Family law

Enduring Valentine’s Day for recent divorcees

Our family experts share their advice on how to get through your first Valentine’s day after divorce or when going through the divorce process.

14 February 2022

divorce separation couple hands signing contract

With Valentine’s Day upon us, it can be especially difficult for those who are recently divorced, have been through the divorce procedure, or are embarking on their journey through the divorce process.

The first Valentine’s Day after divorce may trigger memories of how they once celebrated the occasion with a partner, or how they feel it should be spent.

If this is you, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. According to the latest report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in 2020 there were 103,592 divorces in England and Wales alone. Not only that, but data from comparison site Finder found that an estimated 24% of the UK population chose not to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2021.

How can I embrace Valentine’s Day following my divorce?

How you choose to spend this day will depend on what emotions you’re feeling and how you’re navigating the stages of divorce grief. You may be angry or upset, or you may feel empowered to embrace a new chapter in your life. However you’re feeling, it’s valid. Here are just some of the ways you can spend your day if you’re newly single on Valentine’s:

Treat yourself – This will look different for every individual. For some it may be a spot of shopping or eating at your favourite restaurant, for others it may be spending some time in nature, pampering yourself or getting stuck into your favourite hobby. Whatever treating yourself looks like in your mind, you may find that it brightens your spirits to do something just for you.

Reach out – Charities and networks like Relate offer guidance, practical advice and support to those dealing with divorce. You may find it comforting to spend some time utilising these types of resources, knowing that you’re not alone in how you feel.

Spend time with loved ones – Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about romantic or marital relationships, and there’s absolutely nothing to say you should be alone on Valentine’s Day simply because you’re not currently in a relationship. Meeting with family members, friends or co-workers can help take your mind off your divorce and remind you that you’re surrounded by a support network of people who love and care about you.

Focus on the future – Shifting your focus from the past to the future may help you reframe your outlook on life in the present. You could plan a holiday or an event, get excited for a house move or some home improvements, or look forward to a new hobby or lifestyle.

What if I’m struggling in my relationship?

It’s important to remember that not everything you see online is the way it seems, so try not to put too much pressure on you and your partner to have a “picture perfect” Valentine’s Day.

However, if you feel you have more serious concerns or issues, or you’re not feeling happy or fulfilled in your relationship, then it’s important to speak to your partner in the first instance. Expressing your thoughts, feelings and needs calmly and honestly could be the first step to resolving any issues.

If that doesn’t resolve the situation, you may find that you and your partner benefit from relationship counselling. It’s a good idea to explore all the avenues you possibly can, whilst ensuring that you’re taking your own feelings and needs in to account, before making the decision to separate.

However, if you feel that the relationship is over and there’s no chance of reconciliation, then you may want to speak to a family lawyer for expert advice and support on your next steps. With the introduction of a ‘no-fault divorce’ in March, there are more options than before for those seeking a divorce. Your family lawyer will be able to explain the process step by step, based on your individual circumstances, so that you’re fully informed and prepared.

Speaking to a divorce expert

At Slater and Gordon, our expert divorce lawyers guide you through the whole divorce process, through all stages of divorce, offering advice and support whenever you need it. Our network also enables us to connect you with professional support if you’re struggling coping with separation or navigating the emotional stages of divorce.

Many individuals within our family team are members of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers committed to the constructive resolution of family law disputes. Our family law solicitors have vast experience supporting clients through all types of family law issues, such as financial and child arrangements.

If you need us, our team of family solicitors are here for you. If you’d like to speak with a family lawyer, simply get in touch on 0330 041 5869, or, if you prefer, you can contact us via our online form or web chat.

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