Having a Breakup Party for Valentine’s Day? Why You Should!
Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team
Oooh, Valentine’s Day. Is there any other day broadly exuding with love than that of February 14th? What if you’re not romantically partnered (but want to be)? Or are dealing with the aftermath of recently ending a relationship? This gives Valentine’s Day a WHOLE new meaning.
Not all is lost! In lieu of feeling heartbroken or rebelling by acting as if Valentine’s Day doesn’t exist (or worse: feeling irritable all day), we invite you to celebrate with a good ‘ol wholesome Breakup Party.
What is a Breakup Party?
For anyone who’s had to part ways from a beloved, you know the grieving process is not linear. Nor do any of us go about it the same way. Add in a day teeming with all things love and relationships, it’s sure to trigger an emotional response from even the most stoic of us. Enter psychotherapist Esther Perel’s discussion on “Rituals for Breakups.”
In her video on YouTube, Esther Perel spotlights how a colleague planned a “Love & Breakup Party” to inform her friends all at once about the ending of her romantic relationship. The woman called upon her friends to share their own stories of relationships and love ending as well as hope and beginnings of anew. The group shared and expressed themselves through story-telling, poetry and song. In the end, the woman shared with Esther that she felt affirmed, loved and seen. Who doesn’t want THAT whether you’re coupled or not?
What Does a Breakup Party Look Like?
What your party looks like is entirely up to you. BUT it probably will be most enjoyable (and emotionally nourishing) for everyone involved if the motive is to celebrate journeys of personal growth:
- Focus on heartfelt, comical, inspiring expressions about endings and new beginnings versus bashing or calling out others.
- Set up an open floor format for singing, stand-up comedy, poetry, storytelling and dancing.
Breaking Up Never Tasted So Good.
What’s a night of celebration without good food and great drinks? Get creative with your potluck. Offer bites to eat named accordingly, to match the theme. For example, offer tacos named something cheeky like “Those Are Nacho Chips!” or individual desserts like “Break Up Brûlée.”
Stay in character when offering an array of alcoholic and alcohol-free drinks, too. Name bevvy’s fun tongue-in-cheek titles like “Bad Blood Bloody Mary” or “The Last Word.”
It May Be Over, But We Have Gifts!
If you remember your childhood, often times Valentine’s Day would be a time of exchanging gifts and cards with your classmates. Why not do the same with guests?
- Consider making the night a fundraiser of sorts, no matter how small.
- Sell tickets with the intent of donating to a non-profit that helps people transition through hard times, like a mental health program. There’s no better way to feel more optimistic about exploring and sharing a hard time in your life than giving back to others when they’re in the thick of it.
- Sell flowers by the stem or create paper Valentines with inspirational messages that attendees can gift to one another.
A Breakup Party Really Is a Lovefest.
If the idea of leaning into hard feelings, and memories, in a public way feels a bit overwhelming, consider this:
- Esther Perel recommends focusing on work, distractions and connection after a break up.
- Planning out the details for your party will take work and is a great distraction from whatever hardship you may still be feeling.
- Humans crave connection—so not only will you feel better being in community with others, there’s a good chance everyone else attending may end up feeling the same way.
- Although the title is “Breakup Party,” it truly is about love. It’s a celebration of you and your friends—all that you have been through and accomplished to make it to where you are today. What’s NOT to love about the resiliency?
- Healing is active work. No relationship is a dinner for one. We all play a role in the success or downfall of our personal relationships. Celebrating the ending of one chapter and the opening of another is an incredibly helpful and healthful way to self-reflect on your own patterns to identify areas needing more attention.
- Love is a catalyst for change. Although you may not be able to change anyone else, you do have the power to change yourself. By having a Breakup Party, you turn the love you give others back to yourself and there is power in doing so. That shift may be all you need to make the changes necessary to live the life you deserve.
😊 Happy Valentine’s Day!