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How to Handle Valentine's Day When You're Getting Divorced

Going through a divorce in February is tough. The minute you walk into your local store you’re bombarded with reminders—the month of love is upon us.

We know it’s not easy, so this year we’re giving you a few tips to try to make February bearable at best and fun (yes, fun!) at most.

Tip #1: Resist The Urge To Isolate

There's no denying it, divorce isn’t fun. The temptation to isolate and avoid friends and family is very real. Still, it’s important for your mental health and well-being that you try to push yourself to attend at least a few social outings.

Studies have shown that being in the company of other people has a positive effect on mental health. While going out might not be your first choice, it might be the best choice for your mood and well-being.

Tip #2: Create a New Tradition

Ah, the memories. Similar to those ‘friendly’ Facebook memory reminders, thoughts of Valentine’s Day past with your ex or soon-to-be ex-spouse tend to surface whether you want them to or not. If you find yourself reminiscing about your old Valentine’s Day traditions, you have a choice. You can entertain the what-ifs and remember-whens, or you can create a new tradition.

This tradition can be something you do for yourself. Whether you Netflix and chill with that show you’ve been meaning to binge or plan a dinner out with friends—do something that makes you happy.

If you have children, you can create a tradition they’ll get excited about. Divorce is challenging on everyone involved, use this year to do something fun with your kids and get everyone’s mind off the change in family dynamics.

Tip #3: Love Isn’t Always Romantic

Valentine’s Day is often referred to as a “Hallmark Holiday.” One of those holidays that exists purely as a sales tool for retailers. It’s not for us to argue about. What’s important is that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean romance, chocolates, and cards. It can be as simple as reaching out to people you care about.

Often, the people closest to you are at a loss for what to say when it comes to your divorce. Take the initiative and call a few of those friends you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Sometimes all it takes is a little focus on someone else to get out of our own head and start feeling better.

Tip #4: Prepare an answer to the question: What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Find yourself cringing every time you hear coworkers mention V-Day? Figure out why it’s making you so uncomfortable and prepare an answer to the question you would rather avoid. Here are perfectly appropriate responses:

  • It’s not really a big deal for us. What about you?
  • I told the kids they choose the movie that night!
  • We’re keeping it low-key this year.

The people who want to talk about Valentine’s Day are most likely the ones with plans. If you ask questions, focus on them and keep your answer short and sweet, navigating the conversation will be a breeze.

Tip #5: Enjoy yourself and know that it’s just another day!

Divorce can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, even if you were the one who wanted to go separate ways. Take stock in the fact that Valentine’s Day is just another day. In the grand scheme of your divorce, navigating Valentine’s Day as a single or soon-to-be single person shouldn’t be one of the worst turns on the rollercoaster.

The day of love only lasts 24-hours. You can and should spend it doing whatever makes you happy. If you find yourself especially emotional, know that tomorrow is right around the corner. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve and process your divorce. You’ll have more Valentine’s Days in the future, and this one will be behind you before you know it.

If you need help navigating your divorce, contact Kirshenbaum Law Associates today for a free consultation at 401-467-5300.