Written by our therapist Sarhadjine Malvoisin
It seems nowadays everyone is coupling up, from social media posts to family announcements, it is difficult to spend a day without scrolling past a couple smiling for the camera. And if you are struggling with the reality of being single in NYC, it can be tough to witness.
I have been single, in the technical sense of the word, for a long time, and as some of our single female readers can imagine, it has not been easy; I constantly vacillate between the enjoyment of my freedom as an unpartnered person and the struggle of being alone. As one grows older, and observes friends and family partnering up and extending their family units, it makes me question whether it is ever going to happen to me. The Holiday season is usually the hardest for unpartnered persons; most friends who usually spend time together travel home to be with family or spend time with their own partners, which leaves me to attend the many festivities and other engagements, alone. An unaccompanied person attending parties and gatherings around the Holidays is subject to feeling lonely. The media does not help either; most of the ads and movies are centered around that feeling of ‘togetherness’ within family units and couples. As this eventful year comes to an end, many may feel the creeping fear of the inevitable litany of questions and remarks, subtle or not from friends and family inquiring about relationships statuses, weddings, or grandchildren. A comment here and there, may not seem problematic for an outsider, but over time, we internalize these remarks, and they can cause certain emotional damage.
Single During the Holidays
The Holiday season tends to heighten emotions, this includes feelings of loneliness, which can only worsen when we are being questioned by family and friends. Being single seems like such an awful thing, and society unfortunately views single women as almost strange. Sadly, despite the progressive times we live in, there are still certain expectations of women-mainly to be married and/or with child at a certain age and being unpartnered for an extended period of time is almost frowned upon. To our own detriment, many of us try our hardest not to fall into that category-even going to such lengths as remaining in a destructive relationship, rather than being alone. It is easy to think we are unlucky in love, or doing something wrong. We find ourselves asking: “why can’t I just find someone?”
How to cope with being single during the holidays
For the most part it is as if we have been brought up against being content with singlehood and it takes a conscious effort to be comfortable and happy with it, especially when it seems everyone around us is partnered up. In reality there is nothing wrong with being single, no matter what we have come to believe.
If you are struggling to find someone or be content with being single, remember that everyone’s path is different and “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). The above verse relates to so many things in life, including contentment with singlehood. Finding the balance between being happy with singlehood and the urgency of partnering with someone is not an easy task, however with enough support and knowing you are not alone, it can be achieved.
Being single and owning it
As this year ends, remind yourself to truly savor the present and all that it brings. If 2020 is any indication of the perspective we should have- it is that life is fleeting. So enjoy every moment of singleness, enjoy this season of your life. Being single can be a great time for you to rediscover yourself, your passions, your likes, and dislikes. It can also be a time to truly learn to love who you are, flaws and all, as well as who God made you to be. This can be the time to truly delve into self-care and maybe even reshape your expectations 😉
In what ways have you been enjoying your single life?
Please share your thoughts with us!