There’s no good time for a relationship to run its course, but it’s definitely all the more trying when it happens around Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re going through the aftermath of a breakup with a great love, or are finally coming to terms about moving on from an former flame that you ended things with months ago, dealing with the finality of a relationship this time of year is no easy feat, and our feelings seems to be emphasized tenfold.
I know this because I’m in the heart of it and instead of letting Valentine’s Day be an excuse to mask reality and have a romantic night out with him, I’ve instead been mindful of how I feel and what I want for myself in the long-term future. It’s that knowingness that we’re not meant to be which has given me some perspective.
Not at a place where you can reflect in an honest way yet? That’s cool. But short of putting on your most eye-catching, feel-good, tried, tested and true outfit, getting a wax, and then hopping under someone else, let’s just take a mindful-moment to acknowledge WTF is up.
This year it’s all about me… Jen Kirsch.
What’s up, sweet girl, is that you’re in a transitional phase.
What’s up, is that you’re hurting. And it may not seem it now, but you’ll be better for it. You’ll grow from it. But you gotta accept it for that work and that magic to happen, over time.
What’s up, is that you’re now removed from a situation that was no longer working out, at least on one person’s end anyways. And like, thank God! Because you are worthy of being with someone who loves you just as much as you love them. You’re worthy of respecting yourself enough to pull the trigger on something that’s not working for you. The art of ending things is just as hard if not harder as dealing with the aftermath. I’ve been there. I know it.
What’s up is that, the only control you have with Feb 14th on the horizon, is how you respond to it. And how you respond to it is your choosing. How you respond to it can make you feel better, or it can make you feel worse. But the choice, you strong, goddess of a lady you, is up to you. Choose with caution. Choose with loving-kindness in mind.
For me, ghosts of uncoupled-up Valentine’s Days past were all about finding a fun friend, booking them in well in advance, and drowning in bottomless flutes filled with bubbly while we talked about how much we didn’t need another to define us. All that talk about it though, likely deep down displayed that we actually really did.
Staying in? Make a Kir Royale at home with this Bon Appetit recipe
Last year, my gaysian Gallant and I met up at the Rooftop Bar of Hyatt Hotel, sipped a reasonable amount of Kir Royales (my signature drink!), then ordered a black car to take us two blocks to a charity event. I was meant to be out on a date with the guy I was casually seeing, but around 6pm that evening, after I checked in to see what the plan was, he admitted he was with someone else.
Was I hurt? Yes. Did I stay home and mope, or go the other end of the spectrum and get wasted and blow up his phone with negativity based on my in-the-moment anger and disappointment? No. I decided to take my friend Gallant up on his V-Day offer, and enjoy my night in good company, nevertheless. I was already all dolled up anyways, no sense putting a good outfit and full face of make-up to waste, amirite?
As for you, if you’re reading this article because you’re dealing with heartbreak and heartache, I want to acknowledge that Valentine’s Day has the ability to really hurt you and make them feel those feels. I’m not going to spout out the pessimists go-to line that “It’s just another day,” because I know there’s more importance put on it. Saying that line in and of itself undermines what many of us go through internally as V-Day approaches and the day of and let’s be honest, well after that day comes and goes.
So what is the broken-hearted, newly single, Valentine’s Day lover to do?
Do what makes you happy. Do what brings you joy. If you think that going out with girlfriends to a trendy hot spot for a dinner that night will make you sad because you care not to see other happy couples, then don’t go out! If you have a stack of books you’ve been wanting to read or have a handful of shows and films on your to-be-watched Netflix list, hit play! If you want to go to one of those anti-Valentine’s Day events, so be it! You do you. But do it for the right reasons.
If I’ve learned anything from The Bachelor (I’ve learned a lot from world’s best show, thank you very much) it’s that the nature of our well-being comes down to our intentions. Don’t do something to get a response from others. That’s manipulative. That’s the deceitful. That often works in the opposite way you want it to (sorry not sorry.)
If you’re going out with friends so you can post on Instagram about how happy and #blessed and loved you are, maybe things are too raw for you right now and you should just do you. Stay in and give yourself self-love by doing your fave self-care routines (meditate, bubble bath, cook a nourishing meal, etc.) If you’re going out because you feel great surrounded by your friends that you love and actually, you’ve been meaning to try that resto/bar/café anyways, so be it.
Just be good to yourself, ok? And remind yourself that just because you once played a reel in your head of what you expected your day to look like (when you were still coupled up), that it doesn’t mean you can’t be sad. Or can’t miss and mourn that idea and ideal. Just watch those thoughts arise. Accept them. And let them go. Oh and don’t under any circumstances reach out to the ex. Make this week a reminder for you about always moving forward. One assured step at a time.
As for me, one of my nearest and dearest girlfriends (who just so happens to be known as Toronto’s queen of the dance floor!) invited me to join her at Bisha Hotel for cocktails, bites and of course dancing with an intimate group of friends. Committing to this plan will ensure I get out of the house, put on my finest and surround myself with my tried, tested and true friends who I love the most, who have proved they stand the test of time. Plus right about now I’m sure I can get out some of that pent up emotional energy I’ve been carrying around out on the dance floor.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Jen Kirsch)