Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — Valentine’s Day is viewed as a day to celebrate partnership and romance, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the reality is that 43 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 are single. Delaine Moore—author of the new Seal Press book The Secret Sex Life a Single Mom and founder of the blog I Am Divorced Not Dead—offers her strategies for the newly-single and divorced coping with loneliness, anger, or sadness this holiday.
A renowned journalist and dating, relationship, and divorce coach, Moore discovered her husband’s infidelities and found herself, at age 37, a single mother of three going through a divorce. Her memoir, The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom, is an empowering story of physical and spiritual self-discovery and an honest exploration of what it means to be a mother and a sexual being.
For those finding themselves lonely on Valentine’s Day this year, here are Moore’s top five coping tips:
1. Be sad but put a time limit on it: Women are often taught that sadness is something they should avoid or escape, as if it’s a “bad” thing. But there is no reason to not feel sadness after suffering emotional pain or loss? The key is to feel the sadness full-force, but not linger there. Make a promise to go back to work and put on a happy face on as required, but at home, take three hours, six hours, or perhaps even all night to succumb to the sadness. Dwell in the past, go through old letters or photos, watch sad movies, cry—but once that time is up, commit to getting back to "living."
2. Distract and downplay: Feeling sad, angry and alone on Valentine’s Day? Find a quick solution that prevents those feelings it, i.e., work longer hours, go see a movie, have dinner with friends, maybe even all of the above. This coping technique is a temporary fix, one designed to keep the mind and body preoccupied so that the day can pass like any other, but hopefully with a few laughs or a sense of having been productive.
3. Celebrate “other” loving relationships: Though Valentine’s Day is viewed as a day to celebrate partnership and romance, the reality is that 43 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 are single, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Thus, it’s OK to broaden the meaning of this day by celebrating other important relationships one has in his or her life, i.e., family, friends, and children. Are there any neglected relationships that could be the focus of today? Now is your opportunity to mark the day with new meaning and rituals.
4. Give to someone who needs it: Consider someone who is going through a tough time and think about what could brighten his or her day. Taking the attention off of ourselves and giving it to other people, can make ourselves feel better. Give time, conversation, or a smile. Consider buying that person a little something—chocolates or maybe an inspirational book.
5. Massage the “new self” in the making: This could involve a physical transformation such as a new hairdo or outfit, or committing to exercising and getting in shape. Or explore the “sensual self” at home with a glass of wine, a sexy book, and a sex toy. Take a new direction in life, and use this time to chart new goals, be them around work, social life, maybe even dating life (is online dating on the radar yet?). This tip is about self-acceptance, allowing the emerging self to have voice and be heard. For even though life's direction may not be clear at this point, know that this time next year, life will be clearer and better.
Visit Delaine Moore at I Am Divorced Not Dead. To purchase a copy of The Single Sex Life of a Single Mom, visit a local bookstore or online book retailer.
About Seal Press
Seal Press was founded in 1976 to provide a forum for women writers and feminist issues. Since then, Seal has published groundbreaking books that represent the diverse voices and interests of women—their lives, literature, and concerns. Seal's authors are radical and original thinkers, professionals with a distinct point of view, gutsy explorers, truth-tellers, and writers who engender laughter, tears, and rage. Seal Press publishes books with the goal of informing women’s lives. Based in Berkeley, Calif., Seal is a member of the Perseus Books Group. To learn more, visit the Seal Press website.