It happens at almost every family Christmas lunch. Sometimes it’s a question or a well-meaning comment. But, the idea is always the same: When are you going to settle down and find a partner?
We get it, the holidays can be a particularly rough time to be single. Between married couples canoodling at New Year’s Eve parties and endless questions about your love life (or lack thereof) from family and friends, you may feel like hibernating until January 2nd.
However, it doesn’t have to that way. To celebrate the release of Bridget Jones’ Baby on DVD, we spoke with sexologist and relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein to grab her best holiday dating advice.
Being single is a time to celebrate and relish—not avoid
Personally, this is what I enjoyed most about The Bridget Jones series—it’s about celebrating being single. Yes, there are hard times when we’re facing Christmas and New Year’s Eve on our own, but it’s a great time of year to have a lot of fun. You’ve got to focus on the positives of being single, instead of focusing on what you don’t have.
Let go of fear
Don’t be scared to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Start saying yes to invitations that put you in a new setting, and don’t be scared to start up conversations with strangers. It might be commenting or complimenting someone on what they’re wearing or what they’ve got in their hands. Do they have a dog with them? Are they carrying a beach towel? Find something to start a conversation with somebody and you never know where that may lead.
If you see your ex at a holiday party, be polite, nice and swift
You don’t want to stick around long enough to make a fool out of yourself, but you also don’t want to ignore your ex because that shows you’re immature. Just say, “Hi, hope you’ve been well.” Don’t linger the conversation, because let’s face it, you probably don’t care what they’ve been up to or how they’ve been. And, make sure you’re the one to exit the conversation, not the other way round.
It is very common for older generations to believe that by the time you’re in your late twenties-early thirties you should be settling down and starting a family. Use your celebration of being single and pass it onto them. Say things like, “You know what, I hear you, but I’m really enjoying my life as it is right now. Yes, one day I would like a family but that’s just not where things are at the moment.” Don’t let them make you feel bad for being single.
Smug couples don’t always have it better
Some married or long-term couples like to flaunt their relationship and put the single life down to justify their marital status, but remember that they don’t always have it better. If you find yourself faced with criticism due to your single status, start telling stories of the fabulous things you get to do and all the people you have dated. Don’t let anyone shame you by celebrating the positive in the life you have.