For some, Valentine can be a rough period for various reasons. It can make people feel inadequate for not being in a relationship. It can lead people to want to compromise and spend the day with someone they see no future with just to escape loneliness (if you are struggling with that click here
). Alongside this, it can be painful for those experiencing their first Valentine’s after a break-up. This, of course, is dependent on the circumstance of the break-up. However, if you are currently in the process of moving on from a breakup and adjusting to life without a significant other – it can be particularly difficult.
Valentine’s is marketed as the day of love and this is what can make it extremely triggering. Coming from a breakup, you are in a sensitive place of healing and renewal but what this season can do, is highlight your singleness and cause us to reminisce about past relationships. This can leave us fixated on the past instead of thinking positively about the future.
I remember one Valentine’s Day with someone I would later date and feeling content. 12 months later I spent that day single thinking “How did I get here?” “How do I spend the day now”. It may seem trivial for someone who’s never had that experience or those experiences but if you have grown accustomed to spending the day with someone, you will definitely understand how much of a trigger the mere suggestion of the occasion can be. Life is pictured as this continuous progression – date, get married and have babies right? So in 12 months to feel further away from that then before can make you feel like you’ve failed.
It’s a bit tough now but it will get better
The truth is that sometimes for whatever reason, things don’t work out. That’s just a truth we have to accept and not allow the enemy to have us chase endless “why’s”. I don’t know the answer to the why’s you might have but one thing I do know is that it will get better. Know that you have not failed, your best days are yet to come and your Beloved Jesus Christ will never leave you. He can satisfy your soul but you must hold onto Him and don’t let your mind wander into regret and self-pity.
Practical tips to remain “Valentine content”
Beyond the encouragement, here are some practical tips that are useful for remaining content over Valentine’s.
1) Be real and raw with the Holy Spirit
If you feel forgotten, speak to the Holy Spirit about it. If you feel lonely and you’re questioning your worth, speak to the Holy Spirit about it. If you feel overwhelmed by flashbacks, speak to the Holy Spirit about it. If you feel angry that your ex has moved on- speak to the Holy Spirit about it. He is your helper and your COMFORTER. He loves you; you can be completely honest with Him.
2) Be transparent with your friends.
I never did this… I didn’t feel like I could but had I told my friends about how lonely I was feeling the Valentine after my break up, I would have received support. You can’t get what you don’t admit you need. Don’t do what I did. Tell your friends and get that encouragement.
3) Don’t compare yourself to the new bae
If the person you dated last does seem to have a new person in their life that doesn’t mean you’re not important and that
doesn’t mean that they are “better” than you. I remember hearing that my ex took a female out for Valentine’s the year after we broke up. I suddenly started to think “Here I am single without a Valentine and he’s out…..” “Should I now get a Valentine to get my mind off him?” Stop it… just stop it. The fact that they have moved on doesn’t change your value whatsoever. Don’t let comparison and jealousy eat you up. You are amazing
and what they do/don’t do doesn’t affect your worth.
4) Guard your heart from social media
I would personally advise that you limit your use of social media. I know it seems a bit extra but hours and hours of scrolling through picture after picture and snap after snap of dates can make you feel one way. Alongside this, if you still follow your ex on social media (which I wouldn’t recommend early on), and they have moved on, seeing a picture of them on a date might understandably throw you off. Let them post whatever photo they want with their new bae. You unfollowing them or stopping their photos coming on your feed doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong and WISE. For the sake of your sanity – If you know that seeing one photo might leave you on unsteady ground, provide the appropriate distance. It’s not shady or “extra”, its allowing healthy distance to facilitate healing and progress.
5) Spend the day with good company
There’s a day where people normally go out for Valentine’s, sometimes it’s actually Feb 14th and other years, it’s the Saturday immediately before or after. Whatever that day is, spend it with good company. Don’t act like you’re too cool for company. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you can’t still go out. Listen, where possible I’ve done something with friends nearly every Valentine’s since I’ve been single. It’s called having fun, knowing yourself and giving NO room for the enemy. If you know there’s even a 1%
of you feeling lonely on the day, organise something with your friends and enjoy yourself!
All in all, I know that this time can be so so painful. I’m talking from first hand experience of my first Valentine’s after a breakup. If the holiday does resurface emotions from the past, I want you to know that those emotions are important. Don’t dismiss them as trivial but bring them before the Holy Spirit. Break-ups are never easy but you will be ok and it will get better. Take my practical steps, invite the Holy Spirit into this process of healing and keep putting one foot in front of the other. It will get better in time and this season (literal and emotional) will surely pass.
Love you immensely,