I’m single for the holidays and I don’t look forward to it. It’s been my choice to be single for a little over a year now so I’m used to being single and I’m actually pretty comfortable with it. But the holidays are always a little more difficult. People ask innocent questions like if I’m bringing a +1 and how many seats they need to make for reservations for, etc. I know they’re innocent questions but it’s still a little awkward when I have to tell people my relationship status. And then there are the judgmental questions I get like “oh, weren’t you single last year, too?” and “She’s used to it. She didn’t bring anyone to the last company party, either”. Any advice for folks like me who are comfortably single on how to handle these kinds of questions and comments?
Thanks for writing in with such a great question. A LOT of singles feel the way that you do. There are even memes out there on Instagram to prove it! I am glad to know that you don’t actually feel bad about being single. The more comfortable you are with your relationship status the more comfortable other people will be with it. Still, I realize that some may say things that sound very judgmental, and that can be hard. Don’t take it personally. It says more about them than you.
Just respond in whatever way feels most natural to you. Don’t feel like you have to defend yourself or worry if it sounds like you are responding in a defensive way. There is nothing wrong with you and nothing to be ashamed about. Don’t compare yourself to others who are in a relationship. Remember, being in a relationship doesn’t equal happiness and being single doesn’t mean misery. Focus on your own happiness, and you won’t be single for long!
Yeah, even when you’re comfortably single the Holidays can still sting a little bit – especially when you’re seeing everybody snuggling and getting cozy with their partners at holiday parties, movies, etc. Good for you for being comfortable with being single. That’s the first step. And it shows that you’ve done the work within yourself to create a solid self-identity outside of your relationship status. If you’re still feeling a sting it shows that you have a little more work to do getting comfortable with it. For example, maybe it shows you still care a little too much about what others think. Maybe it shows that you’re still not entirely comfortable with being single. Maybe it shows that, even though you’re comfortably single, you’d still like to be attached. Maybe there’s something unique about the holidays. The possibilities are endless.
Do some soul searching and ask yourself why it’s suddenly a bother for you. It has to be coming from somewhere. And remember it doesn’t mean that the part it’s coming from is broken. Feel free to own that you want to be in a relationship during the holidays (if that’s what you find out it boils down to) and that’s okay. That doesn’t mean you have to fix it or that you have to get into a relationship. There’s a power in getting to know yourself better and you don’t always have to fix what you find out about you.
About Rachel: Rachel Russo is a Dating, Relationship, & Image Coach who works with marriage-minded singles and couples in NYC and throughout the US. Checkout her website at RachelRusso.com
About Aaron: Aaron Anderson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado and writer for various websites about marriage and relationships