Neil Sedaka definitely got one thing right — breaking up is hard to do. And it's even harder to face if you're going through a breakup around Valentine's Day. All of a sudden, you're reminded that the world is happy and celebrating with diamonds, while you're just eating Doritos and watching episodes of 30 Rock for the 90th time. It's just so comforting. I mean, Liz Lemon also dreams of having it all, right?
Valentine's Day can be cringe-worthy for many reasons when you're single — you might have that friend who is dreaming of a V-Day proposal (and won't shut up about it), or you might just be bombarded with diamond commercials and drugstore endcaps that are filled with stuffed bears and hollow chocolate hearts, when you only wanted to restock on shampoo with limited reminders of your bad breakup. Doesn't the world know that not everyone is happy and in love on Feb. 14?
While you might be tempted to stay in and cry during the holiday, and maybe send a few regrettable "how dare you, I miss you" texts with your ex, there are definitely better ways to handle the situation. You should remember that Valentine's Day is a day of love, and not a day about loving your ex. Try to put a positive spin on things to make sure that this fun holiday isn't a complete bust, even though it'll be celebrated in a way you probably didn't expect a month or so ago.
Here are a few ways to deal with the disappointment, and celebrate you for a change.
1. Book a relaxing getaway — or at least, an amazing staycation.
It could be in Hawaii, or it could be at the mall — relaxation isn't necessarily about breaking the bank. You could even just stop at your favorite store's makeup aisle for a few fun face masks, and pamper yourself while listening to some relaxing tunes. Even some light mediation might help remind you that you are you, and you're not just one half of a couple.
Now that your ex is no longer in your life, you have to remind yourself that now you can have the Valentine's Day you always dreamed of. Whether it's watching a bunch of terrible '90s movies back to back, or taking a day trip that you previously had no time to do.
2. If you got your ex a gift, return it and spend the money on yourself.
Depending on when the breakup occurred, you might have gotten your former partner a present already. If it was something like flowers, you can just prop those bad boys up in your living room and enjoy their beauty. But if it was something more expensive, return it immediately and spend that money on something you've always wanted. Think of it this way, you got two gifts this V-Day — whatever you bought with the return money, and the gift of losing someone who didn't recognize your true potential.
3. Plan a girls night.
If you have a lot of friends, there's a chance that someone in the group is also single, and aching for something to do. Whether it's a dinner, hitting up a bar, or just hanging at home, book a date with your buddies and allow yourself to have a good time. Chances are, they've also dealt with a painful breakup or two, so they'll know exactly what to do to help lift your spirits. If you've already made a dinner reservation, don't worry about swapping out guests. If the reservation is under your ex's name, however, you might want to choose a new place across town. Hopefully your ex was responsible enough to cancel it, but you don't want to worry about possibly running into him or her.
4. Block your ex on Facebook.
Based on the breakup, you're wondering if there might be another person involved. Trying to find this out for sure is a surefire way to ruin your week. While it's totally normal to want to snoop and get the full story, it'll do nothing but bring you additional pain. And if your ex is a complete jerk, they might try to flaunt a new romance on Facebook as a way to look like "the more desirable one" to your social group. Trying to make someone else jealous, especially someone you might have once claimed to have loved, is the mark of a terrible person.
If you feel the need to try and prove to social media that you're beyond this, steer clear of snarky and childish status messages. Instead, post some non-posed, totally legit photos of you and your friends on V-Day having an amazing time with each other. Living well is the best revenge.
5. Spend some time with Mom.
Mom always knew what to say back when you were a kid. And while her advice today might not really be with the times (as she still thinks the Internet is a "fad"), it'll definitely be comforting. When you're a child, you always imagine that your parents were each other's first true loves, but as we grow up, we realize that there's more to the story. Have an adult conversation with her, and get some solid tips on moving forward. If she can get you laughing about a few bad ex-partners of the past, it'll be even better. One day, this will all be a distant memory that you'll be cracking up about as well.
If Mom is celebrating the holiday solo, trust me — she'll love to spend this time with you.
6. Hit up a karaoke bar.
You can be your own Britney Spears of Crossroads if you wanted to. But in all seriousness, there's something truly empowering about belting out a song to an audience after a breakup. The attention is on you, you're in the spotlight, and you can truly belt out your anger. Heartbreak can really help you achieve a lot creatively.
On that note, if singing isn't your thing, consider using the holiday to take up a creative hobby that you've either tossed aside based on adulthood, or always wanted to try. Adult coloring books are everywhere these days, and can be extremely therapeutic. Even if you didn't think you'd spend V-Day coloring at home, you'll be glad that you did.
7. Remind yourself that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
And if you need Kelly Clarkson to reiterate that message, pull up "Stronger" and feel zero guilt for listening to it on repeat. This, in the grand scheme of things, is another bump in the road. Valentine's Day is, when everything is said and done, just a day. Some happy, legit couples sit at home and do nothing to celebrate, and they're completely content with not buying into the hype.
Even the worst of exes will teach you a lesson — they'll remind you that some of their traits will be ultimate red flags during your next relationship. Reflect on your own happiness, as well. Was this really the person you want to spend the rest of your life with? Or were you just getting used to the companionship?
Embrace your singlehood, and realize that this isn't the end of the road. It's just a step closer to meeting someone who'll be a way better match.
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