How to survive Christmas when you're single

Being single at Christmastime can feel particularly rough.

Even if no one asks you why you haven’t settled down yet over the turkey, it’s still a time of year that can make relationships look their most appealing.

There’s a reason cuffing season occurs at this time of year.

It feels like couples cuddling up by the fire and talking winter walks hand in hand are everywhere, and dating someone new gets tricky when so many people are heading home for the holidays.

That’s why Badoo has teamed up with dating and relationship expert Kate Mansfield to make a guide to being single at Christmas – from how to handle loneliness to fielding pointed family questions.

Avoid texting your ex

Sure, being alone at Christmas can be hard, but don’t let that rose-tint your past relationships.

‘There is usually a reason as to why the relationship did not work out,’ says Kate. ‘It’s important to remember the negative as well as the positive.

‘Obviously, there are exceptions and occasionally reuniting with an ex is a good idea, but if this is the case, make sure to think it through carefully and do it for the right reasons, not because you are lonely.

‘Use the Christmas period to work on your vision for your love life, then compare this with your ex. Do they match up? If not, remember there are plenty more new people to explore.’

Fight relationship envy

It’s nice having a partner to do stuff with, but you can still treat yourself to some really nice dates without a plus one.

‘The best thing is to get really comfortable with your own company,’ Kate advises. ‘Take yourself out on some fabulous dates, go to places that you’ve always wanted to visit, treat yourself to dinner at an amazing restaurant and learn to feel comfortable in your own skin, and in your own company.

‘Remember, it’s an empowering thing to feel comfortable by yourself and is in fact very important before heading into any relationship. Being with someone just for the sake of being with someone, and particularly for the sake of being with someone over Christmas, may make you feel lonelier in the long run.

‘A wrong connection is worse than being on your own and being free to explore amazing new opportunities.’

Ignore the pressure to couple up

Yes, being in love is very nice, but being single is a great chance to work on yourself and grow.

In fact, Kate says that ‘developing your emotional and physical self’ can make you ‘much more likely to attract an available, loving, fabulous partner who can meet your needs.

‘It has to start with you.’

Answer obnoxious questions with your head held high

It’s never nice when a family member asks once again where your partner is, knowing full well you don’t have one, but standing your ground and answering with pride is the best thing you can do.

Kate recommends: ‘Try to be brave and just step into being fully authentic. Facing people head-on and claiming your single status can be very empowering – it’s the first step towards accepting that being single is not a curse.

‘In fact, a great answer to any question is to simply remind them that being single is a choice. You can also remind them that you’re holding out for the right person, and you’re in no rush.

‘This will help you to feel in control and confident that you are single not because you aren’t good enough or that there’s something wrong with you, but because you’re not prepared to settle for anybody.’

Make time for self-care to combat loneliness

Kate says balancing things you do for fun with resting and taking care of yourself can help you get to know yourself better.

‘Try to find a balance with fun activities, hobbies, keeping fit and creative activities,’ she says, ‘but also make sure you take time to just sit and be content with yourself.

‘Lots of us try to fill ourselves up and end up busy and burnt out. This can make the loneliness worse in the long run. Connecting with our inner selves really can start to fill up that lonely gap inside.

‘Also, remember to be honest with yourself and be upfront about what you want when dating – don’t settle or pretend to be someone you’re not just to fill feelings of loneliness.’

Try to embrace single life with your chest

Just because being in a couple looks particularly appealing at this time of year doesn’t mean all the fun things about being single evaporate.

‘Try to find gratitude for the fact that you are brave enough to embrace being alone and use the time to develop yourself so that you can find a healthy and happy lasting relationship that will really meet your needs,’ suggests Kate.

‘Make a pact with yourself not to accept anything that doesn’t feel right. You deserve love, and you will find it if you stay true to yourself and keep taking action.

‘In the meantime, ignore the pressure and keep pouring love and energy into yourself – it will definitely pay off.’

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