Features

Singlehood in the Holiday Season

So here it is. You’ve just come out of a long-term relationship. Maybe you were having problems for a while, or maybe the breakup came completely out of the blue. Either way, you’re heartbroken, and even a little bit soul broken. To put it simply, you feel lost.

You know you’re ready to move on, but it’s all still very fresh and raw. You can’t help but think that life has suddenly taken a U-turn – driving you off of the mapped route, and now you’re hurtling into an unknown future with no navigational direction. You’re left to follow a road with no road signs, and it feels like you’re driving in the dark without headlights. You don’t know where you are, how you got here, or where you’re going. It’s overwhelming. Especially since all the other drivers seem to know where they’re going, turning off in different directions. 

Suddenly Halloween has come and gone, and November swings around the corner, giving the green light for supermarket adverts to convince you that the festive season has officially begun. They promote their vision of the picture-perfect cosy Christmas, wrapped up in a red ribbon bow. Before you know it, you find yourself driving through tinseltown, diving head-first into singlehood during the dreaded coupling season of the winter holidays, and you think to yourself – how on earth did I get here?

During this time of year, many singletons may seek the comfort of a short-term relationship to help them ease their way through those cold, dark winter months, becoming devoted participants of the ‘cuffing season’. Being newly single, even when you’re simply strolling through the city, you can’t help but spot countless couples snuggling into each other to keep warm like huddled penguins. 

Upon witnessing this sight, you suddenly get sucked into the Christmas-couple paradigm-nightmare. You’re faced with a downpour of holiday relationship fantasies: to be the couple that holds hands while ice skating, who dance in the snow, who cosy up by the fireplace in matching Christmas pyjamas sharing marshmallow-topped hot chocolates. 

However, if you’re not interested in rushing into your next new relationship, or you want to enjoy the independence of being single for a little bit longer, or you just haven’t had the opportunity to meet your next romantic interest yet, then what are you supposed to do?

The social pressure of being in a secure, committed relationship in time for the Christmas holidays can be intense, especially when your friends or siblings are bringing home their partners for a meet-the-family style Christmas, and you’re planning to be the only singleton at the dinner-table. 

Drawing our attention to this very phenomenon, recent Netflix films such as Holidate and Love Hard have been popularised for their criticism of the pressures singletons face to find a partner just in the ‘Saint Nick’ of time. Even these, though, provide us with the same love-triumphs-all ending told time and time again. The truth is, love doesn’t guarantee perfect timing. Being recently heartbroken, this is the truth us singletons know first-hand.

So, what should you do if you find yourself newly single during the Christmas holidays, but you’re not ready to pursue a relationship? Unless you love to revel in the romantic, perhaps stay away from any cheesy Christmas rom-coms this year, and if ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’, ‘Santa Baby’, or ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ comes on the radio, maybe just switch the channel. 

The most important thing to do is to not be afraid to happily celebrate this Christmas whether you’re with your family, friends, or by yourself. Why not take every opportunity that comes your way to celebrate the holiday in a way that’s special to you? Deck your halls with boughs of holly and go wild. I know I’m going to.


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07/12/2021

About Author

Lily Boag



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