Valentine’s Day is upon us. I have always believed (and for a while even got to experience) that if you’re lucky enough to be in a good, healthy relationship, it’s not such a significant day. When you’ve got a loving partner, love and romance are everyday occurrences through genuine, simple gestures. While grand gestures are nice, they’re not the foundation of love. When you’re in this kind of relationship, giving love is just as gratifying as receiving it. I can honestly say that I never really gave much thought to Valentine’s Day.
These days however, without this kind of love, I find that the day’s meaning is huge and heavy. It weighs upon my heart, making it sometimes hard to breathe. It twists my stomach into knots that even if I were given red-wrapped chocolates, the thought of eating them is utterly unappetizing. Being struck by Cupid’s arrow is beautiful, but it’s the absence of said arrow that really punctures and stings.
If the thought of February 14th is leaving you feeling more blue than red and pink, there’s good news. It occurred to me that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to necessarily have anything to do with romance. It has everything to do with LOVE. Even if we’re going through a rough time, there’s always love in our life. Find your greatest sources of love, and celebrate them.
- Kids – My kids are my world and I love them more than anything. So, this February 14th I will buy them candy and plush roses, and I will thank them for being the amazing human beings that they are. I will remind them of all the love and laughter they bring into my everyday. I’m quite certain they’ll roll their eyes and remind me for the umpteenth time how weird I am, but that’s ok because I’m doing it for me as much as I’m doing it for them.
- Friends – I am so lucky to have great, supportive friends in my life. I plan on making them feel appreciated on Valentine’s Day. A simple note of gratitude goes a long way and showing them how much they mean to me will also make me happy.
- Myself – Like everyone, my journey since divorce has been long and filled with many unexpected turns. I have come to realize and accept that perhaps this journey is never-ending but rather, ever-evolving. I am proud of my individuality and my accomplishments in this newly defined role. I will honour myself this Valentine’s Day because I deserve to be someone’s number 1. I will make myself my own number 1. This won’t take the form of anything too elaborate, but I do intend to treat myself to something frivolous and luxurious.
This Valentine’s Day, ask yourself what would bring you joy? A bubble bath, a pedicure, a new lipstick, a cute outfit that you’ve been eyeing? Whatever form your happy comes in, I propose that you treat yourself. Divorce sucks and sometimes relationships suck too but if we’re to learn anything from heartbreak, let it be that we are the creators of our own happiness, and Valentine’s Day is no exception.
From my heart to yours, I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day however you choose to spend it.
Heather is a single mother to 2 amazing kids. She is the former Content Director for KidsBeforeConflict.com a website dedicated to positive coParenting. Her work has been featured in Divorce Canada Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as several Canadian websites and magazines. Prior to her writing on the topic of divorce, Heather founded and managed WordsByMom.com, a showcase of children’s book reviews. She has appeared on Canada AM, The Marilyn Denis Show and Breakfast Television. Heather has been featured on many radio shows throughout North America.