4. Fall in love with yourself! Or at least treat yourself the way you would like a partner to treat you. If you don’t think that buying a gift for yourself, or spending time on you, or even giving yourself some loving thoughts is a worthwhile exercise, then how can you expect anyone else to ever feel that way about you?

If you are someone going through a break up, what things make you feel better about Valentine’s day? Does it hold any significance for you? Let me know and share in the comments below, your thoughts may just help someone get through a difficult day.

With my thoughts and love on February 14th,

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