Okay, let’s just get this out of the way; being single during the holiday season is the pits! In fact, it’s some people’s worst nightmare. They end up staying with the wrong person through the beginning of the new year (or even longer) just so they don’t have to spend that time alone. But if you stop to really think about it, is being single during the holidays all that bad? I think it’s important to discuss the positive elements of experiencing this time of year as a single adult.
Firstly, if you are single, you are in good company. According to a recent survey from 2018, 51% of young Americans, ages 18-34 say they are not in a steady relationship. That number is up from 45% back in 2016. So, singlehood is on the rise, and it could be because people are realizing it’s actually not the worst thing to be.
Applying that to the holiday time, there are a number of benefits to being unhitched. You don’t have to worry about divvying up your time between your side of the family and theirs. You don’t have to stress about the perfect gift to buy a significant other; rather you can treat yourself to that extravagant item you’ve been putting off purchasing all year long! You get to be in charge of your own schedule and the number of holiday parties to attend, and even better, how you choose to spend New Year’s Eve. If sweatpants and the couch are your ideal way to ring in the new year, you get to do that guilt-free! (I’m pretty sure there are some coupled-up folks who are incredibly jealous about that last point). There is just overall so much freedom that comes with embracing your singleness and enjoying that time.
With that being said, I am not oblivious to the fact that it can be hard to want to celebrate those things when all you really want to do is share your time with someone special. Especially if you’ve gone through a recent breakup, this time of year can be increasingly difficult. I’d like to offer three things to try this season that may help get you through without shedding a tear or spending weeks comforting your feelings with food, which inevitably results in shame and regret.
- Start your own new tradition! Maybe it’s hosting a get-together with friends or coordinating an outing to go look at holiday lights in a new area, or maybe it’s finding a place to volunteer each year.
- Go to the party! Although you may not initially feel up to it, put on a new outfit, get dolled up and make it to that party you were invited to. The hardest part is getting there, but more often than not, once you’re there you’ll end up having a great time and will be happy you didn’t opt to stay in again. You may even find someone to get your flirt on with while you’re there!
- Be selfish! Use this time to upgrade your life. Whether it’s a new workout regimen, a girl’s trip for a weekend out of town, or a day (or two) of pampering yourself with a massage, facial, mani/pedi appointment, whatever you feel like doing to take care of YOU. There is a new trend out there called “Dating Yourself” and what better time to join in the movement than the present.
Although I can’t promise it’ll be easy to navigate this time of year on your own, what I CAN promise is that if you work on changing the way you look at singlehood and start to view it as something to be celebrated rather than something to feel bad about, you will find opportunities to enjoy that you may have otherwise discounted as a single person, and you just never know where those opportunities might lead in the future!