Break-ups are literally the worst. The first Valentine’s Day after a relationship ends can often be a struggle, one that so often ends with a teary phone call to the ex, or a new hair colour you will be begging your hairdresser to fix the following day.
When suddenly couples seem to be everywhere and you are riding your first Valentine’s solo, it can be very easy to make mistakes you will regret later. So, we’ve put together our top 9 tips to get you to the other side of the big day unscathed, and feeling better for it.
We’ve also added some things to do to take your mind off the day at the end of the article – scroll down to read those!
1) Let It Out
Cry all you want to, no matter what people say about it. Letting out how you feel is healthy, and a good cry to your mates, your mum or in private can, in some cases, be the very best form of therapy.
Often the things we want to say or wish we had said before the relationship ended is what sticks in our minds for the days and weeks to come. Try writing a letter with all of these thoughts and feelings in them. You do not have to send the letter to feel better, and sometimes writing it all down and tearing it up can be just therapeutic as knowing they have heard how you feel.
It is also important to remember that just because you are missing them and are upset about it being over, that does not mean they were right for you. It can be hard to separate feeling grim about a relationship being over and feeling like you are still in love with them and so it is crucial to keep in mind the reasons why the relationship ended. #NeverTextAnEx.
2) Set Boundaries
We’ve all been there. A few days in to the break-up and the urge to check their social media becomes more overwhelming than the allure of eating a full tub of Ben & Jerry’s in your pyjamas. However, this can be like opening a can of worms, and as soon as you have satisfied this need, you will be straight back on Instagram before you know it to see what they have been up to.
Whilst it might feel satisfying in the moment, constantly checking up on them and what they are doing for V-Day has no positive outcome for you. If they are spending the day with someone else it will be painful to see, and social media silence will only leave you guessing as to what they are up to for the entire evening. Don’t forget everyone, social media isn’t always honest, and what they post doesn’t always reflect how they are feeling.
If you need to, give a trusted friend your login and have them change the password for a social media free few days away from temptation. Delete the ex’s phone number so you aren’t tempted to be dialling them late at night or sending texts you might regret later. Just like Dua Lipa – you got new rules. Count ‘em.
3) Take Care of You
One of the hardest things to do when a break-up hits is to take care of just yourself when, for so long, you have been part of a unit. But this is an amazing opportunity you only get a few times in life to completely focus on yourself and do what makes you happy.
Taking part in a few self-care rituals can make the world of difference, and allows you to give yourself your undivided attention – something you probably haven’t done in a while. Take a hot bath, watch a movie you have always wanted to see, read a good book, listen to some new music, do some retail therapy, hit the gym or go for a run. Taking time for yourself now is crucial to getting back on track.
Why not make a list of all the things you love to do solo you haven’t done in a while, or all the things you’ve always wanted to try? If you are struggling for ideas, check out our list of some awesome activities you can throw yourself into to take your mind off the ex here.
4) Get the Squad Onboard
Even though we have never needed an excuse to get together with friends, this is a time when your pals will be the best thing for you. Do some stuff as a group you haven’t been able to when relationships got in the way – go to a sports game, a meal, the cinema or just hang out in someone’s living room with snacks and Netflix. Remember: your friends most likely knew you before this relationship and having them remind you of who you are without the ex will be a powerful tool to help you back to the land of the living.
5) Keep Busy
Inevitably, your squad can’t be with you 24/7 in the aftermath of your break-up, and may have Valentine’s Day plans of their own. Write a list of all the things you can do to keep yourself occupied in the short term when there isn’t anyone around to binge watch Netflix with you. Clear out your bedroom, do some DIY (with help if you need it!), learn a new skill, even start that YouTube Channel that you were definitely going to get around to at some point this year – any of these things will fill a few hours of time and keep your mind busy.
6) Rebound Revolution
Every rom-com has always told us that to get over someone you have to be throwing yourself straight back into the dating game in time to have a new bae for V-Day. Whilst this might help you feel better in the short term, getting revenge by dating others who are most likely entirely wrong for you is a sure fire way to end up in the same position several weeks or months down the line.
Take this time for you, and don’t rush into dating because it might seem like the done thing. Getting to know who you are outside of a relationship is one of the most exciting things about being single, and if that means being on the bench for just one Valentine’s Day, you will be able to go into a new relationship when you are ready, as your best self.
7) Resist the Revamp
Part of getting over any break-up is self reflection, and getting the feeling that you need to change you is completely normal. From piercings to hair dye to a new wardrobe you can barely afford, we have heard it all here. Whilst in the post break-up period of bad judgement it might feel like self-improvement, it is so often just a reaction to the fact that something didn’t work out when you were yourself and you feel as though something might be wrong with you as a result. Resisting the post break-up revamp is crucial – you are who you are and if something doesn’t work out because of that, then it simply was not meant to be. And finding someone who loves you for you is worth keeping your same old hair style.
8) Wait for it
One day, you will wake up and feel great. No, seriously, hear us out. Even though the thought of getting through this first Valentine’s Day on your own might be really overwhelming and at times too much to deal with, each day you make it through at this time of year is a victory for you. Soon, you will wake up and you won’t want to check their social media, and you won’t want to cry about it.
9) Remember it’s just a day
Valentine’s Day really isn’t all that great even when you are in a relationship. Everywhere is busy with couples, chocolate costs more than it should and it puts unnecessary pressure on a relationship to be perfect. Going solo could save you a lot of money and one big headache in the long run. Plus February 15th is officially Single’s Awareness Day, so you do you!
What do you do on Valentines day after a break up?
Although it is just any other day, you may want to distract yourself from the day. If this is the case, we’ve put together some things to do on the day if you’ve just broken up with someone:
- Buy something for yourself instead – it’s a treat, you deserve it.
- Give yourself a self-care day date – why can’t you have a long bath, put on a facemask and watch your favourite TV show?
- Do something your ex always disliked doing but you enjoyed – it is about time!
- Ignore your phone – you don’t need to spend all day wallowing in what other couples are doing, especially when it could be all fake.
Riding out the season of love can be tricky for any one of us singletons, and getting through it without making fools of ourselves even trickier. If you feel at any time you need support, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.
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