02/09/2015 06:32 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Has Valentine's Day Got You Down?


Romantic dinners at candlelit restaurants, Godiva chocolates, two dozen long-stem roses, sentimental Hallmark cards- the stuff Valentine's Day is made of.

But what if your relationship is on the rocks and Valentine's Day is just another painful reminder that your life isn't what you hoped it would be? Or what if you're divorced and feeling alone. Then what do you do?

I know, this isn't exactly an uplifting topic, but the truth is, the vast majority of people in my practice are not exactly big Valentine's Day enthusiasts. My practice generally consists of one spouse who desperately wants out of the marriage and the other who wants nothing more than to live happily ever after.

So, February 14 often means hurt, confusion and loneliness. And I would venture a guess that there are many, many couples who, though not on the brink of divorce, feel an emotional distance that has them wishing Valentine's Day would just pass without fanfare.

So, what can you do if a romantic dinner and words of affirmation are not on the agenda for you this year?

Have a plan regarding how you will approach the day. If you're not going to be with the one you love, plan something nice for yourself.

When I asked people on my Facebook page about what they could do to avoid throwing a pity party on Valentine's Day, here's what some had to say:

"Spa treatments always make me feel special"

"I'm hoping my 'rocky' Valentine's Day turns out better than I'm expecting, but if not, I still plan on getting a new haircut and a facial."

And I like this one the most --

"My children and I began a new Valentine`s day tradition. We have a big tea party complete with tea sandwiches and scones. I write love notes to each child and we have a lot of fun.

Valentine's Day lost its meaning when my husband and I were separated and I decided to make it special regardless of my situation. He has been home now for over 3 years but we still continue this new tradition and celebrate together as a couple in the evening."

So, while those of us who are fortunate enough to be with spouses who share our desire to celebrate our connection, years together, children, and history, we should be mindful of those who, for this year, at least, have missed Cupid's arrow.

See my TEDx Talk -The Sex-Starved Marriage

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