Being single during the holidays doesn't have to suck.
If you're single and you'd like to be in a relationship, this time of year can be excruciating.
There can seem to be countless ads showing happy-in-love couples giving one another romantic gifts: Cars with big red bows parked outside the house. Glittering jewelry. Even those “Forever Lazy” wearable blanket things.
In television ads and in the real life examples of people around you, it can appear that everyone else has a partner to exchange gifts with and to share the season with. Except you.
Of course, the holidays aren't just about gifts. The idealized version of the holidays often includes a scene of warmth, togetherness and connection.
You might have family and friends whom you dearly love, but if what you want is someone to kiss under the mistletoe and to snuggle with beside the holiday tree or to passionately ring in the New Year with, it can feel like the entire world is coupled up and you're left out.
This perception can bring about a serious case of the holiday blues. A lot of people get sad and even depressed this time of year. We can understand why. There's a lot of hype and those ads for expensive gift items that only a few people can really afford only make things worse.
When you're single and you'd like to be with your Mr. or Ms. Right, all of the hype and idealization of the holidays add up...leaving you feeling sad and out of sorts. Your blues might even lead you to doubt whether or not you'll ever attract the kind of love you're looking for.
You can beat the blues, enjoy your holiday traditions of choice and put yourself in a place where you can easily-- maybe even effortlessly-- attract your perfect partner.
We're here to help with these 4 steps...
#1: Stop your mind.
Pay attention to your thoughts. You might not literally believe that everyone else is in a relationship except for you, but part of the time maybe you tell yourself similar thoughts. If you have an idealized view of the holidays or where you “should” be in your life right now (e.g. in a relationship or maybe even married), STOP!
Get into the habit of monitoring the dominant thoughts that pass through your mind. They are a prime cause your holiday blues and you can change them.
We're not suggesting that you pretend that you're happy about being single when you're not. Be real with yourself, but watch the spin you put on your current situation. This is crucial.
We find it a powerful practice to interrupt thoughts that aren't helping us have the kind of life experience we desire and then to deliberately shift focus to different-- and authentic-- thoughts that positively support us.
Try it and notice how you feel when you do this.
#2: Start treating yourself right.
You don't have to wait around until you're in a love relationship to feel special and cared for. The holidays are a time for gifts. What gifts can you give yourself this year?
If you are hesitant to buy yourself something you've always wanted because it seems impractical or extravagant, re-assess your budget and your personal rules. Maybe there is room in your financial plan to be responsible and also gift yourself that item. If money is tight for you, there may be more affordable (or even free) ways you can go beyond your usual self-care and give yourself some pampering and extraordinary experiences.
This isn't being selfish, this is about treating yourself with a level of love and care that you might expect to receive from a partner. You deserve this special care now so why not give it to yourself?
A fabulous consequence of treating yourself right is that it boosts self esteem, confidence, mental and emotional health AND all of these things make it easier to attract a partner. When you feel great about yourself and you respect you, it shows. Others can see how wonderful and worthy of love you are by the way you treat yourself.
So what are you waiting for?!
#3: Create your own version of holiday cheer.
If the traditions you think you should be following are bringing you down because you're single, maybe it's time to create some new ones. Take a look at what activities you usually do during the season and identify those that are more upsetting and uncomfortable than they are pleasing.
Be choosy about who you spend time with and what you do.
If, for example, you have a relative who constantly asks why you're still single, consider asking this family member to stop asking you that question. Think of a kind and honest response that can help you feel better. If that doesn't seem possible, you could give yourself permission to spend less time with this person around the holidays.
Invite your closest friends over to help you decorate your home in a way that suits you. Go to as many-- or as few-- parties and other social functions as you truly want to. You can attend the parties you choose to go to proudly escorting yourself or happily bringing along your best friend.
Creating new holiday traditions is yet another way you can treat yourself right, by the way.
#4: Open yourself up to the relationship of your dreams.
You can actually use this re-vamped approach to the holidays as a means to open yourself up to the new relationship you're longing for. The more you can joyfully be where you are-- single-- and the more you can give yourself the love, care and special treatment you deserve, the more easily you will line up with the kind of love relationship you desire.
Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors of the new program Automatic Attraction Secrets.