The Day After Valentine’s Day: How To Handle The Emotional Mess V-Day Left In Its Wake

For those of us who can’t get passed facing the 14th of February fast enough (TINDER LOVING, INDEPENDENT, SERIAL DATING, CAT LOVING, ETC.) I have decided to post something that focuses on the day after “the big day”. You’re welcome.

It’s the morning after Valentine’s Day. You know, that holiday that revolves around the consumption of candies made from heart-shaped pieces of chalk and the tears of the lonely, single population?

You mean, the pink confetti covered, red-wine soaked, heart-shaped helium-balloon stuffed holiday we call “V-Day?”

Yeah, that one.

The day after V-Day, unlike the newly engaged couple two apartments down, you probably won’t be glowing or basking in romantic happiness. Instead, you’ll look in the mirror, wipe a mix of melted chocolate and mascara off your face and wonder how you got to where you are.

Shouldn’t we all be experts by now regarding how to handle this highly anticipated day? There are tons of tips out to ensure the best Valentine’s Day possible, relationship status regardless. Needless to say, things don’t always proceed as planned, which can make February 15 more brutal than the holiday itself. Unfortunately, this situation is less spoken about and fewer tips exist to make the best of it — how does one handle post V-Day wreckage?

Check out these five post-Valentine’s Day scenarios and the best ways to handle them:

1. The Plan B: “I feel pregnant.”

You had the most incredible night out with your girls. Instead of a candlelit dinner for two, you decided to get lit with some of the wildest friends you know at the sketchiest club you could find. Now that it’s the morning after, you’re trying to nurse the worst hangover you’ve ever had while wondering how you got home. You’re almost positive you got lucky last night, mainly because one of your earrings is stuck in your hair, the front door is partially open… and there’s a pair of boxer briefs chilling on your floor. This wouldn’t be such an issue if you hadn’t forgotten to take that little pill on time (let’s be honest, taken it at all) the past 4 days. And you can’t remember anything from last night — like whether or not he used protection. So basically, you’re left feeling irresponsible, paranoid and a little pregnant.

How to handle it:

First of all, I know that Valentine’s Day can get a bit crazy for the single, wild and free, but maybe the “YOLO” attitude needs to be dialed down a bit if you’re waking up to pregnancy scares. There’s no bigger buzz kill than being unaware of the identity of last night’s lay compounded by the possibility that you may be carrying his Valentine’s Day lovechild. In this situation, you need to be responsible and you need to act fast. Put your big girl pants on, pick up some Plan B, schedule a gyno appointment (for good measure) and take the party down a notch next year. But don’t worry, it happens to the best of us, or so they say.

2. The Disappointed: “I can’t believe he thought that was romantic.”

He knows your favorite songs and that you like to eat at the little restaurant down by the corner on Wednesdays. For each of your birthdays, he’s given you the most thoughtful gifts and when you’re upset, he somehow knows exactly what to say to make it all better. You guys have a connection like no other and you often think that nobody else around gets you like he does. Because of this, you expect the best for Valentine’s Day — something that says, we’re together because we love and understand each other completely. So why did he get you tickets to a basketball game instead of that event you’ve mentioned repeatedly throughout the past few months? He knows that you only tolerate the sport because he likes it and you love him. Plus, there’s nothing romantic about watching a basketball game on Valentine’s Day. So now, even though you were so sure that your understanding of each other’s likes and dislikes was so solid, you’re left feeling skeptical about whether you two truly know each other as well as you thought. You can’t seem to shake the feeling that this may be indicative of a larger lacking in your relationship.

How to handle it:

One day should never dictate how you feel about your relationship or plant a seed of doubt in your mind. That’s like a child who receives three — not four — Christmas presents, claims it’s because the parents don’t love him or her anymore. In situations, when your significant other plans something that doesn’t seem so romantic or thoughtful, think deeper. Perhaps he thought that basketball tickets would be a special way to share something he loves so much with the woman he loves even more. It’s not about what you guys do together that day, it’s about you doing it together as a couple. Don’t let a V-Day letdown ruin the bond that sustained the other days of the year.

3. The Girlfriend: “Why didn’t he propose?”

You guys have been together for what seems like an eternity. Your families joke about how you two are practically an old married couple and friends often forget you’re just dating. You’re at a point in your relationship where everything seems right and ready for the next level. And even though all of the signs were there, V-Day came and went with no proposal. You were positive he was going to pop the question — he even dropped hints about buying a ring, but nothing happened. You’re still the “girlfriend” and you feel confused and self-conscious.

How to handle it:

Take a breath and realize this: just because he didn’t pop the question on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen soon. Many people feel that proposing on Valentine’s Day is a total cliché and he may agree. Be happy that your guy didn’t get down on one knee with the masses. If you sense that a proposal is coming and that you’ve arrived at that point in the relationship, it probably is happening. Be happy knowing that he is waiting for that special moment to ask you to spend the rest of your life with him — not on a national holiday, but on a day that is uniquely your own.

4. The Motivated: “Next year will be different!”

Every year, it’s the same routine. You and a group of your single girlfriends dress up, go out for dinner and drinks, maybe end the night with a late showing of “Sleepless in Seattle” and then go your separate ways. You spend the remainder of your night in footie pajamas on the couch, petting your cat, who has had more action in the past year than you’ve had since college — and it’s getting so old. For years, you’ve spent your V-Days like they were just regular days out with the girls and you’re tired of it. But instead of sulking in a corner with a carton of Ben & Jerry’s, you decide that something needs to change. You’re not sure if it’s emotional or physical but you’re prepared to fix it as soon as possible. You want next year to be special, romantic and different. You’re left with the need to reinvent yourself in pursuit of a more intimate Valentine’s Day next year because this year’s just didn’t cut it.

How to handle it:

This one is tricky because on one hand, self-awareness is healthy and self-improvement is even better. On the other hand, changing what makes you you could be dangerous to your self-perception, well-being and self-respect. Just because your independent dry spells have extended among many a Valentine’s Day doesn’t call for a total reinvention. Be the best you that you can be and good things will follow. Sooner or later, you’ll be drowning in long-stemmed red roses and boxed chocolates. And you’ll do it by being authentically you.

5. The Delayed Reaction: “It was just another day, right?”

You swore that instead of succumbing to a silly, overrated holiday, you would play an Ice Queen who couldn’t be bothered with anything other than the norm. Calm, cool and collected, you went about your day as if it were any other day. You got up in the morning, had a bagel, went to work, did your thing and ended your night by getting a head start on tomorrow’s project. But the next morning, you woke up to an empty bed and a post-Valentine’s Day sale advertisement on the radio. You thought you had everything in control. But now, there’s a lump in your throat and you’re left feeling like you swept your emotions under the rug because you didn’t want to be vulnerable on a day capable of making you feel so romantically exposed.

How to handle it:

There is a difference between not caring about Valentine’s Day and pretending not to care about Valentine’s Day. There are those who choose to treat V-Day as if it were just another day, completely ignoring the romantic decorations and those who revel in it. You don’t have to fake your excitement about it, but if you are lying to yourself by claiming to not care at all, you’re just setting yourself up for an emotional disaster — one that will show its ugly face the next day. So, save yourself the delayed-reaction and open up the next time the holiday rolls around. Dress up and go out! You don’t need a relationship to make Valentine’s Day romantic; you can create that feeling for yourself by being an open book for someone else to read. Valentine’s day can spark new connections, but only for those who are open to it happening.

♥ → Ki’Era aka Wine2TheRescue ← ♥

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