Valentines Day can be an amazing experience for some and for others it can completely suck and be the worst day of the year. Others are ambivalent about the day and don’t care to be a part of it.

For those who have recently separated or divorced, the first Valentine’s Day can bring even more grief and sadness – and this goes for both men and women.

St Valentines Day has its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia and started on 14 February during the 14th century as a day where lovers expressed their affection with greetings and gifts.

So whilst it began with pure intentions, it can also be the day of some of the saddest hearts in the world. Don’t expect too much of yourself on this day if you aren’t celebrating. It’s important to take some self care and prepare yourself before the event.

We spoke with Jo, a stay at home mum in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs who said she gets upset & a bit jealous on Valentines Day as she had never received anything from her partner. Her top tip is to avoid Facebook on the day.

With rising divorce figures around the world, economists at the University of Melbourne found that marrying on days like Valentines Day are more likely to end in divorce. In fact, the study of over one million people found that by the 5th anniversary, 11 percent of Valentines Day marriages had divorced (compared with 8% of other day marriages).

Valentine’s Day sounds like the perfect day to show your love and commit yourself to another person, but according to these figures – not if you want your marriage to last!

It may also come as a surprise to know that on the 15th February every year, there is a sharp rise in calls to divorce lawyers. In the US the average increase on 15th February is 18%. This, along with Christmas, sparks what is known in the industry as Divorce Season. These figures are similar in Australia and show that those who have been considering separation over the Christmas period often wait it out until after Valentines when they start to formalise their thinking and reach out for advice.

We recently spoke with a range of people about Valentines and many said they felt upset or jealous on the 14th.

“I feel ‘unloved’ and ‘unworthy’ on Valentine’s Day. I hate it” said Renae C who works in Melbourne city and is a divorced mother of one.

Melbourne mum Kahlie told us that she never celebrated Valentine’s Day but this year is her first year since filing for divorce after 12 years. “Even though I have a new partner I still don’t want for anything this Valentine’s Day, but every other year I got something it makes me a little sad that I won’t come home to a teddy or flower”.

This year she plans to take her son out to dinner. “I think the best tip I’m giving myself is that I don’t need to be loved for one day. I don’t need a man to treat me to something fantastic when I can treat myself” she said.

A lot of women especially feel the need to be treated when at the end of the day why not treat yourself? Buy that perfume, get your hair done, nails done, go to the pub for dinner.

“I’m going to be a little emotional on Valentine’s Day, but I’ll be fine because I’m independent,” said Kahlie.

By focusing on other positive areas of your life and those still in it, you are more likely to have a positive experience rather than flooding your wine glass with tears.

Marguerite Picard and Tricia Peters have helped thousands of families to progress through peaceful separations and divorces. They founded Melbourne based Collaborative Divorce firm MELCA and share their top tips here on how to cope with the loss of love on Valentines Day.

  1. Arrange a catch up with some friends
  2. Focus on other types of love – your family, pets, yourself
  3. Treat Yourself – you may want to get a pamper session or go and play golf at your favourite course
  4. Be Creative – do something you don’t normally do – get into the kitchen and enjoy cooking, do some art, be expressive
  5. Let go of the past – you could do this in a ceremonies way such as burning photos and cards from former loved ones
  6. Try to Avoid Social Media – seeing your newsfeed filled with flowers and gifts from others will more than likely not pick you up if you’re in a slump
  7. Remember it’s not every day of the year
  8. Go Shopping! Save some money and go and buy yourself a lovely new perfume or item of clothing. Buy all the things you want.
  9. Go to the Movies – a great way to forget what’s going on in your head and you can eat popcorn and chocolates. A word of caution – Avoid watching romantic movies and other triggers that may upset you on the day
  10. Send yourself a Valentine – fresh flowers or a new plant will brighten your day regardless of who bought them!

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About Us

MELCA focuses on you and your children’s future, and working out the best ways to get you there. That’s why our psychologists and financial planners are just as front and centre as the lawyers, and often more so.

At MELCA, you’ll find a professional team of people who have worked with thousands of separating people over their careers, and who want to help you manage conflict, make sure your family can still function as a family, and help make sure your money is put to its best use for all of you.