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Friday, January 31, 2014

Sensitivity Training 101: How to handle Valentine's Day around newly single friends

If you have a newly single friend this season, she may be looking at February 14th as if it’s the Doomsday apocalypse. As a gal pal with a boyfriend, or, God forbid, a husband, this puts you in a precarious position. Say the wrong thing and you run the risk of triggering waterworks that won’t stop until St. Patrick's Day. In other words, if you’re happily dating, you're not in the clear. Your job is to carefully maneuver the day with sensitivity for those who are not as lucky. Here's how.

Downplay the flowers and gifts

2014-01-15 00.21.01Do you remember those sensitivity training sessions you had to do at work? Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to practice what you learned. Don’t brag. Don’t boast. Don’t make it all about you. If you're dating or married, that is your mantra. Your partner may have gone the distance by sending you off for a day after the spa after you opened that stunning Valentine's Day Gift Basket from, but don’t boast about it when you’re talking with your newly single friends. Give your main squeeze some credit, but don't overdo it.




Make time for your newly single friends

Two friends looking at recipesWhether you take your single friends out to lunch or to a fancy salon for manis and pedis, get them away from the couch, turn off the rom-com marathon, and for goodness sake confiscate that pint of Ben and Jerry’s. If your friend is down in the dumps see if your partner is willing to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 15th instead when the restaurants won't be so crowded. Instead, stay in with your BFF and enjoy girls’ night get together on Valentine's Day. Some pizza and wine should do the trick! Take that, Cupid.




Do not patronize

Instead of dispensing a pep talk or shelling out dating advice, pour your single friends a glass of Chardonnay. The last thing she'll want to hear is that you know how she's feeling and that you remember how hard dating was and that you don't know how she stays so strong. This will only make her feel worse. On the same token, avoid guy bashing and bad-mouthing her ex. Rule of thumb: Don't talk about relationships at all—instead, focus on the reason your friends and talk about your hobbies, your upcoming plans, or just rent a comedy and enjoy some good ol' fashioned girl time.

Leave memory lane in the past

Taking a turn down memory lane when you're hanging out with newly single friends can only lead to trouble, tears and maudlin monologues. Keep the conversation on track and work to shift the focus if she starts reminiscing about her ex. Instead of dwelling on the past, redirect her to her freedom, her future and the opportunities that lie ahead. If she simply won't listen, find some inspiration on Buzzfeed... you'll get a good laugh out of her, at least!

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