November 21, 2014
Many women feel the intensity of their frustration about their single status at weddings, for me it’s during the winter holidays.
I am single going into this holiday season, and it can be a little depressing, although probably not for the reasons you might think. It doesn’t bother me to see all of the couples at the airport praying for patience and trying to keep their kids under control, the Facebook engagement and honeymoon-in-Paris posts, or the nervous woman who’s going to meet her boyfriend’s family for the first time.
What chokes me up, is as a single woman over a certain age, I don’t really have a place during the holidays. I’m not a college-age woman who’s going home for a brief stint with my family, while partying like crazy between family gatherings. And I haven’t yet reached the next phase of my life, which means a family of my own. It can feel awkward and disconnected to spend the holidays with a friend’s family, or to create an orphan holiday celebration, with people who either can’t or don’t want to be with their families for the holidays.
It didn’t always bother me, but I’ve hit a point in my life where spending the holidays the way I used to is starting to make me uncomfortable.
My truth is as cosmopolitan New York as I am, I still have mid-western sensibilities about family and the holidays. I’ve taken trips away from my family at Christmas time, and I hated it. I’ve never really been homesick, and I don’t see my family that often, but the one time that I want to be with them is during Thanksgiving and Christmas. But even when I’m with my family, I don’t quite belong there anymore, and I’ve been unsuccessful at bridging the gap between where I came from with the life I’ve been living for the past 10 years.
It’s strange to walk through your old life and see how people move on, while feeling like your life is in the same place. Old friends have gotten married and divorced, babies are growing up, parents are retiring and getting older, people have passed away, and there you are, still hoping that Santa/God/Universe/The Marry Godmother sends you the right man for Christmas.
Or maybe that’s just me.
If you struggle with your single status during the holidays, do yourself a favor and be honest about it, and give yourself permission to spend it however you like. The holiday season is a time for giving, and it feels great to help those less fortunate, but sometimes the person who needs your benevolence most is you.
So be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. And if you eat a little too much or knock back a few too many spiked Egg Nogs to cope, forgive yourself.
How do you spend the holidays when you’re single? Do you enjoy it? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.