10 Ways The Holidays Get You Down When You're Single

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Fa-La-La NO. 10 Ways The Holidays Suck When You're Single

The holidays tend to be a pretty polarizing time. You either love them or you hate them. For so many, there's the pressure of family get-togethers, big meals, and even bigger gifts. For others, it's a magical time with snowglobes and an extra reason to spend time with your favorite people.

I tend to swing between the two ends. One the one hand, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. We spend it with one of my best friends and her family, and no matter what we do we end up laughing until we cry; we also eat so much good food that stretchy pants are now a mandatory requirement.

On the other hand, the holidays throw into sharp focus the fact that I’m alone because I'm stick being single. Every year I try very hard not to let that overshadow all the good, but it's still always there. Here are 10 reasons the holidays are bitter when you're single.

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1. The shifts at work

Something happens all year long when you're single, but especially ramps up during the holidays: getting the shifts nobody wants.

Being single seems to automatically nominate me for getting the late night/holiday shifts that nobody wants. And while the intention may not be anything other than to spend time with their family, it sends the message that because I don’t have a partner waiting at home, my time is less valuable.

2. Holiday parties

Oh, the dreaded company holiday party where you’re expected to show up with a significant other. For me, this usually leaves two options.

Option one: I bring some dude I barely know, which leads to lots of awkward "how did you meet?" and "how long have you known each other?" questions. Option two: I go alone and endure the questions about how many children I have, who I’m dating, and watch the questioner’s face fall when I joke about my cat being my kid.

3. New Year’s Eve

I’ll be upfront about this: I hate New Year’s. I’ve never had a good one, mostly my own fault. I know New Year's Eve is a time for resolutions and a look back, but all it does for me is show me all the things I didn’t do, all the things that I should have accomplished by this age and haven’t.

It shows me how very much I’m not in a relationship. Again. Still. Also, the pressure to make fun New Year's Eve plans is near overwhelming.

4. New Year’s Eve kiss

Let’s say I do manage to make plans. Now there’s the dreaded New Year’s Eve kiss to worry about. Because, as history has proven, it leaves me standing alone, usually just this side of sad-drunk pretending that this new year will be the best! year! ever! while everyone around me swaps spit.

5. Family grilling you about your dating life

There is a look that loved ones have for the over (or nearing) 30-year-old single people in their life. Pity tinged with exasperation with a hint of “Still single? At this age?”

While I would love nothing more than to share my life (and the holiday season) with someone, yet another year rolls around where it’s not in the cards for me.

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6. Holiday first dates

Have you ever tried dating around the holidays? It sucks. All the merriment and focus on couples in love during the holiday season just adds an extra layer of pressure to first dates.

And for the newly dating, the "do we/don’t we" gift exchange dilemma seems like a no-win situation. Get a gift too early and you can seem over-eager; no gift and you’re Scrooge.

7. Mistletoe

Very little paints a sadder picture than single me standing under the mistletoe waiting for a kiss that won’t be coming. Or, a pity kiss from friends, which is why I avoid mistletoe like it’s poison ivy. You won’t find me lingering under that little berry.

8. Holiday cards

I’ve always struggled with sending cards out as a single person. On the one hand, I like it. I love stationary and I love sending out mail in general. On the other hand, no one wants to be that crazy, single lady signing her cards from her and Mr. Fluffers, the cat.

Either way, it’s bittersweet as cards roll in from family and friends and I see their coupledom and happiness plastered on the front of every card. Yet another reminder of a solo holiday season gone by.

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9. Sitting at the kids' table

No room at the adult table during all those family get togethers? No worries, we’ll just shove the single girl at the kids’ table. She won’t mind, right? It’s not like she has a significant other to sit next to anyway.

10. Christmas morning

Christmas morning has its own special feel and there's something very lonely about waking up to an empty bed. I spend Christmas Eve at my parents' house. In the morning, we all slowly wake up, and once everyone has made it downstairs and has had an appropriate amount of caffeine to ensure a pleasant mood, we start opening gifts.

I love our lazy mornings. But for those first few moments after I've woken up, I can't help but wish I was sharing that quiet, special Christmas morning stillness with someone.

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