Having a love life dissected over appetizers can make anyone question their single status. Dominique Howard advocates for the singles this holiday season.
Together, you and I will let go of the long held misconception that it’s tough to be single during the holidays. I strike this old notion as completely debunked. The holidays are the best time to be single. Yes. Read that sh*t again because it happened.
One reason the misconception of the sad holiday single has prevailed is that during the holidays there is no shortage of people with their head cocked to the side (bottom lip pouting with a crinkled forehead using a half-creepy/half baby voice) saying, “Must be tough to be single during the holidays, huh? I don’t know how you single people do it being single during the holidays. I would be DEVASTATED if I was single during the holidays. I would kill myself.”
I have been bombarded with varieties of this statement for the past 10 years.
How I feel is a decision. My relationship status is not my defining factor, nor in the top hundred thousands of my defining factors. My love of red onions and my meditation practice are more defining to who I am than whether or not I am in a relationship. My single life is liberating and introspective but I am always open to what the Universe brings, be that romance or friendship (better yet both). If my relationship with myself is not loving, accepting and secure, the likelihood of me entering into a healthy, romantic partnership is slim.
How I feel originates from my spirit. My spirit is aware of whether I am in a good place with my mind and body. This may or may not coincide with whether I am in a relationship. I am currently mentally and physically in the best place I have ever been in my life and at night my feet are kept warm by my socks…not another pair of feet.
During the holiday season I am grateful for my family, comprised of all the positive relationships in my life. During the holidays instead of focusing on my lack of romantic partner, I use the time to strengthen my current relationships. Quality holiday time is not a strict adherence to nuclear family structure. My family is made up of workmates, school friends, dudes who sell fake bags on my corner and my blood relatives. As a singleton I get to experience an array of blessings from my family who may or may not sit at my dinner table.
The holidays are an amazing time to get social. More and more people are bringing the festivities out of their homes and into the streets, at restaurants for casual holiday meals, spending the holidays traveling or taking part in activities that support the community.
The holidays are a great time to volunteer. Increasing the sense of community within myself always puts me in a great holiday spirit. It gives the opportunity to meet likeminded people with whom I share a genuine interest. I’ve recently taken up indoor rock climbing (by myself) and I hope to spend time meeting people within that community to share a few laughs…and sore shoulders.
It’s hard for me to imagine not being single at the office holiday party. I am so into office holiday parties. I often crash my friend’s functions because there are shapes to be thrown on the dance floor and new people to meet. The office holiday party is a chance for you to relax and congratulate yourself on a year well done. As a singleton your good time does not have to include a romantic connection. I love using my holiday party as a time to get to know the faces on the other end of office emails and phone calls. Belting a Whitney Houston 80s tune out of key is always a great way to bond with any co-workers I have beef with over leaving the communal milk out of the refrigerator. Holiday parties don’t have to be fueled by copious amounts of alcohol or random connections. Take the time to relax and have the laugh you deserve.
I love the freedom I enjoy over the holiday period to participate in activities of my own accord. When I don’t feel obligated to attend a particular event I feel my stress level lower, and I enjoy myself to a fuller degree. I’ve spent Thanksgiving’s frying a turkey in Venice Beach by myself, with a microwave meal in London and in a karaoke bar in New York. There are no rules. As a singleton I might decide to travel to a sunny beach with a fruit juice in my hand and a book under my arm. Anything is possible.
Never underestimate the power of strengthening the relationship you have with yourself.The journey inward is always one of adventure. Often the holidays are filled with indulgent amounts of food, alcohol, energetic kids and sports. Quiet time can be key to staying grounded. I dedicate time to my yoga and meditation practice energetically during the holiday season. Time focused on my breath and general health always helps me to realize being single is my relationship status, it is not who I am.
If ever there are moments when I am feeling less than stellar and in the need for more intimacy in my life, I take the opportunity to remember all the things for which I am grateful. I am fortunate on so many levels and I will trust the timing of my life to bring me good things… in due time.
by Dominique Howard
This article originally appeared on Meet Mindful. Reprinted with permission.
Dominique Howard is a lover of all things (naps and laughing rank very highly). She believes the power of kindness is underrated. Feel free to say hello to her at [email protected] When you love and accept yourself – the possibilities are infinite.
Photo credit: Sheila Sund/flickr