A couple months I wrote a blog about my worst Christmas ever and well, now that it's Valentine's Day, I can’t help but think about all the broken-hearted women and men out there trying to get through this day. And so, here I go again...
Understandably, many people find it helpful to hear about how I got through the year that followed my broken engagement. I totally get it. You want to know that you're not alone. As someone who has been through more heartbreak than I'd care to admit, I have some good news. If you’re willing to do the work, not only can you survive this heart break, but you can emerge a happier person and find a more fulfilling relationship than the one you're currently missing. In the meantime, if you just need to get through this Valentines Day, I hope hearing a bit more about my blue Valentine’s Day will help.
UPDATE: I also suggest you check out the resources listed in "A Single Person's Guide to Celebrating Valentine's Day" for other suggestions on how to spend your day.
My Blue Valentine's Day, 2011
The Valentine’s Day that followed my broken engagement was definitely one to remember. It was the last holiday in the trilogy of winter holidays, and I was looking forward to getting it over with. Interestingly, it was also the last time my ex-fiancé and I would ever talk us.
Early in the new year, we had started talking again and flirting with the idea of maybe trying to work things out at some point in the future. He had written me a poem for Valentine’s Day and as he read it aloud over Skype (he was away,) my heart sank. It was a beautiful poem, but it wasn't about me.
In the three months since our breakup, I had begun to regain parts of myself that I had abandoned over the course of our three year relationship - my naturally extroverted self, my large and diverse social circle, dancing Tango, etc. At the expense of being together we had both abandoned parts of ourselves - something that I know now, never ever works in the long run. You can compromise, but you can't compromise yourself.
I painfully came to accept in that moment that he didn’t really love me, he loved the idea of me as he wanted me to be. This was conditional love. I thanked him for the beautiful poem, but told him that what I really thought. It was hard to be honest, but I was done not being myself. Naturally, he was upset. And so, with that, we said our last goodbye.
I was scared to let go of the “what if,” but I also felt empowered. I had chosen myself.
That evening I had no committed plans, but I knew that whatever I did had to involve some major self-care. Not having invested much in my social circle during our relationship, I really didn’t have many friends to call on (this should have been a major red flag.) So instead I went for a walk and found myself at one of my favourite bookstores. I bought myself “Love Poems” by Paulo Nerudo, and as I sat in the store’s cafe reading, someone started to play the grand piano in the bookstore. I smiled to myself and took in the beauty of this perfect moment.
From there I looked up movies that were playing, and I couldn't believe my luck. My favourite independent theatre was playing Amelie. My ex-fiancé and I had loved that movie, but there was something cathartic about watching it on my own. As a breakup coach, I now understand the importance of making new memories as a part of one’s own recovery.
Overall, it was a perfect way to spend my blue Valentines of 2011. Although, a part of me still felt sad, somewhat anxious and lonely, most importantly I felt a sense of peace deep that I would be okay. I chose to trust that like many other times in my life, in time this experience would make more sense and it would help me become a better person and loving partner for it. Six years later, I know this to be true.
BLUE VALENTINES DAY WEBSITES
If you're feeling blue this Valentine's Day, I would like to suggest you check out these 2 websites I have recently discovered. How I wish they had existed when I was going through my big breakups. Personally, I think contributing to these sites could be a cathartic and healing experience on Valentine's Day! But if you'd like some other suggestions, check out this Singles Valentine's Day guide.
I have to admit that I discovered this museum while watching The Bachelor, lol. I immediately looked it up and think it's absolutely brilliant!
"The Museum of Broken Relationships is a physical and virtual public space created with the sole purpose of treasuring and sharing your heartbreak stories and symbolic possessions. It is a museum about the ways we love and lose. Share a break-up story, or simply pin a break-up on the global map of broken hearts."
I can't believe I'd never heard about this website until I heard a short interview on the radio a couple weeks ago. The website is like an Ebay to sell your "breakup baggage." It's free to post an item, and I think their format is brilliant. You post a description of the item, the actual price of the item and the "breakup price," and then you write your "bounce back plan," where you describe how you plan to spend them money. Some people share that they would put the money towards a trip, their education, rent, etc.
However you choose to spend your day, take great care of yourself. Tell yourself you will be ok (because you will be) and trust that your heart is being prepared for greater love.
You've got this!