There are worse things than dining alone.
Showing up solo for Thanksgiving dinner can be a bit of a drag — especially if family members heap on helpings of "single shaming" along with the turkey and stuffing. But actually, singles have plenty to be grateful for!
Here's three things you should focus on during your trip back home so make sure you're feeling awesome about yourself during the holidays:
1. You're strong enough to flourish without needing someone else
It's a jungle out there! The dating game takes courage and pluck, and if you've been single for any portion of your adult life, you've experienced more than your fair share of heartbreak, frustration, and single shaming. But Nietzsche and Kelly Clarkson are right — what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! So this Thanksgiving, be grateful for the strength and independence you've gained during your years flying solo, and feel confident that you can do this on your own.
2. You're not stuck in a dead-end relationship
Yes, you're alone this Thanksgiving, but at least you're not stuck in a bad relationship wishing you were single. Frankly, many people are in this exact situation — they're with someone and would prefer not to be. Singles have every reason to be grateful, because the future is bright! The sky's the limit and you could meet "The One" at any time, so when you start feeling a little lonely, be thankful you're not feeling lonely in a relationship!
3. You don't need to settle for less than you deserve
Talk to anyone who's been divorced and you'll often hear comments like, "I guess we got married because it seemed like the next step" or "we'd been dating so long, I figured she'd 'earned' it" or even, "I always knew something was 'off' but I ignored my instincts and married him anyway." Oftentimes relationships are doomed from the beginning because the partners settled — maybe without even realizing it. So give yourself props for holding out for something you truly deserve, and someone that will make you happy farther down the road.
This Thanksgiving, count your blessings and be thankful for the strength and perseverance you've gained as you tackle adulthood sans partner. Stay true to yourself and never settle, because it's great to be in a relationship, but only if it's a great relationship.
This article was originally published at DrKarin.me. Reprinted with permission from the author.