"I can't believe he dumped me the day before Valentine's Day" sobbed one of my clients last year. She came home from the shops on 13th February to find her boyfriend of seven years with his bags packed standing in the hall. He told her he was leaving her as he didn't see a future together, picked up his bags and left.
She was devastated. Even though they had their ups and downs, he was the person she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. She had planned a special Valentine's dinner the following evening and was hoping that he may take the romantic occasion to propose to her.
Unfortunately, he had very different ideas.
A male client of mine was surprised his wife hadn't bought him a Valentine's card and when he presented her with her favourite flowers she burst into tears. She told him she didn't love him anymore and wanted a divorce.
It may seem strange that so many relationships break up around Valentine's Day, however there are three main reasons for this:
- It is a time when people take stock of their love lives. They evaluate what they have and whether it's what they really want. If one partner is unsure about the future together they will not want to make big romantic gestures on Valentine's Day so this is why breakups spike just before the big day.
- If your relationship is on rocky ground, then this time of year will put even more pressure on it when all around you are love hearts and happy couples.
- Valentine's Day highlights if one partner is more committed than the other. If one of you wants to make a big deal of the day with a romantic dinner and gifts it can bring it to breaking point.
Whilst it can seem harsh to end it all before this supposedly "romantic" day, it is a lot more honest to face your feelings and make the decision to walk away rather than go through with the pretence of it all.
If you do find yourself suddenly single on Valentine's Day and it wasn't your choice (and sometimes even if it was) it can be very hard to cope when everyone else in the world seems to be still in loving relationships. However, there are some things you can do to help you deal with the heart ache:
- Have a good cry: Many of us bottle up our emotions and suppress how we feel all the time. Crying is part of the healing process and an effective way to release negative feelings so allow yourself some time to grieve the end of your relationship.
- Get some support: Surround yourself with positive people that make you feel good. If you think you need some professional help from a coach or your GP, then don't be afraid to ask.
- Take off your rose-tinted glasses: Focus on the parts of your relationship that you didn't like and that annoyed you or made your sad. You will always find some if you look hard enough.
- Plan something to do on Valentine's Day evening. Throw a singles party or go out with a bunch of single friends for the night. If you really can't face being sociable then plan to spend a night relaxing at home, sometime a glass of wine and a bubble bath can be just the answer.
- Write a bucket list of all the things you can now do that you never could have done in your last relationship. You will be surprised at how this keeps you moving forward even when at times it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Schedule some in your diary now so you have some exciting goals to work towards.
The important thing to remember is that a relationship that ends was never meant to be forever. There will always be hurt and upset when it comes to an end and there will be things you miss and wish you still had. However sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together.
You don't know what is around the corner and you now have a chance to go and find someone who will love you and stay with you. In the meantime, remember that you only live once and there is lots of fun you can have while you are single!