Throughout my twenties, I totally thought that the holidays were the worst time of the year to be single. Holiday love-story films like The Holiday, Love Actually and every Hallmark and Lifetime movie ever made show us just how amazing it is to have someone special to spend this “magical time” of the year together with.
To gift and be gifted.
To have by our side at awkward holiday work parties and family dinners alike.
To kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
To post pictures with on social (and keep you off the ledge when every single person you know has posted a “this-just-in” engagement ring selfie.)
To cuddle with you on cold nights, and help get you through the spurts of anxiety and depression that seem to creep into your being when the end of a year wraps up and everything and everyone is nostalgic and just trying to get by.
And yet, it wasn’t until I hit my thirties that I realized that we’ve all been wrong this whole time. The holidays are actually the best time to be single — that is, if you want to meet someone new and kick of 2018 with a potential love story of your own.
Hear me out.
When the days start getting darker and the weather colder (then hotter, then colder again if you live in Toronto) we tend to stay in with a book or watching Netflix and hibernate. But then the holiday season arrives and there are holiday events and parties and dinners to make cameos at, many of which we just can’t get out of. And they force us to get dolled up and look put-together and get “into the spirit.” People start dressing a little nicer and there’s an overall air of confidence.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve noticed friends donning glitter and sparkles, cocktail dresses and rocking holiday-themed makeup, manis and the like. People are shedding their at-home-uniforms and releasing themselves from their comfortable caves and enjoying themselves out and about. Meeting people anew. Maybe having a drink too many, exchanging cards and details and/or running into ghosts of friends past and setting up time to “finally have that drink.”
And with going out more and meeting new people, especially when dressed up and feeling good (or as good as one can before wanting to head back home into cozy-zone,) we open ourselves up to meet a potential partner without even trying.
That guy your friend wanted to set you up with last month that you refused to meet with because you had a hot date with Netflix? Yeah, he’s probably going to be at that Ugly-Sweater-themed holiday bash said friend is hosting with her fiancée. And sure, maybe you’re hoping your friends will cancel it or a blizzard will blow in so you don’t have to go. But when that doesn’t work out and you plan to go there for just 45 minutes to make an appearance before heading back home to your cocoon, you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Things happen when you least expect it; when you’re not looking for it. It’s just the way it is. When you’re not looking or trying too hard, you’re being your authentic, natural self and that’s what attracts others to you.
When you’re single, it’s easy to hide under the covers in the privacy of your bed and feel sorry for yourself, or, even feel great because you’re avoiding real-life feelings. But it doesn’t have to be so black and white. Because we’re independent women. We’re adults. And we’re able to realize that our situation is just our situation and things ebb and flow and we can’t have something like our singlehood define our happiness or lack thereof.
I’ve met three serious boyfriends who I had long-term relationships with (aged 18, 21 and 26) between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. I met each of them on nights I reluctantly went out at the last minute. I truly believe these relationships formed because I was out there just being me, not looking for anything – as were they – and that likeness drew us together making things easy, natural and lacking the pressure many of us put on ourselves that in turn makes us act awkward as all hell.
Contrary to popular belief, this time of year is actually a great time to meet someone and to come and go to mixers and dinners and parties and the like at your own pace, when you want it. There’s magic in the air, after all.