Single and the Holidays

My single friends, male and female alike, without exception, do not like mid-November through January 2. For six weeks out of the year, we feel lonely and achy and annoyed. Why is this? And is there a solution?

Last year Mack and I began cohabitating on November 29. We put up a tree, decorated, played Christmas music, and went ring shopping. He proposed shortly before Christmas, and I took him to Houston on Christmas Eve to meet my family and announce our engagement. We slept in my old bedroom on Christmas Eve. There were shenanigans. It was a great night.

This year, my brother is being treated for mouth cancer (he starts radiation next week), my father was admitted to the hospital on Friday (he’s 82 and his health has been deteriorating over the past several years), and of course, Mack and I are no longer. Oh what a difference a year makes. Of course, I remind myself that it works both ways, and next year might be terrific. I might be in love again. I might be in the midst of some other grand adventure. It doesn’t take being in love, does it?

One year, the year I learned my brother-in-law molested my niece, I checked myself into a spa from December 22 to December 25. I got massages twice a day, did yoga, tai chi, hiked in the woods, ate healthfully, took lots of bubble baths, and got lots of sleep. I was still achy and lonely, but it was a nice few days. What’s better: achy and lonely amidst my dysfunctional family, or achy and lonely at a top-rated spa? Exactly.

The trouble is, with aging parents who are not in good health, I tell myself every year that this one could be the last, and I need to spend the holidays with them. I feel like I’m in purgatory until they’re gone. When they’re gone, I’ll be back at the spa, or a beach in the Caribbean, or a photo safari in Africa.

Which reminds me: I need a real vacation next year and I’m going to plan one for myself. Yes, I’m going to vacation on my own. I’m thinking Tuscany. Why not? Why wait for a man? Also, I’m going to get out of this condo and buy a house. Not that I’d wait for a man to buy a house. I was looking before I met Mack, but then got a little side-tracked when I started looking for a house that suited us both. Now, I get to go back to looking for a house that suits me. I need to hurry and do this before I meet another man and get side-tracked yet again. So, dream vacations and houses, coming up. I’m not going to wait for a man to do these things. If I did, I could miss out on all of it.

Now that I’ve stopped with the Mack post-mortem, these are the daydreams that help me through the holidays. Thoughts of adventures ahead. Thoughts of moving on. Thoughts of doing all the things I want to do, and not waiting for a man to do them.

But I still don’t want a tree this year. And I’m still wishing for January 2 to hurry the hell up.

Ella a/k/a unConfirmed Bachelorette

Ella a/k/a Confirmed Bachelorette (f/k/a Unconfirmed Bachelorette) is a 50-something recovered lawyer who left the practice of law to embrace a full-time writing life. Never-married, child-free Ella resides in Austin, Texas and Ontario, Canada with her four bad cats.


  • Sorry to hear that you’re having a lousy year and that the holidays aren’t shaping up to be much better.

    I can certainly relate to how you’re feeling. I think that the worst for me is having to go to the mall and watch couples walk, hand in hand, while Christmas music plays in the background.

    On the “glass is half full side”, we don’t have to agonize over whether we got just the right gift for out SO. We also don’t have to feel torn over whose family we will be spending every moment with.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with travel. Solo travel is highly under-rated, especially during the holidays.

    I discovered this a couple years after my divorce. I found myself freshly out of a relationship around Thanksgiving. As Christmas decorations started to go up, I felt myself dreading the whole thing.

    I ended up picking a nice beach destination. Then I did something that I never do…I logged onto an online dating site. I put an ad up for the city which I was going to be visiting and was TOTALLY honest.

    I said that I would be visiting the area for a week and that I didn’t want to be alone for the holidays. I made it clear that I didn’t expect sex and wasn’t planning on relocating. It was just going to be a week of “make believe” and fun.

    Well, much to my surprise, I got more responses than I could handle. One particular young lady and I really clicked as we’d text over the next couple weeks. As so we decided to do it.

    I flee into town and she picked me up at the airport. The initial awkwardness was immediately squashed by a couple glasses of wine (which we’d decided on ahead of time). The week that followed turned out to be one of my favorite holiday memories. We just had a total blast!

    At any rate, I hope your able to find a bright spot for yourself this year. January will be here soon enough.


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