If you've got a significant other this Valentine's Day, you might be planning a nice dinner out, a nice dinner in, or getting irritated that your honey gave you lingerie. But what about those couples who have just broken up and are still feeling raw and despondent? What should they do? Or, more to the point, what shouldn't they do? For one, they probably shouldn't watch their ex-honey kissing another woman -- whom he dated -- in a movie. Like if you're Eva Mendes, you probably don't want to watch Ryan Gosling in The Notebook. Only that's exactly what Eva told Ellen DeGeneres she plans on doing! Watching The Notebook and weeping! Of course, Eva was just joking around -- WE HOPE. Here are 10 other things you don't want to do on Valentine's Day if you've just become single.
1. Do not contact the ex! This probably goes without saying -- but Valentine's Day has a way of making you feel dreadfully inadequate if you're not in a relationship. That's no reason to call/text/email/nor "stop by" to see the person who dumped you or whom you dumped. Says psychotherapist and author Jonathan Alpert: "Ask yourself: suppose I call, then what? There's no healthy benefit."
2. No pity parties! Don't hook up with all your single friends and have a big ol' pity party and kvetch about your singlehood. Says Alpert: "Instead, use the time productively: celebrate your singlehood and independence; evaluate how you might be able to meet potential mates; work on ways to improve yourself."
3. Don't get all nostalgic. "Try to avoid going any place that you know will trigger a memory of a time you and your ex spent together that was super romantic," says dating expert Kimberly Dawn Neumann. "Don’t walk by your favorite restaurant; don’t visit the place where you met ... Avoid the tears and instead try to give yourself a new positive Valentine’s Day memory. Like go bowling with a friend or book a spa day."
4. No Mia Valentine's cards! Totally avoid that knives-in-the-heart creepy Valentine's Day card that Mia Farrow sent to Woody Allen. If your ex slept with your daughter, it's understandable why you'd want to send one. But otherwise, no.
5. Don't have revenge sex (unless it's with yourself). If you're still smarting from a breakup, don't run off and have sex just cause you can. Says dating book author and blogger Tamsen Fadal: "You don't need to celebrate Valentine's Day with someone. Love yourself. I will sum it up with a line from my dad; I live by it: 'It’s better to be lonely alone than lonely with someone.'" So gwan out and get some of that cherry lube for yo'sef, girl!
6. Avoid cyberstalking. Keep yourself off the computer all day if you have to. Staring at your ex's mug -- and possibly that of his or her new love -- isn't going to make you feel any better.
7. Don't watch romantic comedies. Stop torturing yourself! Life isn't like that anyway. Do you really think you'd go to England for a vacation and meet Jude Law? You'd meet some pasty-skinned bloke with bad teeth.
8. Don't hang out with your gooey couple pals. This might seem like a fine time to hang with friends, but not if they're in a lovey-dovey relationship. Fadal says to avoid: "Couples, friends who are depressed over being single, people who are Valentine's Day haters."
9. Don't get drunk. It might make you forget you're alone for 10 minutes, but then you will wallow in it for the next six hours before you pass out and wake up with a massive headache.
10. Don't send yourself flowers. That's just pathetic.
Some things to do: Meditate on your loneliness. It's okay to really feel it for awhile. Read a book you've been wanting to read. Cook yourself a nice meal. Go out with another single friend but DON'T talk about your miserable singlehood (if you are happy with it, talk away, however). Play a game that requires concentration. Volunteer at an animal shelter or homeless shelter. Update your resume. Take a yoga class. Go for a run. Go to sleep -- when you wake up, it will all be over!
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