There’s always a funny contrast that goes on inside the head of singles at Christmas.
There’s the outwardly fabulous, social butterfly us – the ones who rock up to a party swathed in sequins and confidence, swigging Champagne and outwardly praising our blessed freedom to any and all who will listen – especially to the ones who have kids and are stressing about Santa lists and carrots for the reindeer.
But there’s the other part of us that, no matter how many scallop canapes we shovel down or festive-themed cocktails we swallow, will be (either figuratively or metaphorically) sitting at home alone on the couch a la Bridget Jones, feeling the brunt of the holiday’s deft ability to make us feel like failures and the uncomfortable pangs of envy, jealousy and sadness.
And that’s before you get to the day itself, where every single relative you have will make some kind of remark along the lines of:
“So, haven’t found Mr Right yet then?”
“Tick, tick, tick!”
“You remember Mrs Scott from down the road? Well, she has a son and he’s a bit of a rough diamond but…”
“Ah, don’t worry about it. You career women don’t seem to need it!”
(And yes, those are real-life quotes, thanks for asking)
But, it doesn’t have to be like this, and this year I’m on a determined mission to fully enjoy my singleness – Single All The Way, if you like.
How to be happy and single at Christmas?
1. Be thankful you don’t have to navigate tricky family travel arrangements. Stuff being stuck on State Highway 1 for the bulk of your day when you could be chowing down on ham and pav.
2. Recognise that it’s a blimmin’ tough time of year – emotions are high for everyone, no matter their circumstance, especially this year. It’s normal to feel stuff a little more keenly – acknowledge that, and move on.
3. Remember that while everyone’s relationships may look happy and glorious, odds are, they aren’t. Don’t glorify them just because it’s something you might not have right now. Want to prove it? Get out the Monopoly, and be prepared to take cover.
4. Use the money you’d otherwise have to spend on a partner on yourself. You do you, boo.
5. Be grateful for what you have – friends, a career, family, your independence, your confidence, your sense of self. A wardrobe you don’t have to share. And, the glorious fact that you’re reading this story from the relative safety of Aotearoa in a year where many others don’t have what we have.
Here, we run through the scenarios all singles will get when they go home for Christmas, plus how to deal with them without losing your cool
THEY SAY: “Still haven’t found The One, then? (Said with pity and a side of smugness)“
Funny: “Oh, I’m dating plenty – there’s just so many, I couldn’t invite them all for Christmas now, could I?”
Serious: “Nope – and luckily for me, my life is so full at the moment, it’s not really a priority. More turkey?”
THEY SAY: “Time’s a ticking, you know? (While pointing to what they think is your womb but is actually your liver)“
Funny: “Oh, I know. My eggs are just pretty picky, and the whole ‘trying’ part is too fun to stop now.”
Serious: “You know, that’s a really personal issue, and a lot of women really struggle with that – and actually, not every woman wants a kid. Maybe you should rethink asking about it?”
THEY SAY: “Oh, but all of your friends have had babies! And I’ve just heard that [insert old high school friend here] is getting married!“
Funny: “I KNOW – those poor things. Should I send a condolence card?”
Serious: “That’s so lovely for them! I’m really excited about my [insert holiday, promotion or other accomplishment here]”.