What you need to know:
- In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, there will be signs that a break-up might on the cards.
- The activities of (Valentine's) day and the public displays of affection will have an impact on your emotional wellbeing but do not wallow in self-pity.
- There will be moments of intense pain, but they will pass quickly.
You have been looking forward to Valentine’s Day. You were expecting your lover to treat you to a romantic dinner at one of the finest restaurants in town, or arrange a romantic getaway to the Mara, Nanyuki, or Diani. In between, you have been anticipating sets of thoughtful romance-themed gifts. But alas, all these have turned out to be a bad dream because your lover has broken up with you.
The 14th breakup
According to Susan J Elliott, a divorce consultant attorney and the author of Getting Past Your Breakup, it is common for people in relationships to break up or file for divorce on February 14. She however explains that relationships that end on Valentine’s Day do not suddenly unravel on this day. The break up is often the culmination of a braking relationship that has attempted several break ups and reconciliations in vain. “It’s often couples who were ready to break up before the holidays but they hung on instead after failing to find the right time. Then the middle of January came and Valentine’s Day was around the corner,” she says. “They hang on again hoping that the day would patch them back together. And when the Valentine’s Day red hearts and flowers fail to salvage their relationship, they flatly choose to terminate it.”
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, there will be signs that a break-up might on the cards. According to psychologist Patrick Musau, these signs include your partner’s sudden lack of desire to get sexually intimate with you, lack of time to see you, zero plans for Valentine’s Day, or extremely poor efforts to call or text you. Additionally, issues you assumed you had overcome may pop up with more intensity.
What to do in face of Valentine’s breakup
The activities of the day and the public displays of affection will have an impact on your emotional wellbeing but do not wallow in self-pity. Family therapist Susan Gacheru advises that you go on self-preservation mode by showing yourself love and personal care. “It is important for you to remember you’re beautiful, worthy of love and dignity, and have the capacity to love and be loved again beyond the 24 hours of Valentine’s,” she says. On Valentine’s Day, you may choose to extend gestures of love to friends who have stuck with you through your heartbreak or divorce, family and, or someone who is in need. In the evening, you may join your single friends at their singles party. “Instead of watching that romantic movie you cuddled with your ex to watch, go out and have fun with other single friends who will make you smile and take your mind off the fresh wound in your heart,” says Musau. In the following days, make a deliberate choice to focus on your own joy. Remember that you are totally responsible for your own happiness.
According to Tracy McMillan, the author of Why You’re Not Married…Yet, avoid burying yourself in distractions and stay in the moment. “There will be moments of intense pain, but they will pass quickly. Your heartache will mostly be due to fear of how life will be without your lover or nostalgia,” she says. If your partner dumped you in favour of a new woman, don’t go stalking him or her, digging out their Valentine’s Day itinerary. Don’t plan to sabotage their dinner date either. You’re worth much more than this.