By Sarah O’Leary, Estes Therapy
Romance and the holiday season seem to go hand in hand. Practically every holiday movie is focused on a love story, and there are plenty of commercials depicting families and romantic partners. During the holidays, people celebrate with various types of get-togethers and celebratory parties. Each commercial or movie can be a reminder that you don’t have a partner; and each invitation a reminder that you are going alone. The lack of a romantic partner can be painful and the feelings of loneliness gets stronger and more overwhelming.
Being single can often be overlooked and not discussed during the holidays. People may not mention to their friends that they aren’t attending the party because they don’t have a date. The emotions of fear, shame, or loneliness are extremely painful for those without an intimate partner.
1. Don’t Turn Down Invitations
Just because you don’t have a date doesn’t mean you can’t attend holiday parties! In fact, a party might be just the place to meet someone special. Even if you don’t meet any other singles, you can still relax with friends and family and share some memories. It’s important not to let your singlehood hold you back from socializing – there’s no rule that says single people can’t have just as much fun, if not more, at holiday shindigs.
2. Focus on the Positive
Rather than focusing in on what you perceive to be the negative aspects of being single during the holidays, think about the good things. For instance, when you’re single during the holidays you can attend all of the parties and celebrations that you want to go to…no missing your best friend’s dinner party because you get dragged to a boyfriend’s boring office party. You can also spend the actual holiday with your own family, with no discussion about splitting time with someone else’s family. Not buying gifts for a significant other means you can spoil your friends and family that much more!
3. Take Care of Yourself
Use the holidays to build a stronger you. Don’t tear yourself down for being single. Instead, make a conscious effort to remind yourself about your good qualities and spend your free time doing things that make you physically and emotionally stronger. Take up yoga, get massages, and volunteer your time to a worthy cause. Feeling good about yourself will make you the ultimate partner when someone special does come along!
4. Laugh Off Pushy Relatives
If you have a nosy aunt that is always asking when you’re going to get married, or siblings that give you a hard time about being single, make an effort to smile through it. Chances are, the quicker you assert that you’re happy and change the subject, the sooner the awkward moment will pass. If your family just can’t take a hint, tell them directly to stop asking about it. Overall, the easiest way to get through it is just to laugh it off as nosy relatives and not take it to heart. Your family means well, it might just come out in an annoying way! Make a game of it, counting how many times someone asks you if you’re still single, and write funny texts to your friends about it to keep your mood light.
The holidays should be a happy time, whether you’re single or in a relationship. If you find yourself without a significant other during the holiday season, focus on the positive, and you can still have a blast!