Can you believe it's already that time of year again?
As much as we might enjoy a break from work, spending time with family, or filling ourselves with festive snacks, the holidays often bring a special kind of misery to single folks. From the forced displays of merriment to the awkward questions from well-meaning family members, sometimes it seems like the holidays were invented just to make us feel like we are lacking something essential.
Here's our Holiday Survival Guide to help you navigate these darkest days of the year.
The temptation to cocoon is real. But sooner or later you're going to run out of episodes of Black Mirror, and besides: who needs dystopian sci-fi when you could watch your friends and family wear weird sweaters and sing the same verse of “The Little Drummer Boy” over and over again?
Preparation for the holidays begins with self-care. Spend some time giving yourself whatever you need to feel comfortable, confident, and centered.
Know that there is nothing "wrong" with you for being single, and that anyone who tries to make you feel like there is is just projecting their anxiety onto you.
"Who needs dystopian sci-fi when there are holiday sweaters?" [Tweet this]
You might think that you are alone in your holiday malaise, but this time of year is difficult for a lot of people. Many of us are feeling a heightened sense of vulnerability—which actually creates a great opportunity to make new connections.
Reframing dating as an opportunity to try something new, rather than a chore, helps take the pressure off of things. Instead of thinking, “I’m frustrated by the process of meeting people,” try shifting your perspective: “I like meeting new people and I like adventures. I’m going to go on adventures with new people!”
If you do New Year’s resolutions, resolve to let go of your dealbreakers. Give yourself a chance to be pleasantly surprised by something—or someone—out of the ordinary.
Accept invitations from people outside your usual social circle. Or get online with the intention to meet in real life. Be active. Reach out and compose that first message. Trust that there are others out there doing the same thing, and eventually you’ll intersect with someone who hates the holidays as much as you do. :)
4. MAKE YOUR “DATES” INTO ADVENTURES
Everyone schedules first meetings as coffee or drinks. But these meetings are like job interviews and a tough way to make a good first impression.
One member told us that her first date with someone she met on Siren was an origami challenge, because the guy had responded to the question “What is your most unique talent or skill?” with “folding tiny paper cranes.” His answer made her laugh, and they ended up getting to know each other over paper folding.
Origami cranes make great holiday gifts, as do homemade cookies, hand-knit caps, or handmade ornaments. Devise a fun project for yourself and invite someone to do it with you.
Even holiday shopping can be an adventure. Head to the grocery store and find the ingredients to make eggnog. Help pick out gifts for a stranger’s co-workers.
Go for a walk and grab a copy of the newspaper. Pick an event that you might never otherwise go to, and head to it together.
Remember that the person you are looking for is someone you want to have fun with. Make dating about staging little adventures, not heading out for yet another awkward cup of coffee.
That way, at the very least, when your nosy aunt asks, “Are you still single?” you can honestly respond, “Yes, and I’m having a blast!”