How to survive Valentine's Day after a breakup

Posted at 02/12/14 7:31 PM

MANILA – While February 14 is one of the most-anticipated days for many couples, it can also be the worst day of the year for those who have recently broken up with their partner.

Studies show that couples often breakup after a special occasion like Thanksgiving (at least in the U.S.), Christmas Day, New Year’s Day or Valentine’s Day.

Some couples postpone the breakup in an attempt to be together during these "togetherness holidays."

But not all are patient enough to wait until after Valentine's Day and some break up with their partners as soon as the Christmas holidays are over.

Splitting up with your significant just weeks before Valentine’s Day is difficult and painful, especially when the world is filled with reminders of love and happiness.

Going through a breakup may be difficult, but it is not impossible. Here's a quick guide on how to mark Valentine's Day with a broken heart.

1. Grieve and let go

Just like when a family member or a friend dies, you have to mourn and grieve the loss of a significant other --whether you were dumped, or you were the one who broke up your partner. Give yourself enough time to cry, to mourn, to feel angry and to be not fine.

Contrary to what some say, grieving and mourning shouldn’t have a time limit. Grieve as long as you want, as long as it doesn’t affect your day-to-day activities, or turn to depression.

Do not shut people out of your life. Keep constant communication with your closest friends but avoid talking to friends you met through your partner, or to your partner’s family. As much as possible, do not get information about your ex while you are still mourning.

Make sure that you are still taking care of yourself. Eat healthy food, go out for a walk, sleep and don’t let your emotions get the better of you. It’s okay to be sad, as long as you don’t damage yourself in the process.

Once you’re done mourning and grieving, then it is time to accept that the split happened, and that you cannot do anything about it. At this point, instead of dwelling on the breakup, think about the good memories you had with your ex. Your relationship may have ended badly, but you sure have some good times that you can linger on.

2. Love yourself

In going through a breakup, it is not wise to blame yourself for anything, whether you are the one who left, or you were the one left behind. You have to remember that it takes two to tango, and if a relationship failed, then both of you may be at fault. Be kind to yourself and give yourself some credit.

If your significant other broke up with you just a few days before Valentine’s Day, then it is best to surround yourself with people you love, and who love you back. Create a sort of support group composed of your closest friends.

Go to dinner or a party with friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day. If your friends are busy with their own dates, then just enjoy the day on your own. Go to a salon, get a haircut or treatment, or go to a spa for a massage. You can also just buy your favorite food and stay home to watch a movie marathon. Make sure to avoid romantic movies though, as these might make you feel worse.

Surround yourself with positive people, and avoid places where you might meet your ex. Also avoid going to places that have a special meaning to you and your ex, such as a favorite coffee shop, favorite restaurant or somewhere only you two know. If it helps, avoid going online and checking his/her social media accounts, and turn off your phone, especially if you’re not expecting any call from other people.

3. Don't date just yet

Avoid dating someone new immediately after a breakup, especially if you’re still hung up on your previous relationship. You might think that having love on the rebound can help you forget, but this kind of relationship rarely works out, and you’ll just end up hurting yourself and the other person in the process.

Valentine’s Day may be a day for lovers and couples, but it is also a day to show your love for yourself and your friends. So go out and enjoy the day, and show some love for yourself.