How To Handle Valentine’s Day Breakups

How To Handle Valentine’s Day Breakups

What’s the worst time of year to be involved in a breakup? It could be Christmas, no-one wants to be lonely during the holidays, but at least then you can focus on family. Valentine’s Day though is when the whole world seems to be in love, so if you’re heartbroken or, at the very least, single, it can be a tough time.

But the good news is that you’re not alone! We’ll explain how common Valentine’s Day breakups are, as well as offering suggestions for how you can deal with a breakup at this time of year and prioritze yourself.

Valentine's Day breakup statistics

Some research has shown that around one in 14 US adults had broken up with somebody on Valentine’s Day. That’s 7% of people, with 6% saying that they had broken up just before and another 6% breaking up just afterwards. So that’s 19% of people surveyed who had experienced a breakup around Valentine’s Day.1

When did they say was the best time to break up with someone when it comes to Valentine’s Day? 45% respondents to the same survey said it was better to do it just before the day itself, with 18% saying just afterwards and 5% saying it’s perfectly appropriate to do it on Valentine’s Day.1 So let’s steer clear of them…

However, it seems like it’s getting more appropriate to conduct a breakup on Valentine’s Day, with just 25% of Baby Boomers having done it, compared to 10% of Gen Xers and 11% of Millennials according to the aforementioned survey.1 The younger generation were also more likely to have broken up either side of the day.

Why do breakups happen during Valentine’s Day?

So what is it about Valentine’s Day that makes people decide to break up? Certainly, there’s the potential for a deeply disappointing date or gift leading to someone getting dumped. If you’ve got high expectations going into the most romantic day of the year and end up in a fast food restaurant with gas station flowers, the chances are that being single is looking tempting.

Another factor could be that events like Valentine’s Day and Christmas lead people to reflect on their love life and their relationships. It’s hard not to take stock when the stores are full of Valentine’s cards professing undying love when you can’t quite get your significant other to look away from the ball game when you’re trying to talk to them.

Breakups before Valentine’s Day

There’s a phenomenon called ‘Red Tuesday’, which is the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day and is apparently the day people break up most often in the year. Of the various reasons for a break up, a shocking common one we've found people to provide for breaking up before the big day is to save money on a gift.

There’s a kind of logic there, rather than splashing out and then breaking up with them a few days later. But it still seems kind of cheap, right?

Breakups after Valentine’s Day

Unfortunately, breaking up AFTER Valentine’s Day means that whatever you spent on the gift was probably a bit of a waste and it’s certainly awkward to ask for it back, especially if you’re the one who did the dumping.

Of course, money’s not the main issue here. Couples don’t break up after Valentine’s Day because they’re in a good place and have had a lovely, romantic evening. Maybe there were warning signs before and it all came to a head when you were out on your date, or maybe it was the low-key straw that broke the camel’s back.

How to get through Valentine's Day after a breakup

However it has happened, whoever pulled the plug, if you’re facing Valentine’s Day after a breakup, that’s a lonely place to be. But all hope isn’t lost. Here are our tips for how to survive Valentine’s Day after a breakup:

Make plans with your friends:

In true rom-com fashion, the best way to recover from a breakup is to put your trust in your friendship group to get you through it. Call it Galentine’s Day or Palentine’s Day or whatever you want, but if your friends are available to help you make it through the day while having fun and trying to ignore any feelings of hurt or pain, it’s much better than facing it alone.

Treat yo’self:

If you’re not ready to be surrounded by people or your friends are too coupled up to be available on Valentine’s Day, why not have a date with yourself? A party for one with a nice hot bath, tasty food and a great movie can help you remind yourself just what great company you are. Who’s missing out here? Not you, that’s for sure.

Avoid triggers:

If you are spending the evening alone, you need to be mindful of what you find yourself doing. Are you doom scrolling your ex’s social media accounts? Put that phone down immediately! The same goes for picking romantic movies to watch that might just remind you of what’s happened to you compared to what you would like to be doing. Maybe try and keep it light and steer clear of anything you know will make you feel worse.

Get back on the horse:

Of course, it’s never too late to find a Valentine’s date. If you’re feeling up to it, why not check out your Bumble matches to see if there’s anyone there who you’d like to get to know with an exciting Valentine’s Day first date? Of course, we’re not saying you need to be on the look for a rebound or to try and make your ex jealous, but why close yourself off to the possibility of having a great Valentine’s Day after all?

Final thoughts 

Remember, it’s just a day - The cards and flower stores might be telling you that Valentine’s Day is the most important day of the year because that’s what they need to tell you to make more money. But you can also keep in mind that February 14th is just another day, the same as the 13th or the 15th. Forget the pressure and the expectations and just treat this day like any other day.


1YouGOV - Here’s How Many Americans Have Broken Up on Valentines Day
Methodology - Total unweighted sample size was 1,352 US adults. The figures have been weighed and are representative of all US adults (ages 18+). This Interview was conducted online between January 9 - 10, 2020.