Alone for the holidays? Check. No date for New Years? Check. Another Thanksgiving, Christmas, NYE with all the people who have no partner and no family? Check. Admitting the problem is the first step to recovery, right? So what is it you are supposed to recover from at holidays alone? Do you start thinking, “hmmm, maybe Scrooge wasn’t that far off the mark?” ….and not thinking that’s weird? What is going on here? Somehow, no matter how wonderful, fun, interesting and exciting one’s life is, the holidays can bring you to your knees if you are looking at another year alone. 11 months of feeling FINE about being single, count for naught a little bit after Halloween. It’s all ok, you are cruising alone, enjoying your independence, thumbing your nose at friends who are saddled with annoying husbands and bratty kids. Being single doesn’t phase you at all, in fact most of the time you love it. So, by Thanksgiving/Christmas day, especially if you are attending yet another “I-have-no-one-so-I’m-here” dinners, you’re thinking, “hmmm this would be easy to sidestep, all I have to do is go to Europe and – voila!” Maybe next year that will be the plan. Who needs ten thousand calories in one day anyway? Ah, but that is only the beginning of the HELL-idays.
Flash forward a couple weeks. Walking down 5th Avenue, on a beautiful winter night. The lights are amazing. All the Christmas decorations sparkling in the windows, a little snow on the ground. Gorgeous. It feels fine. Then you suddenly notice a couple, walking hand in hand, laughing and looking at diamonds in the window of Cartier. They kiss and as you pass, you hear him say to her, “I love you soooo much”. Ouch, that hurt a little but you’re ok. You keep walking. You then notice another couple in a horse drawn carriage kissing passionately, and then another…and another. “What the hell”, you think. “Am I the only single person in this whole damn city?” Oh no, maybe not. There sits a lonely middle aged woman by herself on the bench, looking sad and despondent. “OMG”, it dawns on you, “that’s me in a few years?” And the torture doesn’t end there. Then there is Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the dreaded New Years Eve. By New Years Day you feel like you have been run over by a trash truck, kind of relieved only to be reminded Valentines is right around the corner. Who invents these holidays? Sadists?
The question you manage to suppress all year long hits you like a ton of bricks when you go Christmas shopping and have no one to buy a gift for, when you decorate your tree and then sit alone and admire it, when you get to observe all the couples around you on New Years Eve having their midnight kiss and you have no one you really care to kiss. During non-holiday times it seems ok. You don’t think about it that much. You kind of accept that, that’s the way it is and you enjoy your life. So what’s the problem?
YOU ARE ALONE. Not that you don’t “date”. Not that you don’t have a fling or two here and there. Not that there aren’t a half a dozen or so guys that clearly would give their left nut to be with you. That’s ALL well and good, but when it comes down to what really matters in life, what really, really, really matters, the most important thing – someone to share it with – is missing. The holidays somehow strip away the facade and force you to face the hard cold truth. You get to look it right in the eye, no denial, no excuses, no diversionary tactics, and only a little egg nog as novocaine which actually make you feel worse. Just the raw reality of being over 30 and alone is all there is.
It happens every year, but each year it hurts a little worse. Maybe it’s a case of hitting relationship “rock-bottom.” This year though, you take something away from it. You make a decision, a resolution if you will, to start getting serious about finding a soulmate. All the years of blowing it off and not caring have culminated in a resounding din of the Universe yelling in your ear, “FIND SOMEONE YOU TRULY LOVE & WHO LOVES YOU BACK!” Acting cool, never trying that hard, ignoring a myriad of suitors out of sheer complacence, suddenly seems like a foolish waste of precious time.
What else really matters? What could be more important than finding your soulmate? Nothing else, really. When all else is taken away, love is all there is. When the party is over, when the crowd has gone home, when your beauty fades, when you are in your best and worst times, who is there for you? At the end of your life on your deathbed, will you be thinking, “Gee I didn’t spend enough hours working or going to parties?” or “If only I had a few more months to go running around with a bunch of miscellaneous people doing who knows what?”
No. What will likely run though your head are the times spent with your true love. I mean, unless you have kids, what else really matters? Nothing. Not-a-thing. For someone with no children yet, finding your soulmate has to be job one! Everything emanates from that. Nothing in life has the depth of meaning it could and should in the absence of true love. Holidays are Hell-idays without someone to share them with. Life in general is somewhat hollow and vacant, even in the presence of many friends. Nothing is sadder than feeling totally alone at a huge party full of happy celebrating couples.
Being alone during the holidays is not about ‘being alone during the holidays’. It’s about being alone – period. It gives you a window of truth about life and about yourself. The holidays are like an ice cold slap in the face and an undeniable reality check on what your priorities in life really are. So what are they? Find someone you love who loves you too, connect with him or her, commit to that person. If that one thing in your life is in place and in order, all else will follow.
By Tinka Milinovic
©2011 Tinka Milinovic. All Rights Reserved.