I was recently at a wedding reception with a couple of friends who I’ll call Amy and Kate. They both had been a wonderful support system for me when I was going through my divorce a few years earlier. I’d since gotten engaged, Amy had been living with her partner for three years and Kate recently ended a twelve year relationship. We were all having a great time catching up until we heard “All the Single Ladies” blasting from the speakers; it was time for the bride to toss the bouquet. For me, it was exciting! It had been over 20 years since I lined up with the other singles. I did my best Beyonce strut and headed to the dance floor. After the toss (I missed, but then again, I’m in no hurry) I looked for Kate and she was nowhere to be found. I asked Amy and she explained that Kate was outside smoking, waiting for the silly tradition to be over. I felt terrible for Kate, but completely understood. It was just too soon.
This time of year can be particularly triggering for many singles. After all, you finally made it through holiday gatherings filled with happy couples and sad questions about your single status. Just when you think you can breathe again, along comes Valentine’s Day and the marketing frenzy that accompanies it. For most, the constant advertisements are little more than an annoyance. Unfortunately, for others, it’s much more serious and can cause or increase depression. Even worse, some researchers believe that Valentine’s Day marks the beginning of annual increased suicide rates that peak in April.
However, thanks to technology and savvy (dare we dream, perhaps even sensitive?) marketers, we now have a mechanism to block Cupid from our inbox. For example, Etsy recently sent its subscribers the following:
Etsy, and other retailers such as Parachute, also now provide customers an option to opt out of other potentially painful emails, such as those for Father’s and Mother’s Day. Shutterfly also offers opt-outs for their “remember this from 5 years ago?” emails, saving many from painful reminders of that certain ex-boyfriend whom you’d prefer to forget. Similarly, if you have an iPhone, their People Selection tool ensures that photos of your ex will be featured less in your Memories, Featured Photos and in Key Library Photos.
At Divorcist, we are encouraged by this trend and hope that empathetic marketing practices become the rule rather than the exception. In the meantime, who says you have to be in love to have fun on Valentine’s Day? We say flip the holiday on its head and make it a celebration of singleness. Round up your single girlfriends and make it a fun night out on the town. We guarantee that there will be plenty of coupled folks watching who will covet your fun – and freedom!