Surviving Valentine’s Day post breakup

Jayde Teutsch, Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day can be a bit gloomy for anyone spending it single. This February 14 was my first Valentine’s Day after ending a long-term relationship, and there were a few differences I noticed.  

I spent last Valentine’s Day with my girlfriend whom I had been with for four months at the time. We exchanged gifts and spent the day together, but other than that it was a regular day. I’ve never been one to enjoy seeing people only spoil their partners for a singular day each year, but I did find comfort in celebrating it with someone I truly loved. While our relationship didn’t last, I have a lot of appreciation for the effort she put into making the day special.  

I’ve been single since October and have been trying to reframe the way I see myself and daily activities. I never used to celebrate holidays unless I was in a relationship, so I have been making each holiday since the breakup meaningful; life is much more colorful when you create good memories for fun and not out of necessity.  

This past Halloween, Christmas and New Years were some of the most memorable holidays to me, and I wanted to keep making strides towards making the most of each moment. The morning of February 14, I woke up and skipped my first class to dress up (the fit had to be immaculate). I put on my pinkest makeup and jewelry to match my teddy bear sweater and red scrunchie. Even though it rained all day, I was still in an amazing mood.  

My mindset was obviously a little different than it was last year; I was focused on how I was feeling rather than spending my day thinking about someone else. I spent the afternoon trying to be cheerful and appreciative of the world around me. While looking around, there were so many couples walking hand in hand. There were moments I wished I had someone to share my love with, but I am ultimately the most deserving of my love each and every day.  

Valentine’s Day often receives a lot of backlash from single people, and while I have some criticisms of the holiday, I firmly believe those spending it alone can still make it special. Sarah Hepola wrote an article for NPR about experiencing a disappointing Valentine’s Day. She said “my focus on romantic love, and all it was supposed to deliver, has kept me from missing all the other kinds of love I have in my life. The walks with friends. The long conversations on the phone, or on a living room couch. A family that is so predictably available I forget to count them.” 

Just because you’re not celebrating a holiday full of love with a romantic partner doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate at all. Focusing on your own happiness by spending time with cheerful friends can fill the day with love. If you’re a little hesitant to share additional love in your platonic relationships, give that love to yourself.  

Mental Health America shared a couple of tips on how to love yourself on Valentine’s Day. You can have a spa night, buy yourself a little treat, wear something that makes you feel good or journal about your best qualities. Nobody is stopping you from spreading your love each February, and you deserve to love yourself the way you would love a partner.  

I used to give up a lot of myself for my romantic partners and forgot I mattered enough to receive my own love; there were few times I pampered myself or let myself take a break. This February marked the end of that cycle though, and it was definitely a special day for me. I do love myself and know I am worthy of the most sensitive love, even if it only comes from me.