Admit it: Ever since the distraction of the holidays ended, Feb. 14 has felt like a menacing, looming in the distance, like a cruel reminder of the relationship you’re no longer in (RIP). The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you broke up five weeks ago or five months ago, your first Valentine’s Day after a breakup can be an emotional whirlwind. As you find yourself surrounded by couples declaring their love for each other, you’re left reliving your split — and, let’s be real, possibly missing your ex. But there’s so much to be thankful for on Valentine’s Day, even if the wounds haven’t fully healed yet. All it takes to survive it is a slight shift in your mindset.
Certainly, there will be no shortage of stimuli all around you. You'll stroll into a local shop and you’re surrounded by displays with bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolates. You'll mindlessly scroll through Facebook and you'll be met with a sappy proposal story, complete with close-ups on the diamond ring and a long-winded, sentimental post. You check Instagram and your feed is brimming with pics of smug couples expressing their adoration for each other. Indeed, it’s basically inescapable. But here’s the thing: You have more power than you think you do. You may not be able to avoid the influx or romance, but you can choose to embrace it in a way that has nothing to do with your ex.
As Feb. 14 approaches, here are a few things to keep in mind in order to save your sanity.