You’re coming up on the first Valentine’s Day since you and your spouse split up — or maybe the first one since your divorce became final. Sure, you can say that it’s just a made-up holiday designed to benefit florists, candy makers, greeting card companies, jewelers and expensive restaurants.
But it’s unavoidable. You can’t run in to the drug store to get a box of aspirin without being inundated with aisle after aisle of pink and red decorations — or turn on your TV without seeing images of loving couples celebrating with a new trinket or even a new car.
Even if you and your spouse stopped doing anything for V-Day years ago, the thought of being alone can be difficult to deal with. If your ex has the kids that night or if they’re old enough to have their own Valentine’s Day plans, the day can be even more difficult.
If you don’t want to be alone, spend time with others. Invite over a friend or two or maybe a sibling for a night of binge-watching this year’s Oscar-nominated movies. You can also go out somewhere — just not somewhere there are likely to be a lot of couples. Definitely don’t go somewhere you and your ex used to go — or somewhere you think they might be.
If you’d rather not have to socialize, but you’re afraid that if you stay home, you’ll just drink wine and rewatch your vacation videos, go to the gym, take your dog to the dog park or go to a coffee shop and read.
Whatever you do, don’t contact your ex (beyond whatever contact you need to have for the kids). That means no calling, texting, emailing or sending a cute online card to wish them a happy Valentine’s Day.
Before you know it, Valentine’s Day will be over, and you’ll be glad you didn’t do something you’ll regret.