Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Last year, I went into how to get through Christmas as a Single. This year, I wanted to be more specific and start addressing how to overcome the doubt from your family.
Whether it's the constant tripe from particular family members about how much happier you'll be once you find a man, or their misunderstanding of why you need some time alone over the Christmas period, dealing with the thoughts and opinions of others can be one of the hardest parts of Christmas, and you're network of support might be temporarily out of action across the festive period.
All of this is exacerbated by what Christmas is, what it celebrates and how it's celebrated. Being single amongst all of this can make you feel forgotten rather than specifically included and accounted for, but there is a way to get own you Christmas being single.
This Christmas, We Need To Accept We're On Our Own
Unless you're going to rush yourself into the dating scene 4 weeks before Christmas, it's time to acknowledge that this Christmas you will be spending single. For some, that's another year of being single, and for some, it's the first Christmas since a big break-up. It might be that you're living alone so for the first time, you'll wake up at on Christmas morning on your own, or for others you might have housemates or be back with the family.
Either way, this Christmas, you're spending some of it alone, or without the partnership you thought you'd have right now, and that's especially hard when family will be coming together to celebrate, with cousins bringing their new partners, and maybe even more children surrounding the larger family sections too.
It's okay to have these mixed emotions during this time. You might think it nice to be back with your family and not having to rush between two sets of parents houses, dealing with in-laws and being exhausted from all the travelling. But it's this kind of time that, no matter how certain and accepting you are of the end of your relationship or there lack-of, you'll start to question your situation as single and what you're missing out on - whether that's an imagined scenario or what will seem like now-distant memories. It's the bittersweet part of the break-up where we remember all the good, and can elevate that over the real reasons the relationship ended.
This year, you're single. You might not have a dedicated someone to go to Winter Wonderland with or to wear matching checkered pyjamas with, but you can enjoy a more relaxed Christmas focussed on you.
Dealing with Family During The Festive Season
It's not that you don't like your family, but the way they find entertainment in your dating life, or the uninvited offer to become your personal agony aunt/dating coach giving you all the cliché advice you've heard a hundred times before becomes a drag and overshadows the excitement you might otherwise have around Christmas.
The first way to tackle these awkward situations is to realise that these people mean well and don't often understand the reality of what you're going through in terms of being single, and if they're mentioning dating but not in a position to date themselves, then it's unlikely they know the real landscape of what it's like out there (and half the time, when we're first new to dating again, we can be disillusioned to!).
On top of this, every person has different beliefs around dating, relationships and how to live life to the fullest and there's every chance that their values don't align with yours. Whilst everything they say to you may seem very personal, it's worth keeping in mind that it's more to do with them and their ideas, rather than them seeing it from your perspective and experience.
Following that, being crystal clear with yourself about your love life is key. Why are you or aren't you dating? What are the desires you have right now for your love life, and what are the realities of the challenges you face within that?
This only matters to you and doesn't have to be something you share, but it does give you your own confidence and the attitude you currently have towards your dating life. You're entitled to be staying well away from dating while you process not being with your ex as much as you're entitled to feel frustrated and deflated by the landscape of dating.
If you're clear on what you're doing, you get to choose if you then use that to have a conversation with someone, or if it helps with your own internal narrative about what and why you're living your life your way as you put on a smile and bear through what your family member is going on about...
Make plans and go and do festive things! (Even on your own)
Christmas is such a magical and special time of year that isn't worth missing out on just because you're single. There's the already mentioned Winter Wonderland that you could go and explore on your own, but better still there are Christmas markets, switch-on events, as well as wreath-making workshops to get involved with.
You might feel like doing some of these things on your own would be bittersweet. Instead, it's worth looking at this as an opportunity to not let your single status stop you from going out there and enjoying Christmas, and in this case you're doing something for yourself. It's easy in these wintery months to avoid going out and to stay in doors, but the accumulation of those dark evenings can take their toll and going out to do something different is the treat you deserve to give yourself throughout the festive season.
Even better, you might go out and do these things knowing your ex never wanted to do them with you anyway and you never got the chance! And don't forget to check in with your friends - they might be up for going with you, and if you never ask, you'll never know.
This can be a little tricky from Christmas Eve through to the New Year. It's the 8-day slog of people being superbly preoccupied and friends might not have the time amongst their own schedules to add in anything extra. To make sure you've got a whole set of activities to keep you busy during that time, I've put together the "12 Days of Being Single At Christmas" series for you to be involved with. This involves an activity idea to complete across the 12 days so that you can keep busy, get organised for 2023, and feel like you've made the most of Christmas. You can find out more details on how to get involved with that HERE.
Christmas doesn't have to be the biggest downer for a single. You might find some of it a challenge but you can embrace being able to do what you want, when you want, and buy into the magic of Christmas to get you through.
If you're worried about getting through Christmas as a single and you want more practical tips to overcome this difficult time of year and want to learn how to manage those tricky convos with family members, you can attend the Single At Christmas Workshop, taking place on Tuesday 13th December 2022!
It's a 1.5 hour long workshop designed to get you owning this festive season and to not let the pity from others get you down. You'll be ready to take ownership of your Christmas to make it something to enjoy, have fun with and to get your 2023 off to a bright start.
The full details of the workshop are here with Early Bird prices available for those who book before Tuesday 6th December 2022, with limited tickets available at this price.