Valentine’s Day comes a week after this year’s Super Bowl, and rightly so, as it is the Super Bowl of feelings. Whether you admit it or not, everyone has “feelings” on Valentine’s Day. You may be the person with the highest of expectations, demanding roses and chocolates followed by a romantic dinner at a restaurant that only takes reservations a year in advance (better start planning for next year!). Perhaps you are in a new relationship, and are wondering just how obligated you are to celebrate this holiday with your new interest or if you should just call it off February 13th to avoid it all together. Then there are the people who refer to Valentine’s Day simply as “Singles Awareness Day,” also known as SAD. They have no significant other and will flaunt this to the world with pride! They need no help finishing the bottle of wine they will be downing come 8pm February 14th.
For those going through a separation or divorce, Valentine’s Day can be one of the worst days of the year, particularly if it is your first one without your ex-spouse. It is easy to develop negative feelings about the day, as you may be feeling lonely or perhaps old memories resurface of what was, but no longer is. Always remember this: Your relationship status on Valentine’s Day is not a reflection of your value. If you are single this year, treat yourself to a special spa day or order some take out and spend the evening with your favorite movies (I suggest comedies). I personally recommend getting lost in a good book or perhaps freshen up your knowledge on the great suffragette, Anna Howard Shaw, born and celebrated on February 14th. Did you know she was also a physician and an inspiration to the famous comedian, Tina Fey?
Maybe you have already moved on to a new relationship, post-separation, and would like to plan a nice Valentine’s Day for your new interest. Although it is best to stay single during the year of separation, it is typically okay to date as long as the relationship did not exist before the date of separation. Post-separation evidence of sexual conduct and relationships can be used to corroborate theories that the relationship existed before separation, which could affect spousal support or strengthen a claim for alienation of affection. However, even if you did not begin dating someone until after the date of separation, a scornful former spouse may see the new relationship as the cause of the marriage’s end and thus causing you additional problems. But of course, feelings and emotions are not ruled by logic and reason and you may want to date soon after the separation. As always, consult with your attorney about whether or not you should take your date out this Valentine’s Day or perhaps wait for February 14, 2017 to celebrate the special occasion.
Whatever your relationship status is this year, it is okay to carry some feelings about Valentine’s Day. It is also important to remember February 14th occurs just once a year and it too shall pass. Besides, this year February 15th is President’s Day, as well as National Flag of Canada Day, and who can’t get behind that?