When you’re single during the holidays

There are moments in life when a single person can suddenly feel very single.

Like when you’re sitting at a bar all by yourself waiting for people who are never going to show up.

I love Christmas time. I really do. But it can be difficult sometimes for a single gal to go through the holiday season and not be constantly reminded that she’s always sending in RSVPs for one. Let’s face it—most of the festivities surrounding Christmas are either geared toward or more enjoyable with families and significant others.

Ice skating.
Horse-drawn carriage rides.
Looking at lights.
Mistletoe.
Holiday parties.
Decorating cookies or gingerbread houses.
Watching Christmas Vacation.
Beginning and carrying on special Christmas traditions.
Anything on New Year’s Eve.

These are only a handful of things that are better when done with your loved ones. I’m not saying I can’t do some of these things with my parents or siblings and in-laws, but these activities usually make me wish I had that one person in my life with whom I could share all of the memories.

When I came home for Christmas this year, I knew it wasn’t going to be the easiest thing in the world because I would have to leave again and be reminded that I don’t get to see all of my people as often as I’d like. Some of my friends and I had plans to meet on Saturday night, and I was looking forward to catching up with them and also hanging out at one of my favorite bars/restaurants in Dallas.

By the time I got there, two of them had already let me know they couldn’t make it, and I hadn’t heard from any of the others. I then became that girl who was at a bar all by herself—and I don’t even drink. I sat down next to two guys, but we didn’t exactly become besties. They started talking about how one of their friends had just gotten married and said they would rather die than do that—after all, marriage is suicide, anyway. Then our wonderfully uplifting conversation continued as they told me all about how much they hate their jobs and are planning to start a business together so that they can be their own bosses. They aren’t sure what type of business yet, but they’re still in the planning stages. Good luck, fellas.

After they left so that they could make it to the Stars game on time, I sat there for a bit by myself. I don’t know why I was hopeful that any of my friends might still show, but I was. I texted my sister to let her know my current lowly status in life, and she told me to head over to my parents’ house and that she and Theo (her hubs) would go there, too, and we could all hang out.

I got up and left. On the way out, I looked around at some of the couples still there and told myself it really wasn’t the time to feel sorry for myself. Then I walked outside and saw a city full of pretty Christmas lights and waited in the cold for my car.

Being surrounded by beautiful lights in winter weather magnifies loneliness more than the heart can understand.

Just sitting in the cold until my parents got home

When I got to my parents’ house, I realized that I had left my purse at my friend’s house (where I was staying), so I didn’t have a key. No one was home, so I sat on their porch and froze. I realize it would have been smarter to walk back to my car and wait there, but this just seemed more fitting for my situation at the time.

I texted a selfie of me sitting outside to my sister, and she called me. She was in the car with Theo and had me on speaker phone and said they were on the way back to their apartment because she didn’t know I was going to show up. I hadn’t responded to her text but thought it was understood that I’d be there. In the background, Theo said, “We’ll be there in two seconds.” He’s a really good guy.

Before I knew it, my parents were back, and Theo and Steph walked through the door, and we all played Heads Up! together. At first, we played in teams, but then Theo suggested we shouldn’t even keep score and just have fun playing as a big group—as a family.

My sister and Theo have been married a little more than a year, and never once have I felt like a third wheel around them. I may joke about being the fifth wheel sometimes when I’m with them and my parents, but it never actually feels that way. They include me in anything and everything, and they provide more love and support than I ever would have thought possible.

Then on Christmas, we all went over to my brother’s house, and his wife’s family was there, as well, and we had one big Christmas celebration together. I loved it. God always puts the right people in our lives at the right times. Plus, any day I get to spend time with my precious niece is pretty much the best day ever.

Time with her is the best.

I know not everyone who’s single has a great family situation, but hopefully you at least have friends who are like family and can be there for you when you feel like you’re all alone—especially during the more difficult seasons of life. Sure, there are still going to be those moments when you’re watching people get on those stupid carriage rides to go look at Christmas lights in Highland Park (I actually don’t think they’re stupid at all and hope someday to be able to go on one), but the hurt you might feel in those instances doesn’t have to last, so long as you surround yourself with people who will always love you know matter what.

Because love can make you forget the pain a broken heart brings—even if only for a little while.

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