There’s an aspect of Valentine’s Day that can be even more detrimental than what triggers dredge up. Since Valentine’s Day evokes an idealized notion of love, it can remind survivors of good times they had with an abuser and make them feel particularly lonely, which may, in turn, tempt them to go back to that abusive relationship.
Social Services supervisor Natalie Rentas of Day One, a nonprofit working to end dating abuse and domestic violence, often sees these feelings come up with clients during holidays. “They hold onto the memories of the good times that they had, especially during these holidays, and that usually breeds a hope that this person can go back to being the good person that they were,” Rentas tells Allure. “Despite how much hurt they [experienced], they can remember how good it felt, and think that they can probably make it work, because at one time, things were good.