Being single at the holidays can be depressing. Everyone is wearing matching ugly sweaters, giggling over eggnog and making out under the damn mistletoe. You’re home with the dog. But hey, at least you have a pet, right?
Before you get sucked into another Lifetime movie marathon — seriously, don’t do it, it will only make things worse — it’s time for a perspective shift. Being single this time of the year is awesome! Really, it is! We even got an expert to agree with us about this. Catherine Townsend, author of dating best-seller Sleeping Around and a licensed private investigator who has seen her fair share of lying, cheating and worse, tells us why flying solo right now actually rocks. (For more info on Townsend, check out The Love Detective.) Hey, if Internet Bridget can have a sense of humor about it, so can you.
Embrace the holiday cheer — and the open bar.
Holiday parties are the perfect opportunity to put on your fuzzy reindeer antlers, pick up a cocktail and turn that “good will toward men” in the direction of that hot intern. Mistletoe and the New Year’s Eve countdown are also get-out-of-jail free cards for making the first move — as long as you don’t take it too far and get horizontal on the conference table.
Avoid dysfunctional in-laws.
When I’m sad about not being part of a Christmas couple, it helps to remember that many holidays spent with exes have looked more like National Lampoon’s than Norman Rockwell. Whether your idea of peaceful reflection is spending time with friends, visiting an elderly person — millions of them are alone during the holidays — or holing up and eating Chinese takeout while watching a Wives with Knives marathon, families (and celebrations) come in all shapes and sizes.
‘Tis the season of giving…to yourself.
Anyone who said it was better to give than receive clearly never opened a regifted box of perfume from 1988. With all of the money you will save panic-buying random gifts for your ex’s family members, you can treat yourself to a peppermint spa pedicure or guilt-free shopping spree.
You can ditch the diet drama.
You do not have to eat the blue Jell-O or mystery meat with marshmallow served at your boyfriend’s aunt’s house out of politeness. Instead, you can create your own festive menu, whether it’s downing cookie dough by the tube or a juice detox. One of the best Christmases I ever had involved doing a 5K run with hundreds of strangers all dressed as Santa — and a bar crawl afterward.
There is no pressure to be perfect.
This is a time that is meant to be about peace and tolerance, but this can quickly be forgotten after failure to create a Martha Stewart wreath before your boyfriend’s mom’s arrival sends you into psychotic meltdown mode. The holiday season doesn’t have to be hugely overblown to be brilliant: This year, I’m celebrating with an eight-inch plastic tree on a fully-stocked bar.