Even people who have never been massive fans of Valentine’s Day tend to feel alone on the first February 14th after their divorce. All those flowers, chocolates, red roses and restaurant specials are glaring reminders that you are now single, and can increase any sense of loneliness you may be feeling.

Fortunately, with some preparation and planning, you can give yourself different reasons to celebrate. Instead of closing the curtains until February 15th, try some or all of the following activities:

  • Enjoy a potluck with your single friends or go out to a restaurant as a group
  • Send flowers to another single friend or to yourself
  • Go see a movie that you’ve been wanting to check out, alone or with friends
  • Treat yourself to an outing you know you’ll enjoy, such as a day at the spa or a sports event
  • Volunteer at a food bank or another busy charity: helping others can make you feel more connected
  • If you have children, watch a family movie with them

Whatever you do, refrain from calling, emailing, texting, or otherwise reaching out to your ex, or sitting home alone and letting depression sink in. You should also refrain from high-risk behavior like getting drunk or meeting strangers in bars.

It’s normal to feel adrift and alone, as divorce takes a while to recover from, even if it was the best decision for you. The best way to deal with it is to meet up with friends who have been through the same process, as no one will understand what you are going through better than they will. Pull together a group of people who will help keep your mind off your divorce and plan something special, like a fondue party or movie marathon at someone’s house.

It is entirely possible that well-meaning people (and even those who are not so well-meaning) will ask you what you plan to do on your first Valentine’s Day since the divorce. Practice having an answer ready: better yet, let them know that you’ll be spending the day doing one or more of the activities listed above.

Take care of yourself and instead of thinking about love, think about doing the things that you love. Chances are that there won’t be a $100 box of chocolates or a pricey champagne dinner involved, and that’s okay. Indulge in activities that you really enjoy, surround yourself with good friends, and don’t stress over the fact that you are no longer one-half of a couple.

Remember: you don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to have a fantastic day. Face Valentine’s Day head on and make plans to celebrate it in a way that way that is enjoyable, positive, and a celebration of you.

If you are considering divorce or are considering taking out a family court petition, then you should consult with an experienced attorney. Jayson Lutzky has been practicing law in New York for more than 33 years. His office is conveniently located one block from the 4-train and he offers free in-office initial consultations. Call 718-514-6619 to set up an appointment or visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com.