Navigating the holidays – a single man’s guide

Ahhhh, the holidays…

 

Family, food and fun.

Or, is it actually a little more like…

Urrggghhh, the holidays…

Loved up couples everywhere, aaaand me. Single, lonely old me.

 

This might depend on how long you’ve been single and how ready for someone you are, but either way there’s little doubt the questions will come… “Met anyone special this year?” “How’s the dating world going?” “When are we going to see you bring someone to Christmas?”

Sometimes the relentless nature of it can be hard to bear, let alone work out how to handle.

Good, let’s do that.

Concerned young man at Christmas

 

Let’s assume by your reading of this article that you’d like some advice on how to get through this time. Good, let’s do that.

Getting through the Christmas holiday period as a single can often go one of two ways; a nice break from the dating world to enjoy time with family, or a consistent reminder of your singledom every time you see the love and affection shared between the couples around you (and the questions from family, obviously).

 

This is where we must start. Before any strategy on handling those repetitive questions, you have to be honest with yourself; “Do I care about being single over the holidays?”

Regardless of the answer here, ask yourself the follow up; “How will I deal with the eventual questions about my love life?”

Answer no to the first and you’ve made it a lot easier. Answer yes and we’ll cover some points shortly, but in both cases, unless you camp solo out in the wilderness (actually, that might be a good idea…) on Dec 25th, it’s inevitable you’ll have to answer on the subject of you and love…

The way I see it, there are three options:

  1. Get on the front foot before meeting everyone/travelling home and lay it out: “Just to save you the questions over Christmas, I’m single but dating. I’m happy with it at the moment, thanks. Now let’s enjoy the holiday together without obsessing over my love life.” Somewhat forward, but should take care of it, so you can enjoy yourself.
  2. Prior to the day, decide on your standard answer and deliver it with conviction every time. And a smile.
  3. Go in unplanned and see where fate leads you. Just make sure the sharp knives aren’t close by when the same question gets asked for the 20th time, followed by the same snide remark from the guaranteed comedian, aka Dad.

 

Now that’s out of the way you’ll have the precious energy to work on rectifying having to sleep in the only single bed left in the house.

 

Even though most usually spend the holidays with close family, therefore mostly rendering dating out of the equation, that doesn’t mean we can’t utilise the time to work on ourselves and become more dateable.

The company may differ for some of course; those of us who spend it with friends, for example. I even remember an ‘orphans’ Christmas where a mate left the celebrations for what can only be described as a festive booty call. But I digress.

Santa is Watching written on wooden background with Santa Hat

Become more dateable

The most important factor to finding a meaningful connection is to have one with yourself. So first ask yourself the question “Would I date myself?” if the answer is not a resounding “YES!” then you have work to do.

Even though we can expect to, and relish in, consuming more food and booze than we can realisitcally handle over this time, not all work on oneself has to be physical.

This is the perfect time to do some reflection on the year that is wrapping up. Assess how it went for you;

  • Was it a success?
  • What could I do better?
  • What do I want to accomplish next year?
  • Am I happy and content with my life or am I seeking someone to help with that?

I kind of led you into that last one, it’ll get ya…

It’s one of the ‘cut to the bone’ questions, as we can tend to look outwards for solutions without first doing the work on us. First be content in your own skin before you seek someone to partner with who can add to your happiness (not provide it), otherwise, we can get into a relationship with unfair expectations.

If you can uncover what it is that you truly love about you and want out of life, you can, therefore, nail what you want out of a partner.

All of this will help get a clearer picture of what you may need to do to improve and grow, or perhaps just as simple as where your potential partner could be waiting for you to come along.

For the brave reading this – utilise the people around you and ask them to tell you what they really think of you; strengths, work-on’s, quirks, etc. Getting feedback from the people who mean the most to you will provide invaluable information to help grow, become more dateable and ultimately, turn up to Christmas next year (and many after) with someone meaningful at your side.

 

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