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If the festive season is leaving you feeling less ‘Love, Actually’ and more ‘BAH, HUMBUG’, I’m here to tell you that you certainly ain’t alone.
In the last few days I’ve had a surprisingly high number of women sliding in to my DM’s to tell me how anxious and, quite frankly, how SHIT they’re feeling about the impending holiday season, and if I have any tips to help them survive it (without strangling someone with the nearest piece of tinsel).
Amidst the mirth and merriment, the reality is that this time of year brings up a whole lot of comparison and sadness for many of us.
Maybe it reminds us of the people we’ve lost who we won’t get to celebrate with.
Maybe it leaves us feeling a bit crap about how little we feel we’ve achieved this year.
Or, maybe it triggers us to feel more lonely than usual, as we silently seethe at the endless pictures of happy couples snuggling up in front of a cosy fire whilst supping on eggnog, mince pies and piggies-in-blankets (post-coitus, obviously… oh, just FUCK OFF, you smug bastards).
According to a survey conducted by dating site E-Harmony, 47% of singletons cited loneliness as the reason they dreaded Christmas.
(I’d hasten to add that it’s probably also the anticipation of being asked by well-meaning aunts and uncles why you “haven’t found anyone special yet?” as you reach for your third helping of roasties).
One of the mistakes lots of us make in the weeks leading up to Christmas and NYE is focusing all our attention on how happy other people seem to be – especially those in relationships.
We think that because we don’t have a guaranteed snog under the mistletoe that our experience of the festivities is somehow lacking.
If what I’ve shared so far has resonated with where you currently find yourself, then the following tips will definitely support you in having the most holly, jolly Christmas-season yet.
(Because you fucking deserve it, dear one).
Here we go:
1) DON’T FORFEIT THE FESTIVE ROMANCE JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE SINGLE
Who said only couples get to enjoy the fuzzy-feeling you get from spending time with your sweetheart during the most wonderful time of the year?
I’m a firm believer that intimacy and romance is available to all of us all of the time, no matter what your relationship status may be.
The secret is to invest as much time and energy generating romance in your platonic relationships as you would in your sexual ones:
Go for a romantic candlelit-Christmas dinner with one (or a group) of your girlfriends.
Invite a buddy over to drink mulled-wine and watch ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’
Head to a German-market or spend an afternoon admiring the gorgeous festive window displays in your nearest city or town with someone you love (even if that’s ‘just’ you – still very much counts).
The more you endeavour to generate that feeling of romance from within yourself (rather than expecting/ hoping a tall, dark handsome stranger will bring it to you), the more likely it is you’ll attract an external experience of romance, too.
This is because we attract more of what we’re already feeling - so stop focusing on what you think you’re lacking, and start enjoying what you already have.
2) GET YOURSELF A FESTIVE WINGMAN/ WOMAN
When I spent my one and only Christmas season single a few years ago, I found it overwhelmingly helpful to have a wing-woman by my side – especially seeing as we were celebrating NYE in the Cotswolds with eight couples.
In the run up to midnight I started to feel really teary and anxious as, having always had someone to kiss when the ball dropped, I felt a huge amount of FOMO that this year would be different.
My fellow singleton Lucy spotted me trying to swallow down my sadness between sips of Sauvignon, took me to one side and gave me a firm but loving talking to.
She reminded me that we were both surrounded by tons of friends who loved us – and who (thankfully) were not overly-coupley couples (in fact, they were more likely to be snogging the both of us than their actual partners when the clock struck twelve).
Her humour and kindness reminded me that NYE is literally one night of the year, and if you put the romantic element aside you’ll likely find you have a lot to be grateful for and enjoy about the night, regardless of whether or not you end up locking lips with someone.
3) GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE LESS THAN YOU DO
In the run up to Christmas a few years ago, I spent several evenings volunteering at a homeless shelter in London, where a group of people put their heart and soul in to creating a lovely festive meal and atmosphere for the many Londoners who have no choice but to spend their Christmas on the streets.
It was one of the most life-affirming things I’ve ever done at this time of year, and I only wish I’d done it sooner.
I met so many wonderful people, and it made me realize just how much I already had that I wasn’t fully appreciating or allowing myself to enjoy.
Mark Twain once wrote:
“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
I think too much of the time we take that to mean a partner in a romantic sense, but what if we shifted our mindset to include all of our fellow humans – especially those who are genuinely in need of some love, support and generosity?
I urge you to look in to volunteering in any small way you can this festive season – I promise, it will revolutionise your experience of Christmas.
4) LOOK ON THE BRIGHTSIDE…
It’s all too easy to get swept up in the illusion that couples are having a waaaay better festive experience than you are.
But, that ain’t necessarily true, dear one.
Here are some reasons as to why being single over Christmas actually means you’re #winning :
· You don’t have to spend a load of time, money & stress seeking out the perfect gifts for your partner (and in-laws).
· You don’t have to do a Vicar of Dibley and eat multiple Christmas dinners to please both of your families. Honestly, trying to negotiate where you’ll spend Christmas when there are two (or often more) families involved is one headache you should relish not having to deal with for one more year.
· You don’t have to trudge through the inevitable tirade of bickering with your partner (fuelled by a continuous stream of sugar, booze and turkey sandwiches) that’s hard to avoid when you’re spending so much time together.
5) GET THEE TO A CAROL SERVICE!
This is one of my absolute favourite things to do at Christmas time (and I usually find a way to weedle my way in to singing a carol at a service somewhere, too).
So many people I speak to don’t bother attending a carol service because they don’t usually go to church.
Lest we forget in these ever-increasing consumerist times we live in, the real meaning of Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ.
Most churches are more than happy to welcome you in to their fold at this time of year, and it really is such a heart-warming experience that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Plus, after the carol service I usually go to in London (at HTB Onslow Square in South Kensington where they do an amazing modern ‘alternative’ carol service) everyone heads to the pub to guzzle down hot cider and marinate in all the festive cheer and merriment.
(And, you never know - you may even end up clinking glasses under the mistletoe with your future paramour…)
If you’ve found this blog post helpful, I’ve created a FREE ebook especially for you that’s even better, because I know just how triggering the festive season can be when it comes to your love life.
However, with New Year just around the corner, now is also the perfect time to reflect and get super-focused on the kind of romantic experience you’d like to have next year - and start taking small, positive steps in the direction of it (this in itself will help to dramatically improve your state of mind over the festive period, too - trust me!)
The book’s called ‘7 Steps To Finding Real, Lasting Love in a Superficial World’ and you can get instant access to it by clicking this link.
In the book, you’ll learn:
A very specific proven 7-step process to finding real, lasting love in a superficial world.
9 myths that are destroying your chances of finding real love (when you know them you can rid yourself of them!)
The BIGGEST common mistake that’s keeping you stuck in a dead-end romantic rut (and what to do to get out of it fast).
The ONE secret no one tells you about how to get and keep your ideal relationship (this literally revolutionised my love life and the love lives of all of the women I’ve worked with).
The ONLY thing you need to remember when it comes to communicating with potential love interests.
A CRUCIAL mindset shift that will guarantee your long-lasting romantic success.
+ tons more.
After you confirm your email address, you’ll get sent a free download of the book (plus some other goodies!). Once you’ve signed up, leave a comment below and tell me:
Have you ever struggled to be single during the festive season? What was the hardest part about it for you?
And, what helped you get through it?
Here’s to your most love-filled Christmas yet <3