"The contrast is painful." Gogglebox's Isabelle Silbery on spending Valentine's Day newly single.


Last year, I was in a great space on Valentine’s Day.

I had dinner with my girlfriends and spent the rest of the evening with a lovely man I’d been dating casually. It was a nice day but didn’t hold any particular meaning for me because overall I felt valued and worth his care and attention. I didn’t need confirmation about his, or anyone else’s, feelings from a day on the calendar.

This year, however, I’m spending February 14 newly single and nursing a broken heart. The contrast is painful. I was so happy in my last relationship with a man I thought was the one for me, the one for our family and it would’ve been our first V-Day together.

Valentine’s gifts that’ll make you glad you’re single this year. Post continues below.

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Being in a state of mourning is normal and healthy I know, but I miss him terribly, especially in the mornings. It hits hard, in the pit of the stomach, when you roll over, open your eyes and they aren’t there.

This morning wasn’t any different, but allowing myself to feel all the feels is key and trusting it will get easier; the more I ride it out and not mask it, the more liberated and resilient I become.


It comes around every year though, whether you like it or not. Regardless of whether you see it as a money-making gimmick or an opportunity to express your feelings to the one you love, it’s the one day of the year when your love life gets put on display.

Being in a relationship (a good one) means Valentine’s Day can motivate you to do something special: a little card, a loving text… When I’m in a relationship I don’t tend to leave these gestures for V-Day, but it is nice to be spontaneous and show your appreciation for your person.

Though the date highlights a sharp absence in my life I’m grateful at least that it doesn’t fall on a Sunday this year, because Sundays are the worst for the brokenhearted. You wake up alone, sometimes hungover, hungry and in need of a snuggle. You have a sore throat from busting out Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’ at the top of your lungs after multiple glasses of rosé at home.

The Uber Eats driver arrives, bringing the same order of charcoal chicken which you gratefully receive, wearing the same clothes as when he came to the door the night before. It bites a bit when he comments, “Same order, same clothes?” but that’s ok: one star for you, mate.

So even though Valentine’s blessedly falls on a Friday this year, I know there will still be loved-up couples heading out for beach walks and dinner dates tonight. There will be men walking home from work with flowers in hand.


Every song on the radio will remind me of the one I miss and I will definitely need to avoid social media for 24 hours to prevent vomiting in my mouth or considering committing a serious crime.

The upside, though, is that I get some space to focus on what I need at this time; I won’t have to think about another person and their expectations. What I’ve decided to do instead is gather some girlfriends together for an Anti-Valentine’s Day party, where we’ll make cocktails and catch up on each other and on MAFS.

My hope is that, surrounded by my best girls, good drinks and bad TV, I’ll know that being single isn’t so bad. Although it’s lonely sometimes, I’m doing my level best to be my best.

I’m also lucky enough this year to be spending my Valentine’s Day with the most lovable little man who shows me unconditional love every day of the year, even when he’s being a little rascal: my son.


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Who says we can’t have a special dinner together (albeit at 5.30pm), snuggle on the couch and talk about what we love about each other; our secret hopes and dreams?

So V-Day, in its normal form, can V off in my humble opinion. Unless, that is, we see it for its true meaning, which is what appeals to me: “Valentine” was derived from the Latin word valens, which means “strong and healthy”.

I will celebrate being a strong and healthy woman who doesn’t need confirmation of her worth from a day in the calendar or another person, and who is bringing up a strong and healthy boy who one day, I hope, will be a loving partner to someone very, very lucky.

Gogglebox premieres Wednesday February 26 at 7.30pm on LifeStyle, Thursday at 8.30pm on 10

Feature image: Instagram/@isabelle silbery