If any of you caught newlywed Kelly Clarkson’s fairly recent interview in Parade magazine, you probably couldn’t help but hone in on the part where she said this: “I was single for almost seven years…Every Holiday Season, it was like, ‘Seriously, I’m still pathetically alone? Awesome. I’m still telling people I’m okay with it? I’m not.’”
Now, let me say this. As someone who does premarital counseling and marriage counseling, I’ll be the first one to tell you that just because you’re in a relationship, that doesn’t automatically mean that you won’t feel lonely. Many people share a bed with someone every night who still feel “pathetically alone”.
But if you happen to be a single person in the Big City this holiday season and nothing in you is looking forward to it, I wanted to first tell you that it’s totally understandable that you would feel that way. After all, festivities are definitely something that’s meant to be shared. But I also want to tell you that there are still some really great things about being single over the holiday season too. If you don’t believe me, I’ve provided a list of reasons why you can enjoy your single status even during the holidays!
You can do something you’ve never done.
In just about every city, natives are known for never going to the sites that tourists do. New York City is certainly no different. Being that there really is no other place in the country that is quite as magical as the Big Apple during holiday time, don’t miss it by sitting on your couch. Get out and go ice skating at Rockefeller Center Plaza or check out Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular. Go with a couple of friends and take plenty of pictures. One day, when you’re shopping for your partner’s presents or putting toys together for your kids in the middle of the night, you’ll look back on these times when you could hang out all night if you wanted to—and smile.
You can buy yourself presents
Did you know that there are actual statistics to support the fact that some people will end relationships right before the holiday season just so that they can avoid purchasing presents? It sounds shallow (and it is) but it’s still a reality. So, rather than spending a lot of time wishing that you had a gift from your significant other waiting under the tree, take yourself shopping. Get those boots you’ve been eyeing or purchase a new cell phone. Just try and avoid places like Macy’s on the weekend. Look for specialty stores like Ina or the Hat Shop is Soho instead.
You can be spontaneous
One thing that even the happiest married couples will tell you they miss about their single life is that it was a time when they could be far more spontaneous. Whether you decide to take a train to DC or you wake up and want to go skiing at the Windham Mountain Ski Resort, really, what is there to stop you? Being single means doing what makes you happy most of all.
You can meet new people
One of the absolute best things about being single over the holidays is that there are all kinds of office, house and dinner parties that you can go to and usually there will be other single people there that you don’t know. For this reason alone, don’t look at this as a time when you’re not with that “special someone”, embrace it instead as an opportunity to meet someone new.
You can make “single” the thing to be
Something that people tend to miss about the word single is that it not only means that you aren’t in a relationship. Single is also defined as being unique, whole and distinctive. A lot of people are uncomfortable being single over the holidays simply because so many other single people are. Be a trendsetter by showing them that single is not something to feel bad about this year. It’s something to celebrate because when you focus on being your whole, unique and distinctive self, that is the best gift of all!
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To Greater Intimacy,
Rachel Moheban-Wachtel, LCSW
Isn’t it interesting how even when you and your partner speak the same language, you don’t always understand what he/she is saying?
Let me explain by way of example…
Wife: I really wish you would come home earlier from work.
She means: I feel lonely and neglected and I would love for us to spend more time together.
He hears: I don’t trust you / You’re disappointing me / She’s trying to control me!
The resulting feelings: Hurt, defensiveness, guilt, negativity
This is just one example of how a simple conversation can turn into an area of conflict – particularly if it involves a sensitive subject!
So how can couples ensure that what they say is interpreted in the way that they mean it?
The first step is to identify the common communication mistakes so that we can then try to fix them.
Here is Communication Mistake #1 -
Negativity and Escalation
The most common communication mistake couples often make involves negativity and escalation. This occurs when partners respond to one another negatively, with each response getting worse and worse until finally one person oversteps the boundaries and makes a hurtful statement.
Relationship Advice: If you’re in a healthy relationship you most likely know intimate details about one another. This includes information that could be hurtful should you use it in a condescending way. When you find yourself in an argument with your partner, recognize your feelings and notice when you feel yourself getting so heated you may bring up a sensitive topic. In other words, step back from the situation before making hurtful statements that could escalate a simple topic into an outright war.
Stay tuned for more communication mistakes and how to avoid them…
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