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There’s love in the air… for some of us. Hooray for love and everything red, pink and hopeful, but for the cynics (like myself), there’s more to Valentine’s Day than drunk-calling your ex, seeking unhealthy validation and gorging yourself on chocolate candy hearts or other fantastic fast-food deals.

Fear not — it’s not all gray skies and Adele’s “21” album on repeat. Here’s some tips on how to power through the heartache, especially during this trying time.


Have you realized you have so much more free time than you used to? Not sure what to do with yourself? Go back to the basics: your hobbies. 

The key to forgetting an ex is to occupy your time with better people and activities. By focusing on your lack of plans Valentine's Day, you can end up exacerbating your loneliness. Time doesn’t heal all wounds —- how you spend your time and fill that space up will.

Have a love of basketball, but after you started dating stopped going to games? Get back on the court. Did you often have a tradition of weekly bowling night but stopped going? Invite the crew back out for a night of fun. Were you in the middle of a knitting project but never finished it? Now’s the best time to dust off those needles and finish it.

Expanding Your Horizons

One of the benefits to being single is the low stakes that come along with wanting to try new things. There’s one less person in your life whose expectations you potentially let down, so be a little adventurous. There’s plenty of not couple-oriented Valentine’s Day activities to do, so visit “Love for the arts: performing arts events to celebrate Valentine's Day" for information on local activities. 

Healing Yourself

Maybe your wounds are still a bit too fresh and that’s okay. Healing takes time. After leaving a relationship, it’s easy to look for instant gratification, doing what you’ve previously barred yourself from and acting impulsively trying to feel something besides sadness. Perhaps approaching Valentine’s Day as a typical day is the most productive, so keeping in mind what would be most helpful and healthy for you and doing something centered around that is best. 

The key to healthy healing is confronting exactly what went wrong in your relationship, so that you know what you want in your next one. Participating in activities to boost your self-esteem, relaxing or even just taking an early night in are great. Writing out lists, drawing or talking it out into a recorder; take advantage of whatever works for you.

At the end of the day, being able to pass each day into the next sustainably is what heals the holes in your heart the fastest. If you can get through an obnoxiously love-centered day, you can get through the rest of them happier and stronger than ever.