Updated: Dec 11, 2018
I often hear people say to me prior to Christmas:‘Oh, I’m not looking forward to going back home and having to explain yet again I have no partner...’ or ‘I’m fed up going to friends’ Christmas parties alone, they’re all in relationships’ or ‘I’m spending my Christmas away from home because I can’t stand the judgment I get from my family about being single’. Okay, so most of us have probably been able to relate to at least one of those sentiments at some point in our lives, right? It sucks being single at Christmas… or does it?
For many years, I dreaded going back home to Finland when I had no partner, because of the non-spoken (or sometimes very vocal) judgmental questioning about why I hadn’t come home with a partner. This affected me to the extent that I started making plans either here in London, with friends/fellow singles who stayed in London or travelled to warmer climates to avoid the awkward situations and pressure I might have to face when going back home. Now, neither of those choices are bad choices at all, unless the intention behind it is fear. For me, it was the fear of being judged for not having a partner that kept me away from spending Christmas at home, with my family.
Over the past few years, I’ve come to terms with this fear, and although I have had some partners since the fear started diminishing, I haven’t felt the need to take them home with me, just so that I could show off that I wasn’t alone. Being by yourself can be a blessing, if you make it so. Being in a relationship can be a blessing, if you make it so. However neither options are good if you, a) constantly worry and feel like a failure when you are single or, b) constantly have to pretend things are ok in a relationship when all you really want to do is get out of it.
Ultimately what is the most important thing to remember? If you want to have an enjoyable Christmas, summer, Easter – or whatever the holiday - is that you are confident, comfortable, happy, content and at peace with yourself about the choices you’ve made. Once you are, no amount of questions can make you feel like you’ve made the wrong decisions despite what other people tell you.
But how do you get to that place? How do you overcome those deeply ingrained expectations that you have been brought up with? My coaching emphasises on connecting with your own truth and building confidence, which can be an incredibly helpful tool to start that process.
But for now, here are 3 top tips you can do if you find yourself in these awkward situations over the festive season:
Tell everyone you’re concentrating on your own life and career and dating is not a priority
Tell everyone you’re dating, no one special has turned up yet and subtly change the topic
Book Christmas away somewhere exotic and inspiring with plenty of time for yourself as well as opportunity to meet new people!
Happy festive season to all and remember to drink sensibly, eat indulgently yet well, be generous, show love, compassion and kindness to others, and most importantly to yourself.