All I Want for Christmas is a Relationship

All I Want for Christmas is a Relationship

Oh, the holidays.  It’s that time of year when cards featuring children on Santa’s lap flood your mailbox and social media feeds, everyone is expected to be cheerful, and togetherness is the theme of the season.  Only, if you’re single and all you want for Christmas is a partner, this can make you cringe.  For some reason, the holidays, a time of love and connection, can make you feel not just alone, but lonely.  Fret not, if you’re being asked you why you’re still single, sleeping on the couch because you’re the only single sibling home for the holidays, or your mother is trying to set you up with a man wearing a reindeer sweater over a turkey curry buffet, there are ways to cope with your singlehood.

Take Notes from Bridget, just Bridget 

Bridget is the single gal who was cut from her family’s holiday cards because she was the only unwed sibling.  In possible retaliation, she designed her own cards, which have swept through the media.  So, if you find yourself single this holiday season, take Bridget’s underlying advice, and make light of it.  Yeah, being single is sometimes dreadful, but it isn’t horrible all the time.  While it isn’t always easy to laugh it off as you watch your friends, siblings, and cousins couple up, try to tell yourself that your day will come.  You will find someone who appreciates you and your qualities, even if you are a “verbally incontinent spinster who drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney, and dresses like her mother.”  Even with these qualities, Mark Darcy fell hard for his Bridget, just the way she was.

Create your own Cheer

If your merriment is fulfilled externally, find a way to fill up your own.  If you aren’t feeling the joy, make a list of things you can do for yourself.  Maybe you are your own Santa and buy yourself a gift you have been wanting.  Maybe you skip out on spending the day with your family and do something you really enjoying like skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing.  Instead of sulking as your sister opens the gift from her husband, change your attitude by doing something nice for yourself.

Add a Little Twinkle Your Home and Your Day 

Remember, you are the only one who can make yourself happy, so if you aren’t feeling merry and bright, do something fun.  Decorate your house, accept an invitation to a party or plan your own, bake cookies for your neighbors, or be spontaneous and create your own holiday tradition like dressing your dogs up in costumes and watching Christmas classics.  Doing something new and different around the holidays will add a little extra excitement to the season, and it’s hard to be a Grinch and steal Christmas cheer from others when you’re having fun.

Connect with your Wise (Wo)Men 

Chances are, you know at least one other single person who knows what you’re going through.  When you’re feeling that green-eyed monster creeping in because you’ve compared yourself to an old high school friend who is married for the second time and you’re still single, lean on friends and family who will support you.  It’s okay to admit that you’re upset about not being happily paired offed and it’s normal to feel a little jealously, but if it’s consuming you, it’s time to log off Facebook and talk to someone about your feelings.

Remember, the most wonderful time of the year shouldn’t make you feel like a spinster or crazy cat person, but if that’s how you’re feeling, it’s time to change your attitude and make light of the situation.  Do something nice for yourself to add a little holiday cheer to your day.  If you find yourself sitting alone moping, call a friend and go for coffee or hit the skating rink.  Who knows, you might just create your own tradition that makes this time of year feel a little more bearable.

Lori Dougherty is a Marriage and Family Counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. As a marriage and family counselor, she helps couples navigate the many difficulties that arise in their relationship. She also helps couples rebuild happiness together so they can have the fulfilling relationship with their partner they’ve always wanted.

 

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