Valentine's Day is the Bane of My Existence Post-Divorce

February 13th, 2014

Okay, not really, that’s just me being all overdramatic. But I am so not a fan.

And it’s not the actual day or the flowers being sent to friends or the dates they get to go out on with their husbands or the jewelry some of them even receive. It’s not all of that.

Because I’m completely pro-romance.

And I’m completely happy that so many of my closest friends are in committed marriages.

It’s what Valentine’s Day represents for me, on this side of divorce.

It’s a reminder that I was once in a committed relationship, but I’m not anymore.

It’s a reminder that I was once the recipient of cards and roses, but no one’s brought me flowers in a long, long time.

It’s a reminder that many years ago I was on the market, and then I was snatched up, and now, here I am, back at seemingly square one, except, you know, I’m in my forties.

It’s a reminder of the loss of that relationship that I poured so much of my time and energy and life and heart and soul into.

But most of all, it’s a reminder of this: I may never, if I’m being brutally honest, experience the kind of love long-term that I’m longing for that everyone celebrates on this day. And that can be a huge and difficult pill to swallow. Because God does not promise us romantic love in this life. (I so totally wish he did, but he doesn’t.)

So on this Valentine’s Day—this partner-less Valentine’s Day—what can we hold onto to get us through?

It’s okay to be sad. Loneliness won’t kill us. Crying isn’t the end of the world. Missing someone doesn’t have to send us spiraling out of control. Wishing for something we don’t have can actually be a good thing. In other words, let yourself feel every emotion that this day stirs up for you.

Talk it out. Tell a friend or two how you’re feeling. Don’t hold this in. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed by what this holiday draws out of you. Own it and share it.

Protect your heart. Do not call an ex- (ex-husband or ex-boyfriend) out of your neediness. That just will not end well, and I think you know that.

Make a plan. Either get together with a single friend or rent a few movies you love or plan on a nice long bath and Chinese take-out. Whatever you need to take care of yourself.

Invite Jesus in to your pain. Listen, I know he won’t be physically holding us as we fall asleep and he won’t literally have a heart-shaped box of chocolotes delivered to your door, but he promises to never leave us, to never forsake us. He thinks we are precious and beautiful. And his love for us far exceeds that of any man and will never cease no matter what we say or do. He may not be our Valentine, but he is our One True Love and he’s not going anywhere.

Read an interview with Elisabeth here

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