Valentine’s Day can be a joyful celebration for many couples. On February 14th we are encouraged to spend time with our loved ones and show them that we love and appreciate them through purchasing gifts and cards. While the most romantic date in the calendar can be a time of celebration for those who have partners, how do we fare when we don’t have a special someone in our lives?

Valentine’s Day can be a particularly difficult time of year if you don’t have someone to spend it with, especially if you are experiencing a recent breakup. Here is our survival guide for coping with heartbreak and being alone at a time when it seems everyone else is celebrating being in love:

Value your alone time, but don’t feel like you always have to be alone

The end of a relationship can be very difficult to deal with; it requires adjustment and getting used to your new normal. While taking some time for yourself to deal with this adjustment can be very valuable, you don’t have to face it all on your own. Get in touch with friends and family. The break-up of a romantic relationship is often the ideal opportunity to reconnect with the other relationships in your life. Most people can relate to the hurt that matters of the heart can cause, and sharing your experiences with others can help to provide a bit of perspective on your situation.

At the end of a relationship, you may feel like you have an abundance of spare time and you’re not quite sure what to do with it. As long as it’s within your capacity, fill it! Whether it’s taking up a new hobby, devoting yourself to a project that means something to you, or simply using the time to catch up with loved ones. If your day is filled with plans it will give you something to focus on other than your heartbreak.

4 emojis with different emotions

Remember that social media is not necessarily an accurate reflection of life

Social media can be a particularly nasty foe when dealing with a relationship break-up. On Valentine’s Day in particular, it can be tricky to look at update after update of loved-up couples and “In A Relationship” statuses. It is important to remember that social media only shows you highlights rather than the more mundane details of life, and, sometimes people post what they want you to think is true, not actually what is true. Looking at your loved-up friends and their respective partners gazing adoringly into each others’ eyes can be difficult, but remember that this is only one side of the story. Facebook won’t tell you about the arguments and disagreements that have taken place between a couple when they aren’t taking romantic selfies!

Get to know yourself

A relationship breakdown can be the ideal opportunity for self-reflection. Understanding what went wrong with the relationship can be a valuable tool, and can help you to work out what is important to you, what you can learn from your past experiences, and, how you can apply these lessons to future relationships.

Make your own Valentine’s Day traditions

Chances are you won’t be the only one in your social network who finds themselves single on Valentine’s Day, even though it might feel like it! Have a night out or a night in with like-minded friends or family where romance is strictly off the agenda. Make your own Valentine’s Day memories, so that you can look back on the day fondly regardless of your relationship status.

Give it time

The sadness, anger, and anxiety that accompany the break-up of a relationship will eventually pass. Have faith that things will get better. Time is a great healer.

If you’re struggling to cope

If you are struggling to cope, we can help. At The Green Rooms, we offer counselling and psychotherapy, individual to your experiences and needs, which can help you to deal with any obstacles that life presents. Contact us for a free consultation or to make an appointment.

Written by Jennifer McElroy, The Green Rooms Psychology Assistant