Lonely for Christmas: Two Views on Spending the Holidays Alone

Whether you’ve been single for years, or are just beginning the process of dealing with a breakup, the holidays can be a hard time for anyone flying solo. I’m here to offer you a couple of different viewpoints regarding what exactly can get you down and how to overcome it.

Question 1: What’s the worst part about not having a significant other during the holidays?

Scarlett: Bringing someone with me to my family gatherings is kind of like having a security blanket. I always have someone to sit with, talk to and come back to during the dinner or event. Normally I wouldn’t mind not having anyone to tag along to my family gatherings, but this year is going to be strange. I’ve just graduated college, so I’m at the age which involves a lot of my cousins and younger family members either having significant others, or being married. It’s weird showing up to things by myself. It makes me feel a little “out of the loop”.

Patrick: The worst part for me, I would say, is not being able to share the holiday traditions and those little memorable moments with someone. Having someone to take to Christmas dinner with the family has always had a strange appeal to me. Not to mention being solo on foggy evening walks in a snow covered park is a definite downer.  And you can’t forget always having to explain to Uncle Dave why you’re single.

Question 2: How many holiday seasons have you flown solo? How do you think this has shaped you as a person?

Scarlett: I am rarely without a significant other during the holidays. I don’t necessarily plan it that way, it just ends up happening. In saying that, I honestly think its hurt me as a person. Thinking that I have to have someone with me at a party or family gathering is a little ridiculous. I should be at ease around my family and friends, not clinging to my significant other. I think if I hadn’t had someone during the holidays, I might be a more outgoing person at these types of events.

Patrick: I’ve flown solo for what is about to be 24 holiday seasons. I think as far as shaping me, it has given me plenty of years in experience knowing what it’s like to show up alone to parties, events, dinners, etc. If anybody knows the struggle of a single Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it’s me.

Question 3: Do you have any advice for anyone that might be struggling during the holidays? How do you plan to have a great Christmas/New Year/Other Holiday?

Scarlett: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Don’t think for one second that you’re the only one out there that’s going through this “problem”. Embrace your singleness and take it as a chance to catch up with family members and friends that you haven’t seen in a while. You never know, maybe you’ll learn something useful that you never would’ve if you had a crutch tagging along. I plan to have an amazing holiday season by not letting the “alone” feeling get me down. TV commercials, advertisements, social media and other outlets will bombard us all with images of cute couples and happy families. It’s hard to cope with the thought that you won’t get that this year. I plan to keep in mind that I’m only in my early twenties and still have time for that in my life. If not this year, then sometime in the future. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Make the most of what you have (family, great friends, warm place to sleep at night, etc.) because some don’t even have that to be thankful for.

Patrick: Enjoy the time you get to spend with your friends. This may sound cheesy, but the older you get, the more you and your friends grow apart. Embrace and appreciate your friends during the season. It may suck seeing Frank and Stephanie cuddled up at the annual New Year’s Eve party, but you got it. You can do it. You have to realize that this is a time in your life where you are meant to be single. Take advantage of it. Go all out and enjoy the life you were blessed with. And as you can expect, hanging with my best friends is exactly how I plan to have a great Christmas/New Year’s Eve. There is always mistletoe and midnight to look forward to!

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