Single and Awkward For the Holidays

The Struggle None of Us Want to Talk About

single, awkward

Halloween is tomorrow which means it won’t be long before Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is playing in every Starbucks across the country. Yep, the wintery holidays are here and it’s time to get awkward because you’re single.

Currently rolling my eyes.

For many of us who are single, the last quarter of the year can be weird and even dangerous to our emotional health. Though it’s one of the only times we can guiltlessly enjoy our favorite butter-salt-and-sugar-saturated meals, it’s also the season of getting our cheeks pinched and sitting at the young adults table even though we’re halfway through our thirties (some of us). Oh, and let’s not get into how strange Christmas gifts can get. One year I was given a bobby pin in a shiny gold box. Seriously. As if I didn’t have a real Christmas wish list inclusive of a Kindle Fire and a European getaway, fully sponsored.

Pushing through this season and maintaing joy is a feat worthy of the highest award in the form of fuzzy socks and my favorite red wine in a shiny goblet, queen-size. One way I’ve survived the holiday season year after year is by participating in healthy self-talk. I suggest you try telling yourself, and others, a few of these sayings as a way to preserve your peace. Here’s a quick 5:

1.  “Yes, I’m single and there is nothing wrong with me.”

Though the world would love to tell you differently, it is perfectly normal to be single and childless. Singleness is not a sickness that needs a cure. It’s a privileged life stage that should be celebrated. I’m sure you’ve made some good decisions and you’ve probably made plenty of mistakes, but you should be proud of who you are and who you’re becoming.  When the world is laying it on thick with concerns about how meaningless your life is without a mate or some little crumb-snatcher (I really do love kids though), make sure you don’t accept people’s condolences. You didn’t die.

2. “I’ll take the booth.”

You’re a party of one and the maître d’ might assume you want to sit at the bar, but where else is your computer and oversized purse going sit? Take the booth. Get risky. Order the dessert, and don’t feel sad when they bring one spoon. Basically, get used to the societal awkwardness of being solo and fully occupy the spaces you’re in. When you’re invited to the company’s annual holiday party, rsvp for one, rent a dress online, and walk in and slay. No, it’s not prom; it’s your life. Occupy each day as if you belong everywhere your foot steps and your mind wanders. Dream big, think big, and live big. You don’t have to wait until someone is sharing the experience with you to have one.

3. “Nope. No. Not today.”

Listen single grasshopper. You must master your schedule. Protect it with all diligence, like treasured leftovers with your name written on the box. In a world where people are addicted to being overcommitted, you must be careful not to accept every invitation you receive, especially during the holidays. It’s insensible to think you can attend every dinner party or ugly Christmas Sweater kickback.  And guess what? The answer can be “no” even if you don’t have any plans. Fuzzy socks and a glass of wine is all the schedule you need for one day, and you don’t have to explain that to anyone.

4. “My life is more than a relationship status.”

The holidays are full of marriage idolators. Do not join them. If getting married is your highest goal in life, you’re reaching low. Not to be misunderstood, marriage is an amazing part of life, should you be so blessed to attain it. But honestly, marriage is one of the many “means-to-an-end” tools that God uses for some of his children to glorify and enjoy Him forever. ONE.OF.MANY. He has the liberty of choosing this for you, just like He chooses, in His good pleasure, singleness for some. During the holidays, when people pop the big question, “when are you getting married,” remind yourself that you’ve made it this far flying solo quite successfully, and should you get married one day, you’ll need God just as much then as you do right now.

5. “Spring is coming.”

The tree and lights will soon come down. You may be cynical and a little resentful towards the “seasons” buzzword talk, but you must admit the truth that lies within what’s being proposed. Life changes, and quite rapidly the older you get. Prayerfully, you will change along with it. In time, the holiday season will soon fade away and your singleness won’t be much of a hot topic around the dinner table. Be gracious with your comments and rebuttals towards your loved-one’s well meaning probes into your dating life. The pressure of the holiday culture will disappear, but your family and friends will be there when spring comes. Be kind. Educate them in their ignorance, sure, but be kind nonetheless.

Question: Strengthening your emotional intelligence when the reality of being single hits you smack dab in the face and heart is a matter of perspective. As singles, what other things should we be telling ourselves? What can you add to the healthy self talk list? Say something! clicking here.



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Coming from the married girl over here, I totally agree with you. Marriage is wonderful and hard, just like being single. I loved both seasons. And, truth be told, feel gitty when i go to a restaurant all by myself. Children are a blessing and a commitment. I can’t just jump in and serve the community or kingdom the way i use to. Holidays? Yep. Singles very the brunt. But just remember, when the parents are wrestling their over tired kids instead of sipping wine in fuzzy socks- each life has its blessings. Cheers to the singles!

    • Ashley Irons

      Sister friend! I’m trying to get better at responding more quickly! Seriously though…you actually read my post?!?! LOL! Thank you! It really means a lot and I’m glad to do class with you. Thank you for being honest about marriage! The Christian community needs to hear it.

  • Angela B Berry

    I love this article. It’s so true. And folks forget that many of us are single–by choice.