Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and one can feel like an outcast from Noah’s Ark – where everyone is half of a pair. It is difficult to be alone when it is the first time in a decade or so on this romantic holiday. Here are some suggestions on how to get through this difficult period.
A valentine does not have to be a partner, but rather anyone! My four cats are my valentines and we will all devour some treats, me chocolate and them, tuna. If you have children at home, cooking a nice meal together including a decadent dessert will keep you occupied. Babysitting the neighbor’s kids or your nieces and nephews will be engaging and a bit of fun. Children and pets are entertaining and a diversion from any gloom.
Get out of town and have an adventure! Last year I had a business trip to a large city and arrived early afternoon on February 14th. It was one of my best Valentine’s Days and I was alone. My centrally located hotel was near a lovely bookstore and I purchased a British mystery. I ended up at a department store where I had a facial and bought chocolates. Reading late in a teahouse was heavenly. Sometimes being away from your familiar environment is the antidote to sadness on this particular night. There are plenty of packaged tours that will send you to a glorious place in the sun or to an exotic locale where the holiday may not be a big deal at all.
Surviving this holiday involves distraction. Shake up your usual routine and do something different. Go to an ethnic restaurant or a place with a communal table. My son will be working at a Japanese restaurant on this night and I will enjoy some shrimp and salad. I will have great service from a charming young man and be among other diners. I have a Scandinavian mystery tucked away for after dinner. Have your treat during the day at a fabulous bakery with a latte, if going out solo in the evening seems depressing. It is when you have nothing to do but mope and reminisce that this is evening seems long and morose.
Doing a strenuous physical activity amps up those feel-good endorphins and enables your mind to stay focused on the task. One divorced pal hikes up a mountain, another goes climbing, others run and do other athletic pursuits. Even a short walk around the neighborhood or nearby park can boost one’s mood. Consider doing a deep clean or clearing away junk to give your surroundings a more zen-like appearance. One is less despondent when busy.
One divorce friend threw a party on Valentine’s evening. As the hostess, she buzzed around her guests and did not miss not having a date. There were some other singletons and she claimed all had a blast. Another divorced pal joins her church’s singles group for Valentine’s fun. They watch a movie or do other activities while enjoying the camaraderie. MeetUp.com often has events on holidays, so one can have companionship in a lively place. I avoid the cinema because there seems to be many couples there for date night.
Decide if you want to be alone or in a group setting and then plan accordingly. Pampering feels great and one can apply a facial mask and watch a DVD. I plan on getting a pedicure that weekend as my indulgence. I volunteer with a cat rescue charity and our adoption rate increases around various holidays. Plan ahead so you are not wondering how to fill these empty hours and that is the secret to surviving Valentine’s Day.
How will you get creative this Valentine’s Day?
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- Parenting After Divorce: Why I Won’t Double Down This Valentine’s Day