Single is not alone-tips to give you perspective & bring joy as you experience the holidays single!
The latter half of the year with all of its holiday cheer and requisite obligations can bring stress and burn out at the best of times. If you have the misfortune to be going through some of your "worst of times" during the last couple months of the year the holiday season can take on a whole new meaning. A meaning that you had never planned on getting acquainted with. Unfortunately, life does not work on our own personal desired timeline. While the bulk of us would love to have the plans that we outlined for ourselves happen in the time frame that we had dreamed (grad school done at 25, meet love of our lives later that year, engaged at 27, married by 28, first child at 30) life tends to happen as it may. That being said, we have all had times in our lives where we looked up and seemingly out of the blue happened to be dealing with an inconvenient blow. Didn’t Father Time and the Fates get the memo that we were not supposed to get laid off from our dream job for example?! Hello? Is anyone listening?
Or, perhaps, you felt that this potential blow was coming but you chose to quiet that voice, ignore the warnings, and try to push through. You weren’t ready to let go. So when he started coming over less, cancelling dates, and being slow to return messages and phone calls you chocked it up to him being busy at work. When the intimacy slowed down and he rolled over when you had on his favorite lingerie you took his word when he said that he was tired. When you ran into his sister at the mall and she expressed surprise at seeing you (turns out that he had told his family that your relationship was over and that he would be attending Christmas dinner solo), well-you tried to ignore that too. She must be mistaken…and you pushed on. Who breaks up at Christmas time? Well, apparently you do is what you thought when he told you two days after the mall incident that, "This just isn’t working, and you deserve better. I’ve met someone else, and I want to be fair to you."
Merry Christmas. Right? NO! Who can be merry at a time like this? You are ALONE! The couples at the mall walking and holding hands, those sappy jewelry and car commercials where the woman gets the beautiful and extravagant present wrapped with a bow? There are articles in the magazines about what to buy for "him" for the holidays. Your parents are asking if he will be coming up with you on Christmas Eve? The best friend who got engaged on Thanksgiving and wants you to help plan the wedding…who is going to go to the Christmas tree lighting with you? Who is going to take you ice skating? Is the world conspiring against you? Hello?! You are ALONE. And it is Christmas. How Do I Handle My First Holiday Alone?
The truth is that no matter what it feels like and no matter what bad timing this is-you are not alone. Not really. You have family, and friends. You remember…the people that were in your life before he existed? It may not feel like much of a consolation, but it is more than some people have. There was a YOU before there was an US. Now is the perfect time to get your "you-ness" back. There is no easy answer and solution when you feel sad and empty during the holiday season. People are happy and filled with holiday cheer and you are not. Their happiness is everywhere, acting as a reminder for what you currently lack. There is no magic wand that you can wave that will make those feelings completely disappear. No matter what it is that you do, you will have your moments. That is tough to read, but it is the reality. However, there are some practical steps that can help you get through this difficult holiday season:
7 Steps to Beat Loneliness When You Are Single During The Holidays
1. Find the TRUE meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa-whatever it is that you celebrate. Once you dig deep and do a little research you will find that these holidays were created to celebrate things other than what society, commercialism, and capitalism have turned them into. Yes, you may already be aware of this information in the vague corners of your mind, but when was the last time that you delved into the story of Mary and Joseph for example? When was the last time you embodied the true spirit of the holidays?
Most of us get so caught up with the gift giving and activity portion that we lose sight of the "reason for the season." If you lose sight for the true reason for the season then you are not really celebrating it. It is very easy when "bad" and unfortunate things happen to us to lose our perspective. Rediscovering why the holidays exist tends to take you outside of yourself for a little bit, just long enough for you to change your perspective a little. Even a small shift counts, and will begin to make the difference that you need.
2. Be honest with yourself about your last relationship. Were all of your needs being met? Were you being treated how you desired? Were your values and beliefs honored? Did he share some of your most important values and beliefs? Did you do your life truly together or merely side by side? What are some of your deal breakers? Did your last partner dance along the line of those deal breakers yet you chose to ignore it due to history and time spent? Were you happy or were you just comfortable? Were you settling? Now that you have gained some perspective from step number one, take a look at your relationship in the most honest manner that you can. Make a list of the pro’s