Being Alone on Valentine’s Day
Although we are all aware of Valentine’s Day, many of us don’t put a lot of focus and energy into making it a big day. But even if that is our truth, when we have been through a divorce or loss of our “significant other” that first Valentine’s Day alone can bring up challenges that make us question our “being single” status and what being single means about who we are. And try as we might to make the day tolerable, we may find the winter holiday blaring at us through the pillow we have over our head as we try to sleep away the day.
Valentine’s Day, with its focus on couples, romance, and being in love, can bring up negative thoughts about “being single”. We may already feel different if being single is new for us but then the focus on couples brings to mind what we “don’t have” which often can leave one feeling “less than” and “not good enough”. So if you find yourself wavering between thinking the holiday is not a big deal to wondering how you will get through it with your newly acclaimed “single status”, you might want to consider how you want to handle this holiday before it is upon you.
First, if this is your first Valentine’s Day as a newly single person, then this means that you have had some loss in your life over this year. Whether it be that you broke up from a long-term relationship, got a divorce, or found yourself widowed, you had a loss. Losing a companion, for whatever reason, is not an easy process. Grief is a natural by-product of the loss of someone significant in your life. This is true even if the change in your status to being single was a “good change” for the betterment of you. There will still be that transition to learning how to be single and the intruding memories of times that you were together with your significant other. Your grief may not even be about the person you lost but for the lost dreams of the romance and love that was never really there or for the relationship that had its good moments. Lost dreams are all part of the grieving process. Or the grief may be for the relationship that really was the love of your life and is no longer there. Allow yourself the grieving time. Give yourself permission to grieve and allow the day to give you opportunity to further release the pain that still lingers in your broken heart on this day of the heart. It is the walking through the pain, feeling it, and allowing its release that will ultimately heal the heart.
Next, put things into perspective, which will allow you to control your thoughts which ultimately controls how you feel. Valentine’s Day is a commercial day that encourages the sale of flowers, candy, and dining out. Do not allow this focus to define you as a person. Being single or being with someone does not define the essence of you. Spend some time identifying your essence, the person you are, the person you want to further develop, your gifts and your potential. Embrace your alone time as a time to become more acquainted, comfortable and embracing of yourself. This gift of “self” is the greatest gift to be found and deserves the honor it is worthy of – it is the ultimate gift and you can work towards unwrapping it and fully appreciating it. Being alone sets up the time and opportunity to become better friends with yourself. Use this time to heal and become whole.
And last, figure out how you want to spend your day. Ask the people who support and love you to be with you. Plan your evening and do something different. Surround yourself with people who will mirror back to you your worth as a person and who will honor your journey towards healing and wholeness. If everyone that you would chose to spend the evening with has plans already, plan to volunteer somewhere, visit someone in the same spot as you, or rent a movie for the evening. Or clean your closets to give you a sense of accomplishment and clearing of the old.
Make a conscious decision to use the day to allow yourself to heal your heart from the pain this past year. Be deliberate in setting up good thinking patterns about yourself and who you are. Step into taking charge of the day so that you end up feeling stronger and more empowered and conscious about who you are and what defines you.
Tags: Alone on Valentine's ay, use valentines day to be with yourself
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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