Valentine’s day for entrepreneurs and small business owners: catering to the divorced and separated

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore, is it the Valentine’s Day theme song of the separated and divorced?

Many of us may remember Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand singing this song. I recall thinking how sad it was when people remember with nostalgia the way things were between their partner, and what it is now that they have parted. As Valentine’s approaches, this song comes to mind again for all those people who will not be receiving “flowers anymore.”

There are many dreading this Valentine’s. Not only will they be constantly reminded of what “It used to be…,” they also have to deal with a feeling of something missing.  I don’t just mean a lack of flowers, but of “love” and feeling loved.  It is bad enough to deal with the emotional stress of separation and divorce without it being in your face as it always is on the 14th.

Does mean those that are in love should not celebrate that love? Of course not. It means that those that are not don’t have to hide or stand on the sidelines.

What business would only cater to half their potential target audience?  Yet on Valentine’s, one of the biggest business days for florists, chocolatiers, perfumeries, and all other retailers — they do just that.  The focus is only on couples.

I see this as a great opportunity for business to not only increase sales but, more importantly, to help separating and divorcing couples learn to love themselves again, or perhaps for the first time in their lives.

There is a major turning point in this “theme song.”

“But used-to-bes don’t count anymore

They just lay on the floor

Till we sweep them away”

That’s the cue – yesterday and yesterday’s business paradigms do not count anymore, so get that broom out.

Valentine’s is about love. That can include your friends, family, children and YOU. Loving yourself is about learning who you are inside, the kind of person you want to be, and the kind of life you want following a previous life that did not work out. It’s about learning to love the real you, and saying “I am worth loving.”

When you can love yourself, that is when another person will also be able to love you again.

So buy gifts for friends without partners, those who perhaps need to be told someone cares about them and loves them. And business owners, remind your customers that this is an option. Making those without feel special on a day they wish would just disappear is a fantastic thing to do, and makes for a very lucrative market.

Let’s start with your kids. Help them make ready their valentine’s for school. And have them make one for you, their siblings, and yes, even your former spouse. It will show them love means forgiveness and understanding, even if the other person hurt you. Because you know what — your kids may have been hurt during this tough time too.

And treat yourself. Go buy those flowers or chocolates. Go to the spa, or the hockey game. You deserve it. I challenge all businesses to be creative in touching the hearts of the broken hearted, and to share those stories with me.

Then, remember love is about giving. So give of yourself. Volunteering makes us feel good about ourselves, and we often get more back than we give. Not only does it help us move on, it’s also a wonderful reminder to be grateful for all that you do have in life.

Lastly, don’t choose to be alone. Be with friends, family or others who are also thinking about those flowers they don’t get anymore. Not to commiserate, but to celebrate love for self and all that is good in you.

Don’t end your song with “You don’t bring me flowers anymore” as Neil and Barbra do. That is living in the past. Who says you can’t get your own flowers? Create your new song by living in the present appreciating “you”.

Mary Krauel Mary Krauel, CPA, CA, MBA, CDFA, is the owner and Senior Negotiator of Fairway Divorce Solutions, Mississauga
T. 905.267.2175 | 1020 Johnson’s Lane, Unit A3, Mississauga, ON L5J 2P7 Fairway Divorce Mississauga