While it may not always feel like it, it’s entirely possible to survive being single during the holidays. The holiday season is a delightful mixture of high pressure. You have to stress about things like spending money and visiting relatives, but even more annoying? The pressure to be in love. Every single media outlet inundates us with perfect holiday themed love stories, which will almost immediately be followed up by our favorite holiday: Valentine’s Day. Social media is the biggest culprit for this feeling of FOMO, because it’s hard not to feel left out when scrolling through lovey-dovey pictures of the gifts someone’s significant other bough them.
So, yes, winter looks bleak for us singletons. We’ll just be over here waiting for some sunshine and the corniness of holiday love to be over. But you know what? I’m not mad.
I’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t have my bouts of loneliness, but you know what? If you’re single during the holidays, there’s very little you can do to change that in this immediate moment, anyway. Even if you do find someone, it’s going to be hard to wrestle a serious relationship out of a two week fling. You may as well make the most of it, right?
I’m not here for any trite advice about *~loving yourself~* because you’re a great person with a lot to offer someone and anyone would be lucky to have you. No. (I mean, yes, but…) F-ck that. Those are two separate issues. You can be plenty confident and full of self worth, and still get bummed about being uncoupled. That’s fine! It’s all about managing your self care around that, getting some coping mechanisms in place, and being armed and ready when you’re staring down a big trigger. I get by with my single-ness most days, but the holidays just bring out a whole new flavor of loneliness and dread.
It is entirely possible to survive the holidays without someone holding your hand when it’s cold. The holidays come by once a year and you can spend it wallowing, or you can live your life. Here are 14 things all single girls must do to survive the holiday season.
1) Decide how you’ll answer the ever dreaded, “So are you seeing anyone special?” question.
Forgive your batty old relative for triggering you, they’re just concerned about your happiness (and probably don’t know what else to talk about). So, my best suggestions are to plan a witty comeback (“Oh my god, I forgot to find a BOYFRIEND! THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME!”), flip the script (“I’m actually not seeing anyone right now, but this year I [insert positive 2015 win]”), or just be honest (“I’ve dated a few people, but nothing serious.”) Totally your call, but it’s good to have backups, alternates, and a plan in place in case you get side swiped by some side eye and judgement.
2) Buy yourself something nice.
The best part about being single is all of this money I earned in my checking account being spent on me, and me alone
along with some miscellaneous bills and rent and student loans siphoning my soul out through my teeth. As someone who comparatively does not make as much money as her peers, it’s hard to justify spending money on myself. But, if coupled up, there’d be no question about spending money on your boo this season, right? You’ve kept up with you for a whole year. It’s high time that you treat yourself to something nice. Buy something typically out of your price range, something almost impractical except for the fact that it brings you unbridled joy.
3) Brag about yourself!
Being single during the holidays sucks because as an end of year check in, society puts a lot of weight on romantic achievements like they’re the only milestones worth noting. When someone dares ask WHY you’re single, I want you to casually rack off a prepared list of your 2015 accomplishments like it’s nothing and say nothing else. I’m not saying be cocky, but there’s no harm in telling the truth about how badass you truly are. Don’t downplay your awesomeness, now is not the time.
4) Go on a couple-y adventure with a ride or die bestie.
Social media, I hate you for wanting a boyfriend if only for the adorable Christmas themed selfies. Take a friend who won’t judge you to go ice skating. Let her pick you up off the ice when you fall on your ass. If you’re waiting for a boyfriend to have that photo-op with, go to that place you’ve been meaning to go, or learn that new skill you want to learn – it will never, ever happen. Suck it up and take a friend. There’s nothing sad about that. You will feel ten times better after.
5) Plan a group hang.
If you seriously can’t get your brain off being single and sad, I want you take all of that energy and think of something that makes you happy. Could be an activity, a place, a food, whatever. Then, I want you to blast a big group of your friends to arrange a massive group hang doing that thing that makes you happy. Who cares if a crew of 30 rolls into a Starbucks and orders all of the peppermint mochas? If that’s what makes you happy, that’s what makes you happy, and you deserve all the happiness in the world this holiday season. Haters to the left, y’all.
6) Make a new tradition and hit the redo button.
I see all of you post-break up babes and I know Christmas can be especially rough for you. Here’s where you start to replace old traditions you had with your ex with new traditions you have with some close friends or relatives. If he was the only person who could put the star on your tree, congratulations, now it’s your friend Steve’s job. Thanks, Steve. Redo! My mission this season is to find someone to watch It’s A Wonderful Life with who won’t make me feel awful and ruin that movie for me.
7) Cross an item off your bucket list.
So what if it’s cheesy or small, it still counts. The year is ending soon, so if you wanted to get something done, do it now. Take your mind off the mistletoe by doing something that excites you and feeling that rush of accomplishment.
8) Break up with something.
Pick something toxic and leave it behind you in 2015. Bye bye, diet soda. Take stock of what’s weighing you down and get rid of some excessive junk. It’s going to free up so much more space in your life for better things. It’ll feel nice, I promise.
9) Go on a ‘why not’ date.
Say yes to that person you never considered before. I mean it. Unless you can’t stand to be in the same room as them, hang out with this person for an hour and see if you can’t come up with something nice to say. You don’t even have to like the person at the end of the date, but really… why not? What do you have to lose? Dating is weird and sometimes going on a date just communicates to the universe that you’re ready to be dating, in general.
10) Get some seriously sexy undies. Just for you.
Who says sexy has to be for an audience? Is buying clothes that make you feel sexy suddenly okay once there’s a person you’re dressing for? Nah… get yourself a little reminder that you’re perfectly sexy on your own, that underwear is awesome, and you deserve nice things.
11) If you have no one to kiss at midnight, eat pickled herring.
That’s what I did last year! Hold some money when you do it – it’s supposed to give you good luck with money in the new year.
12) Enjoy only doing you.
Soak it in when your cousin looks stressed about her significant other having a good time at your family gathering. Get yourself a second piece of pie and high five a Christmas angel because you only have to answer for yourself, worry about yourself, and are responsible for your happiness only, not someone else’s.
13) Feel what you’re feeling!
Want to know what makes the sad and lonely feelings grow? Pretending they’re not there! Feel everything that you’re feeling. Let that wave of suck wash over you and have a nice cry if you’re feeling particularly awful. Then, like a wave, let it roll on back. Don’t hang on to it and wallow, don’t pretend it’s not there, just let it happen and then move on.
When all else fails, this will always make you feel good. YOLO.
Which of these tips did you find the most helpful? What are your plans for dealing with being single this holiday season? Let us know in the comments.
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.