On Friday, Halloween Day, I went to Target to buy candy for the trick-or-treaters and, guess what…Target was putting out their Christmas decorations! On October 31! No longer does the “holiday season” respectfully begin on Thanksgiving.
Soon we will be bombarded with sappy holiday commercials—couples snuggling by a fire, exchanging gifts (usually engagement rings or Lexuses), families that look like their faces must hurt from their perma-smiles. We will be asked to attend parties where couples abound. And, we singles, when the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s Eve, will sheepishly take a sip of our champagne while seemingly everyone around us makes out.
For many, the holidays are a blissful time of year. They look forward to them because their reality matches that on the screen—at holiday time, at least.
For others, myself included, the holidays can be particularly difficult. The merry-go-round of great-aunts and uncles questioning about our relationship status, the sappy love songs, the romantic holiday comedies where love always wins out can feel like pouring lemon juice on the paper-cut of our singlehood.
What a sting.
I used to dread this time of year.
Now that I’m navigating my life—particularly my love life—differently, though, I’m looking forward to the holidays more than I have in a long time.
And you can, too. Here are some ways to make this holiday season as a singleton work for you, rather than make you feel like eight tiny reindeer have trampled you.
1. Make It About You
Yes, the holiday spirit is about showing others how much you appreciate them by celebrating together. Yes, it is the season of giving gifts to those we love.
But what’s wrong with also making it a season of giving to your own, deserving self?
It’s often frowned upon to celebrate our self; it’s seen as selfish, egotistical, and indulgent. But the irony is, most of us treat others (and certainly talk to others) way better than we treat our own self.
If we cannot treat ourselves the way we deserve and celebrate our unique gifts, no one else can either. What you honor about yourself, others will too because you will feel free to let those beautiful parts of you shine brighter once you acknowledge how awesome they are.
What a better time of year to celebrate all that makes you, you!
Take yourself shopping. Book a trip. Enjoy a massage.
Better yet, write yourself a holiday card in the style you’d write one to one of your favorite friends. Be sure to sign off with a bunch of ‘x’s and ‘o’s!
2. Practice Honoring Your Boundaries
Instead of muscling through another party jam-packed with couples, maybe sit a few out this year. If it’s feeling like too much, listen to your truth and honor it. Maybe use that time to pamper yourself instead?
If you are at a party and people cross the line by asking you too many questions about your relationship status, tell them politely that you would rather not talk about it. Or maybe just be honest and tell them that you’re single and it sucks (if it does for you)? Practice a little raw vulnerability.
And, by all means, if your mom wants to sit you at the children’s table, remind her that being a single adult does not make you still a child.
Setting boundaries during the holidays—and throughout the rest of the year—is an important way to make sure you’re getting your own needs met. By having strong internal boundaries, you silently teach people the way you’d like to be treated.
During the holidays, people, family especially, can sometimes lose all sense of decency and ask you to make numerous sacrifices in the name of the holiday spirit. You are not obligated to bend to their wishes. Ultimately, you are not responsible for their emotions. Now, I’m not suggesting that you start a family feud, but I am suggesting that you really listen to your needs and do your best to get them met.
Use this time to get in touch with what your boundaries are so that when you enter your next relationship, you’ll have practice setting them with important people in your life.
On top of that, setting boundaries can prevent you from over-giving, making it easier for you to receive. This is paramount in attracting your next relationship. You must, after all, be open to receiving it.
3. Use Those Happy Couples As Inspiration
If you’re going to be blasted by images of people over-the-moon in love, you might as well use them to your advantage. Here’s how. Having a vision of the love you want can help you attract just that.
Most love coaches have their clients make lists of what qualities they want in a partner, but my advice goes beyond that.
What’s really important is tapping into the feeling of what being with your ideal partner will feel like. Anchoring into that feeling can help us recognize when people we’re dating aren’t our right match, or, better yet, can help us see beyond the surface qualities of the people we’re dating and allow us to give people a chance we maybe wouldn’t otherwise.
The surface stuff fades, as we know. The feeling doesn’t have to.
Don’t be jealous of all of the couples around you this season. Instead, use them as inspiration. Settle in, get cozy, and marinate in the yummy feeling you will have when you attract the right partner into your own life.
You deserve it. And you’re worth it.
If you need some extra support this season, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m sending you some juicy, holiday love!