Our guest blogger today, Christine Webber, is a broadcaster, writer and psychotherapist. She has been an advice columnist for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including: TV Times, Best, Woman, Full House, BBC Parenting, Dare and The Scotsman. Her book, How to Mend a Broken Heart, is inspired by her experience as a psychotherapist and ‘agony aunt’ and is a helpful guide for those who find it difficult to get over a failed relationship.
Valentine’s Day is the worst date in the calendar for anyone who’s recently split up from a partner.
You may try to be glad when your ogre of a boss receives a bouquet at work and, for once in her life, behaves like an actual human. Or when your girlfriend, who’s co-habited with her man for years in unmarried bliss, surprises you by getting engaged. Or when your sister calls to describe how her spouse woke her up to the strains of ‘their song’ and then made her a chocolate breakfast. But all you want to do is weep.
It’s so dispiriting. And it feels like everyone, apart from you, is part of a romantic couple. No wonder you’re fed up – and probably telling yourself that no one will ever love you again, and that life’s a total bitch.
Does it help to learn that millions of us have, at some time, been in the same horrid place that you’re in now? Or that we’ve triumphed over it? Maybe not. But it’s true.
So, what can you do to get through the day and to emerge sane and smiling on the other side?
1. Buy yourself a book by a favourite author and make time to start reading it.
2. Don’t hide away on Valentine’s Day – do something different. Go to a gallery, or throw a singles’ party, or go bowling with some unattached friends and colleagues.
3. Make a list of all the things about your ex that you don’t miss. Pin it up in the kitchen, and add to it every time you think of something else.
4. Go online shopping and buy yourself a real treat.
5. Make a list of 10 things that would improve your life, like a holiday in the sun, and plan how you’ll achieve them.
6. Recognise that February 14th is no longer than any other day. It just feels like it.
Finally, do remember that Valentine’s Day is not all it’s cracked up to be. For every adult who has a magical 24 hours, there’s at least one other who feels more disappointed than delighted.
And sadly, a sizeable number of people will find themselves facing up to the fact that their relationship no longer feels exciting or happy.
It certainly won’t be a great day for everyone.
Also, let’s face it, Valentine’s is a bit of a rip-off. The price of flowers is scandalous, and restaurants are not only far too crowded, but on the make. Certainly, the same meal on the 13th or 15th would be a hell of a lot cheaper. .
So, maybe you’re well out of it. You can save money – and view the whole shebang as nothing more than a commercial conveyor belt. I hope you can enjoy this somewhat cynical viewpoint – because the chances are that next year, on February 14th, you’ll be holding a new person’s hand across a crisp white tablecloth, in an overcrowded bistro, and sipping exorbitantly priced Champagne!