I have often felt that Valentine’s Day was not only a commercial enterprise, but a day put on this earth to remind all the people without someone special around of how alone they were. It can be a difficult day for a military wife, as it is usually a prime time of year for deployments and exercises. In high school we did a fundraiser where you could send flowers to people, and while I usually got a few from friends, I remember thinking how hard it must be for people that received none. I always stressed that I would be the only one without anything and never understood what all the fuss was about.
After all, shouldn’t we show the people who matter the most to us how much we love them every day of the year? Years later as a military wife I have rarely spent Valentine’s Day with my husband, so I have made it into a different sort of day for our family. While I love celebrating special days, I think the way you celebrate them is how you survive them when you are a part of a military family.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Valentine’s Day Solo:
1. If you have family or friends around, have a potluck with everyone. Go to the dollar store and get some tacky decorations and have some fun with it! Have everyone bring a dish, so you aren’t feeling alone and stuck doing all the work at the same time.
- Save the money for later. Put the money aside that you would have spent on dinner or flowers, if you had been together, and save it up to have a special evening or weekend when your loved one is back. If you do this for every missed occasion, you may have quite a bit to spend.
- Write your own love notes. Write notes to friends and family telling them why you love them and are grateful to have them in your life. Sometimes when we feel alone the best thing we can do is reach out to those that love us, so we are reminded us that we are loved by a variety of people.
- Get together with a group of friends. Go and do something non-traditional like getting pedicures, bowling, dancing, a games night, etc.
- Have a family Valentine’s Day dinner with your kids. Get a special dessert or chocolates and either order in or make breakfast for dinner.
- Write a note a day. Each day in February write one thing that you miss and love about your missing loved one, and have it ready for when they get back.
- Volunteer somewhere for the evening. Helping others less fortunate than you is a great way to remind yourself of what you do have.
- Pamper Yourself! No one can spoil me the way I can spoil myself. Get out your favourite movie, do a face mask, order your favourite dinner, go for a massage – be selfish!!
- Send Yourself Flowers. If flowers are what you love, don’t ever wait for someone else to send them.
- Plan ahead instead. Spend your day or evening making a non-Valentine’s Day plan to do when your loved one is back and available to do something – book a restaurant, buy tickets to a special event, or just make plans for your date night so that you have something to look forward to when your loved one returns.
While Valentine’s Day can be very special and it is important to spend time with the people that you love, the best advice when you find yourself alone on February 14th is to ensure that you create many special days and opportunities to show and tell someone you love them. Being a part of a military family often means that your calendar isn’t synced with anyone else’s!