The holidays can be a time of great joy and celebration, but if you’re single, all that joy and celebration can make you feel, well, very single.
Back in my single days, I spent many a holiday on my own (i.e. not in a relationship). I wasn’t totally alone though. Thankfully, I had friends that kept me in good spirits (and drunk), which helped take the edge off being single, and my mind off not having a boyfriend.
Even with all the social distraction, I was still very aware of my singleness. I was dateless for more New Year’s Eves than I can remember. During one holiday season when I did have a boyfriend (which should’ve been a time of great joy and celebration but wasn’t), I was unceremoniously dumped by him an hour before going to a New Year’s Eve party (you can read all about that disastrous night in my book “Done Being Single: A Late Bloomer’s Guide to Love”). By the way, if that guy is reading this, go cuff yourself!
The point is, for singles, the holidays, aka the dreaded “Cuffing Season,” can suck.
Cuffing season is a rite of passage for singles. It’s that time of year starting in October, into the holidays, and culminating with Valentine’s Day, when the temperature drops and singles go into a full-court press looking for partners. There’s something about the holidays–the cold weather, Christmas music, and all that festive shit–that just makes you want to couple-up (or throw up).
Everywhere you look are happy loving couples, holding hands, and being all romantic…UGH! Enough already! The truth was, I really wanted that. I really wanted to be in love for the holidays and have someone to kiss on New Year’s, and you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t care how independent, empowered, and righteously single you are, there’s no shame in wanting love and companionship. You’re human, for god’s sake!
As much as I wanted it, I was able to manage without it because of something I learned from years of singleness: I cuffed myself to my own self-worth. I made sure I could find holiday joy and celebration without being coupled-up; I made sure I didn’t let my single status stop me from having fun; I made sure I didn’t need to be cuffed to enjoy the spirt of the season; and I made sure that people saw I had value, even though I was single. It was a Christmas gift I gave myself.
Cuffing myself to my own self-worth made the holidays bearable, and it continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.
How to Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Worth (and get yourself through the holidays too)
The holidays and cuffing season will soon be over, and New Year’s Eve is just another night (I’m also going to remind you of that on Valentine’s Day, which is another occasion to feel lousy, but I won’t let you!). Until then, and going forward, you have a chance to give yourself the gift of self-worth, because it’s self-worth that will get you through anything.
Some people describe self-worth as “mattering,” which is defined as “feeling valued and adding value.” According to well-being expert Isaac Prilleltensky, co-author of How People Matter, mattering is about being heard, appreciated, and feeling significant.
Even though the holidays have a way of making single people feel less than, there are ways to get through them by boosting your self-worth. You can take the edge off being single by having a sense of purpose and meaning.
Take a minute to do the following inventory, then turn it into goals to achieve for the new year:
Focus on your strengths: Establish what you’re good at, acknowledge your talents, skills, and aptitudes, and own them. Once you know what your strengths are, play to them.
Examine your work life: Where do you feel capable, commanding, and valued? And when do you feel overlooked and underappreciated? If the latter is your norm, consider finding a new job, different clients, or start a side project that you can feel proud of.
Assess your personal life: Let others know you appreciate them; thank them for being there for you. Spend time with people who make you feel valued and cherished, and only date people who are enthusiastic about getting to know you and wanting to be with you.
Volunteer: Being cause-driven helps you feel significant and essential, it adds importance to your life, alleviates loneliness, and gives you a sense of belonging and community.
Practice self-compassion: Be kind and forgiving with yourself; let go of shame and regret; stop beating yourself for past mistakes and failures; embrace your flaws and imperfections. By accepting yourself with unwavering conviction, others will accept you too.
If you don’t have anyone to cuff with this holiday season, cuff yourself to your own self-worth. Couple-up with your purpose and meaning, and find people who make you feel heard, appreciated, and significant. You matter, you are valued, you are worthy of love, and you will find your cuff.
These are my gifts to you.
Happy Holidays, Happy Cuffing, Happy New Year, and all that shit.
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If you want your dating advice with some true confessions, hot tips, and tough love thrown in, then pick up my self-help memoir, “Done Being Single: A Late Bloomer’s Guide to Love,” available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
If you need more hands-on dating help and want to work with me one-on-one, apply for a complimentary 45-minute discovery session here.
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