Heartbroken On Valentine’s Day? 5 Ways To Make It Better

Heartbreaks suck. But a broken heart on Valentine’s Day? Even worse.

By Meghan Dillon3 min read

The first time I had my heart broken on Valentine’s Day was my senior year of high school. Everyone around me seemed to be annoyingly in love as I wallowed in despair, so much so that all of my friends and family were annoyed with me (looking back, I don’t blame them). It was a miserable day, and I promised myself I would never wallow like that on Valentine’s Day ever again.

Fast forward two years to my sophomore year in college, and I found myself heartbroken on Valentine’s Day again – only this was one of the best Valentine’s Days I’d ever celebrated. My mom surprised me with a visit to my dorm while my sister visited her boyfriend at the time, and we spent the weekend watching Netflix, laughing, and eating chocolate. It was exactly what I needed, not only to heal but also to help me realize that I deserved more than some mediocre frat guy who treated me like I was a clump of dirt stuck on the bottom of his boat shoe. 

Navigating Valentine’s Day with a broken heart can be difficult, but there are plenty of ways to make the most of the day. Here are five of my favorite strategies:

1. Make Galentine’s Day a Two-Day Affair

Galentine’s Day is not only the day before Valentine’s Day, but a day to celebrate your girlfriends and other wonderful women in your life. There’s a good chance that you’re not the only single gal in your group of friends, so why not celebrate a second Galentine’s Day?

There are so many ways to have a fun night with your girlfriends. You might want to avoid going out due to all of the couples who will be on romantic dinner dates, making this the perfect time for a girls' night in. Have a cookie decorating party (get festive by having everyone wear pink and red), a tea party, a movie night, or a wine night. Make an uplifting playlist, create vision boards for what you want the rest of the year to be like, and end the night with some face masks and cocktails. If you want to do something during the day, head to the bookstore with your friends to find your next read.

2. Have a Self-Care Day

This is the perfect day to love yourself. Start with setting boundaries on social media, as your feed will likely be full of couples posting flowers, romantic dinners, and posts about how much they love each other. If that bothers you, taking a day off social media is a good idea. When it comes to your ex, resist the urge to cyber stalk him or, even worse, reach out to him. Be sure to mute, unfollow, or block him (that is, if you haven’t already done that) to lessen the temptation, and avoid going through old pictures of the two of you together. As tempting as it may be to text him if you're feeling lonely, it will likely only lead to even more heartbreak or confusion. If he texts you, the best course of action is to simply delete it without even opening.

After your social media detox, it’s time for a me-day. Do things that you love and that relax you, like getting a mani-pedi, watching your favorite show or movie, drawing a hot bath, or cooking your favorite meal. Use the weekend before or after Valentine’s Day as a opportunity to take yourself on a solo date, as restaurants will be full of couples on the 14th.

3. Spend Time with Your Family

Nobody knows us better than our families, so why not spend the day celebrating other types of love, like the love you share with your family? The Valentine’s Day I spent with my mom was special because it showed me how much she cared about me by surprising me for the weekend, and she enjoyed it just as much as I did. 

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to get outside yourself and focus on making someone else’s day better. Surprise a family member by taking them out for lunch or with a movie night. The element of surprise will not only make it more fun but doing something kind for someone you love will make you feel just as good. 

4. Do Something That Makes You Laugh

They say laughter is the best medicine, and the same rings true for a broken heart. Laughter is just good for the soul! Spend some quality time with your funniest friend who never fails to lift your mood, and watch a funny movie that’s not a rom-com (unless you think you can handle watching one) like Mean Girls, Step Brothers, or 21 Jump Street. If you don’t feel like watching a movie, pick up a funny book like What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Her Royal Spyess by Rhys Bowen, or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

If you don’t have as much time on your hands, try listening to a funny podcast during your drive or while you're working on something monotonous. Some podcasts that never fail to make me laugh are The Toast and Chicks In The Office. Others include pop culture episodes of Straight Up With Stassi and story episodes like the embarrassing moments one of What We Said.

5. Don’t Wallow

It might be tempting to spend the day in despair or to buy into the Anti-Valentine's Day mentality, but this should be a day where you go out of your way to avoid being cynical. Heartbreaks are hard, and you should use this day to give yourself some grace. It’s okay if you feel a little sad and miss your ex, but don’t wallow in your sadness. You have 364 other days of the year (or 365 during a leap year) to be sad, but you shouldn’t let this day be one of them.

Use this day as an opportunity to adopt a positive mindset. Practice gratitude by making a list of things and people in your life that you’re grateful for. Build off that by making a list of things that you can do now that you’re single that you couldn’t do while you were in a relationship. It can be as simple as watching more episodes of Real Housewives now because your ex thought it was cringey or you have more free time to spend with your girlfriends. Even the worst heartbreaks have a silver lining; you just have to do the work to find it.

Closing Thoughts

Valentine’s Day hits differently with a broken heart, but it doesn’t have to be a sad day. Whether you want to extend Galentine’s Day, have a self-care day, do something that makes you laugh, or just want to spend the next 24 hours doing anything but wallowing, there are plenty of ways to make this your best Valentine’s Day yet. 

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