Updated: Oct 31
Fairy lights, tinsel, the smell of freshly heated mulled wine and then comes the MISTLETOE. Christmas tradition as a single can be sparkly and wonderful one minute, then to a stark reminder of your single life.
Christmas can feel like the reminder you didn't ask for yet it's going to happen anyway. But there are ways to make this an endurable time to get through Christmas when you're single, and it's important to remember that you don't have to do things they way they've always been done.
Christmas is more than just the 25th December. It's two months of build up to get through.
It all starts in November. Halloween is out of the way and BAM, we're onto the Christmas push. From then, there's couple-filled Winter Wonderland, the romantic dinners in the outdoor dining snow globes and let's not forget, the plethora of Christmas engagements that eventually arrive on the big day (I apologise for being one of these, but that was literally out of my hands!).
The Christmas build up can feel like an in-your-face attack of what you don't have with all these couple activities that go on. And even on a more subtle level, you're brought together with family, which on the one hand, can be a good lot of fun. But that family can consist of lots of couples, potentially siblings, cousins and family friends who are a similar age to you (maybe even younger! #sendhelp), that are talking houses, weddings and babies. Let's not forget too that some of those family and friends no longer hang out with you over the Christmas period like they used to because they now have their own family to focus on during that time, making it special for the kids or heading off on a romantic Christmas getaway.
But singles have got through Christmas before and they'll get through it again. It's preparing yourself for how best to tackle it so you can out the other side at least half smiling!
You have to deal with the "how's your love life" and other repetitive questions
A pet peeve that has come up regularly in The Single Girl's Club zoom calls is having to manage queries regarding your love life and dating, that or statements of disbelief to how they can't believe you're still single. That's great Uncle Steve, but it doesn't actually change the situation, only highlights that I am, indeed, still single.
It's awkward, repetitive and boring, and you just don't want to be talking about it AGAIN.
So a gem of wisdom to pass on for these moments is from Matthew Hussey's Impact program, where he suggests a technique along that requires you to flip the conversation to whatever you want to talk about. So in the theoretical scenario of being prompted with "How's all the dating going?", instead of replying with "not great" or reeling of a couple of stories about guys you'd rather not refer to, you acknowledge the question and then follow up with something else you've been doing, and move the conversation onto that. Such as "It's going okay, but I'm actually doing a lot with the house at the moment, I've been decorating the kitchen and I'm saving to renovate the bathroom." That is an open field for questions to be asked as a follow up. By making that statement, there's now scope for questions to be asked about what you did with your kitchen and what the plans are for your bathroom. It's best to use a project you've actually been working on, and one you're passionate about and want to discuss but say "Goodbye" to the love life chat, and "Hello" to a more interesting conversation about the things you have been doing.
Why is everyone a couple?!
Where did they ALL come from all at once, and how are you going to tackle Christmas comparably single?! It can feel like a tonne of FOMO is sat on your doorstep as you venture through the Christmas period without the romantic trips, but if you want a quick list of reminders why being single at Christmas is great, then Cosmopolitan magazine are prepared.
Whilst I won't just list those out to you, one of them really stands out. And that's that you get to do what you want to do.
When you're partnered up, there are double the amount of family to visit, double the amount of presents to buy, double the amount of expectations to deal with across a number of days. When you're single, you only have to manage you and no one else.
Yes, your family might still not be your favourite people to be hanging out with over the Christmas (though lots of you use that to focus on and be grateful for!) you aren't actually obligated to do anything you don't want to do.
If you want to go for a walk over Christmas, then go and do it. If you want to spend it with different people, then make those arrangements. You might even fancy spending it abroad! When you have a single Christmas, you need to see the opportunity presented in front of you because there may be few occasions that you'll get to do it completely your way if and when you're with someone else.
Remember; it's your Christmas too so do what you want, go and explore and spend it with those you want to spend it with.
Being single at Christmas doesn't have to be the worst thing in the world.
There's opportunity to be had and ways to work with the social occasions so that you get to enjoy them too!