Valentine’s Day, the equally loved and loathed Hallmark holiday associated with love, and that many use as a barometer of their value and pin all their hopes and dreams, is upon us. That’s a lot of pressure to put on the shoulders of a chubby little cherub.
After a divorce, it can feel as though there’s no love in your life. I know I’ve felt that way. The first couple of years after my marriage imploded, I prayed for God to “rescue me from Valentine’s Day”; to take away the longing for attention and affection and adoration that everyone but me seemed to be getting. My prayer was answered when I changed my perspective and found some strategies to survive the dreaded holiday.
I took a look around and found that actually, there was an abundance of love around me. Here are some strategies to help you not only get through Valentine’s Day if you’re single but to actually enjoy it.
- LOVE your family – Valentine’s Day is my mom’s birthday, so growing up, that was the main reason February 14 was a big deal. Also, my dad would always buy me a card and chocolate, so showing storgē (parental love for children) on Valentine’s Day is not a foreign concept to me. I have continued this tradition with my children, and have been known to make chocolate covered strawberries for them, bake and decorate cookies cupcakes, make a special dinner or taken them out for a lunch or dinner and movie date.
- LOVE your friends – I remember when I was a kid and would hand out little Valentine’s Day cards to all my classmates and friends. I got so much pleasure from going through the box of cards and deciding which card best suited which person. It had nothing to do with romance, because, eww, boys. That gesture of giving cards with sweet sentiments, and showing love to those around me in that small way, is what it’s all about. So why not revisit your childhood, and go get a box of cards and give them to those you encounter on that day. And then there’s the increasingly popular Galentine’s Day (which is actually February 13, but close enough) when ladies celebrate each other. Get with your girlfriends and have a girl’s day out or in. I bet you have an abundance of philia love (friendship) in your life. Celebrate it!
- LOVE yourself – If you follow my Instagram you know that this is a message I preach all year long. And personally, while everybody else is getting all giddy over Valentine’s Day, I’m over here doing the S.A.D. thing. S.A.D., or Single Awareness (Appreciation) Day, is the counter to Valentine’s Day for those who are not coupled off, and like Galentine’s Day is growing in popularity with those not involved in romantic relationships. Instead of feeling blue, do something you love for and with yourself.
- Ignore it – This is probably easier to do when, like this year, Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday. Go to work or school, be happy for the woman in the cubicle next to you who gets the Valentine’s Day treats and sweets from her love (it will be your turn one day), then go home, and Netflix and binge on your favorite take out and tv show.
- Unplug from social media – Look, we all know social media is more highlight reel than real life, and that will be especially true on Valentine’s Day when posturing for social media will be at an all-time high. So while everybody else will be “doing it for the Gram”, do it for yourself and log off.
- Bask in God’s love – You may not have éros, storgē or even much if any philia love in your life. But you do have agape love – the God kind of love – in your life. Because as I John 4:8 tells us, God is LOVE. Bask in that love today and every day.