As the holiday season un-folds with busy malls hustling and bustling with couples holding hands and buying special gifts for one another, there are many single people out there feeling
left out from the holiday cheer. If you are a new person in recovery or have years of recovery, the holidays can feel particularly lonely if you are single. The season brings out that doom and gloom that there are no future dates on the horizon and New Years Eve will spent again alone watching time square drop the ball with your pet, although that doesn’t sound too bad. Maybe you are thinking I don’t want to attend another 12 step Holiday Party or meeting alone, although that can be a great place to start if you are feeling “not a part of” as we say. For starters, remember those mushy couples you see holding hands, they are the same couple that bicker, scream, and throw candy canes at each other, but it is your perception that is out of whack. With Santa almost down your chimney, you need to have a shift in perspective. Everything you have believed about the holidays can be viewed in a whole new light including your
thoughts about dating, attending holiday gatherings, your self image, spiritual beliefs, and even patterns of behavior that might be contributing to your being a singleton. Of course, the fact that you are sober for the holidays is really a holiday blessing and a great way to start the New Year in and of itself. It’s time to make that paradigm shift and welcome your new singleton status.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
For starters, if you plan on forgoing any of those holiday invitations because you don’t have someone to go with, go anyway. You never know who might be there. You certainly won’t have the possibility of a date sitting home watching old Seinfeld episodes. Parties give you the opportunity to show off that unique personality you have. Make sure you tell the hosts in advance you will be coming by yourself and they can invite other singles for you to meet. Also, let everyone at the party know you are single. They too may have phone numbers to give you for future dating opportunities of Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Create New Traditions
Maybe this season it is time to shake things up a bit and stop doing the same old thing expecting different results. For example, visit a holiday food pantry and feed the homeless, visit a nursing home, or join a group of singles to do charity work with, such as the national group, “Single Volunteers.” So what if that 90 year old at the nursing home drools all over you? There is no better place to meet a likeminded soul mate who is also into giving to others. Not to mention, feeling grateful for the fullness of your life after seeing how other less fortunate people live on a daily basis. Maybe your mother was right after all, when making you finish all your vegetables while telling you stories about the starving people in third world countries. Or maybe this year is all about you…..taking that cruise, club med vacation, skiing in Switzerland, or having a Zen season while meditating in the Tibetan mountains. If you really want to bring soul into your life, visit a local church or synagogue or just take the time to reflect what the holidays are truly about. If you are feeling adventuresome, join a singles group such as the Sierra Club or Athletic Singles, and maybe, you will be gliding down the slopes with the love of your life in spite of everything.
Change Old Dating Habits and Behaviors
Stop seeing dating as a hunt for a serious relationship but rather an opportunity to get to know some new people. Dating means exactly that, “dating”. In other words, it is the time to get to know someone’s likes, dislikes, flaws, baggage, their values or lack of them, and whether or not this person is a match. So often, you feel pressured to impress someone on that first date, as if it is your last date ever. You end up trying to impress them rather than being the charming person you really are. People can smell fakeness a mile away. They can see right through you. Sure it is o.k. to throw out those 90’s clothes for some new ones, but be you. People really dig someone who knows who they are, what they want, and how they are going to get it. . You might even show that vulnerable side. Get them to talk by asking provocative questions about themselves. But, please, don’t ask them to have a baby with you on the first date. Most of all stop focusing on one person during the holidays but date multiple people. I don’t mean at the same time, but know that the law of averages always works. The more you date, the better your chances are of finding true love.
Finding your True Self
Maybe the holidays are a time to appreciate being single. Maybe you are feeling the over 30 pressure where everyone around you is getting married and planning honeymoons. Perhaps your self esteem needs a face lift. Have you forgotten about all your strengths, sensitivity, generosity, and intelligence? Perhaps you have been trying so hard to be someone you are not and that special person hasn’t seen the deeper qualities you possess. During the holidays, it is a great time to reflect on what type of person you want rather than what type of person would want you. Maybe you have been looking in all the wrong places and they are right under your nose. You are so busy living on auto pilot and driving fast and furiously, that you are missing who is standing in front of you. Finally, stop having expectations and getting attached to the outcome this holiday season. Surrender to the fact you are not in the results business, but rather in the “living” business. Stop pushing up stream and let the holidays be what they are designed to be. Let them un-fold as they are supposed to un-fold and there just might be someone waiting for you under the mistletoe.