Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day: If you're single there are ways to take charge.

Let's face it. Valentine's Day is all about romantic love, about couples, about passion...the love that is celebrated in our culture as the solution to life's challenges. We all know that's not true, but if you're alone and don't want to be, it is hard to get around Valentine's Day. The first year of being 60 and single, I decided to take charge of Valentine's Day by sending cards to everyone I cared about....my mother, my sister, my step-children and close friends. I took to heart the "give and you shall receive" message from the Bible. It worked for me. All those people appreciated knowing that I cared about them. Today, I'm mailing out almost 20 cards to people in my life whom I care about. It still feels good.
Bonny Albo, writing at about.com recommends these tips for celebrating being single on Valentine's Day:
Remember That A Relationship Doesn't Define Who You Are. Just like when someone asks you what you do for a living, the same goes for your relationship status: whatever your situation, it isn't the end-all explanation of who you are as a person.
Stay Busy on Valentine's Day. Plan out your Valentine's Day celebrations, even if they are as simple as staying at home and watching TV or meeting a friend for coffee.
Do Something About Being Single. If you don't want to be single, this is a perfect time to reflect on why you are single, and what you can do about it.
Treat Yourself. So what if you don't have someone to give you flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day? Why not use the day as an excuse to pamper and treat yourself, instead?
Create Unexpected Surprises.You aren't the only person coping with being single on Valentine's Day, so why not find some others who are struggling as well and do something different?
For more:
How to cope with Valentine's Day alone. Click here.
Grief healing. Remembering your loved ones on Valentine's Day. Click here.
An Oasis for the Lonely on Valentine's Day. Click here.
The Dark Side of Love. Those who have it in for Valentine's Day. Click here.
Oh...and among those people who received Valentine Cards from me? That's right, I sent one to myself at work. That made me laugh.
The other night, over dinner I confessed to a friend that I still had a bag full of old cards exchanged between me and my now ex-husband over the 18 years that we were together. All of them signed, love, or all my love or luv u.  I told her I was tempted to send them to him or to his new girlfriend. She rightly pointed out that it would be a big waste of time. We agreed that I should send them to her. That way she could "witness" my continuing grief process, the letting go of the bitterness...even as I move on with my new life, find new relationships and give love to people closest to me.

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