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Here it comes... Hallmark's nod to love. Valentine's Day is hard enough when you're coupled — talk about pressure! — but when you're going through a divorce or somewhere on the other side of a divorce, it's a sneak peek into hell.

How to survive it? Here are some dos and don'ts:

  • Do make sure you're prepared. When asked what your plans are, have a bulletproof response or practice looking evasive in front of the mirror for a few days ahead of time. Have an answer ready for the well meaning people who want to know how you're handling your first Valentine's Day alone.
  • Don't get too dressed up if you're not looking to field questions. You think that looking like a knockout on V Day is going to make you feel like a million bucks. It's actually going to make you smack the fourth person who asks you what your big plans are for the night.
  • Do read a book. May I suggest one in which the main characters fall in love and promptly drop dead? Shakespeare made a fortune off of this, and his biggest fans were most likely divorced women.
  • Don't turn on the television. Trust me, you don't want to see what's on. It's not only lovey-dovey movies, it's the extra sickening Sleepless in Seattle kind. While you're at it, avoid media of any kind. The radio and the internet won't be any better.
  • Do buy yourself chocolate. Frankly, you should be doing this anyway. Make sure you go out of your way to lavishly offer some to either your coworkers or the other residents of your apartment building. When asked where it came from, you have two choices. One, look coy and refuse to answer. Two, launch into a feminist diatribe about how you don't need a man to buy you chocolates. You should probably swear a lot in the process.
  • Don't buy flowers. They're too expensive this time of year, and it will be a far more effective tactic next week when you're coworkers aren't getting any of their own.
  • Do go places couples don't go. That intimate little Italian place around the corner is not your best choice here. I recommend the hardware store or a very crowded nightclub that is not conducive to coziness of any kind.
  • Don't hook up with anyone. Two bitter strangers having nameless, faceless sex will not help anyone respect themselves in the morning.
  • Do consider ignoring it. It's just one day. Take the day off work, gorge yourself with inappropriate foods, hide under your covers, and don't leave your house until Monday. Every year it comes, and every year it goes away again in 24 hours. Most women are in labor for longer than that.
  • Don't forget why you're not married anymore. Either you walked out on him because he was a jerk or he walked out on you because he was a jerk. Either way, you're better off without him. Drink some wine, get together with a few girlfriends and celebrate!
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  • Comment Link Guest Saturday, 12 February 2011 06:06 posted by Guest

    Perfect!!: Perfect!!

  • Comment Link Guest Thursday, 11 February 2010 22:28 posted by Guest

    THANK YOU!: I'm smack dab in the middle of a separation that will probably end in divorce. My 46 year old husband decided to jump when his 28 year old lawyer co-worker said 'let's fool around" and I've been a wreck ever since. Reading "10 Tips" actually gave me the first laugh-out-loud moment I've had in 5 months. You're right. He IS a jerk, and I've wasted WAY too much time crying over this situation. THANK you for showing me that life DOES go on, even if you're a singleton!

  • Comment Link Dwann Thursday, 11 February 2010 21:17 posted by Dwann

    Love it!: Okay, I really love this post. Comes moment's off me reading one my friend is about to post about "The Death of Fairytales" Whew!
    I think every tip you gave, I really considered. As this will be my second Valentine's day "on the other side of divorce" and it's only been a year and a half.
    Oh well...
    Great post ... made me laugh and smile.
    Wish I could retweet it or upload to my FB page.

  • Comment Link Lina Thursday, 11 February 2010 21:04 posted by Lina

    counting my blessing: He's gone......knowing what he is up to now make me ...not really jumping with joy, rather relief, I don't have to be a maid anymore. My perception is...valentines for young lovers. I'm not old; a person with experience and wisdom. Don't wanna waste my time on someone who doesn't know what he wants.