Recently, I was talking to a single woman about what her plans were for the holidays. When she started talking about how badly she wanted to be in a relationship, I found myself calling her out on it a bit. "Girl, you ain't said nothin' about a man all year and now you want to be with somebody?" After she (literally) poked out her lip, she said, "It just seems like everyone in the world is with someone but me and I don't like it."
Listen, it doesn't matter how much you adore your single state, there are definitely going to be times when you will either want what others have or wonder what it would be like to have what others have and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. At the same time, if you're tempted to reroute your entire life just because of six weeks' worth of sentiment, at least make the time to skim this so that you're absolutely sure. Because having someone to kiss on New Year's Eve is one thing. Taking on all that comes with being in a relationship? That is a reindeer of a whole 'nother color, sis.
So, the Hallmark Movies Have Got You Going, Eh?
OK, kinda off of the subject yet not really — what is up with all of these interracial couples in these holiday Hallmark and Lifetime movies and commercials? Listen, my goddaughters are bi-ethnic, so that is no diss; however, Black love is my lane and it seems like that is getting harder and harder to find right through here. Whew.
Anyway, although I'm not personally a holiday observer (and no, I am not a Jehovah's Witness), I do enjoy a good-'n-semi-corny holiday romance film, more than anything, because of the sweet innocence that seems to come along with it (which is hard to come by in TV and film these days). A word of caution, though — if you watch too many of those, it can definitely get you caught up if you're single. What I mean by that is, after about three of 'em, you'll be close to crying into your hot chocolate because it will seem like EVERYONE in the world is boo'd up when that isn't even close to being the case. Not by a long shot.
Still, if you know that you are naturally super sentimental, you might want to balance how much lovey-dovey stuff that you consume. Holiday movies are supposed to make you feel good. If all they're doing is making you feel lonely, it's time to read a book, listen to a podcast, or do something else.
Is This the Time of Year That Has You “Feeling Some Type of Way” Every Year?
I'm pretty sure it will come as no surprise to you that a whopping 40 percent of engagements happen in between Christmas and Valentine's Day. So, between IG posts of randoms with their sparkling diamonds, your friends with pics of them standing underneath the mistletoe, and perhaps even looking around at your family members and their boo, it's important to sit back and assess if you actually want to be with someone right now or does it just seem like this is the time of year when it is made abundantly clear that you aren't.
Then, once you've got that question answered, follow it up with if the holidays are a trigger for you every year. If so, don't take that lightly because you don't want to go out there and try and make a relationship out of scraps (an ex, a booty call, etc.) just because you're going through an annual trigger that will pass just (about) as fast as it came. You'd be better off treating yourself to a pampering day than forcing a relationship that you know you don't really want but try to make work…just because you're a little (overly) emotional right now.
After New Year’s, Do You Even Have Time to Maintain a Relationship?
Something that I personally think the holidays and weddings have in common is folks can put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and expenses into both, only for both to end pretty quickly. My point? When it comes to weddings, couples need to make sure that they are taking their life following their nuptials into account. And when it comes to the holidays, well — if you were doing just fine not having a man prior to Thanksgiving, what makes you suddenly think that now is the time to get with one?
Y'all, something that life and time have taught me is things are best when they happen organically when they aren't forced. If you happen to meet a guy at your favorite coffee shop the day before Christmas, awesome. Yet if you don't, again, your life was pretty full before the holiday season began, and trust me, these next few weeks are about to fly right on by. So, if you already know that you've got a ton of plans for the new year and being in a relationship would kinda sorta ruffle them, it's probably best that you are single right now. Don't mourn this fact. Celebrate it.
Always Remember That Sentimentality and Responsibility Are Two Very Different Things.
Whew. If you don't get anything else from this piece, please get this (and yes, I'm about to yell it) — THERE ARE A TON OF PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING DIVORCED, EVEN AS WE SPEAK, AND IT'S ALL BECAUSE THEY WERE CAUGHT UP IN THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT SOMEONE MORE THAN THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT COMES WITH BEING IN A HEALTHY AND LASTING RELATIONSHIP. To be sentimental isn't just about having feelings of love; it is also tied into nostalgia. And believe you me, I have found myself holding someone in my heart or bed far longer than I should've and it was all because nostalgia — not love — had gotten the best of me.
Besides, if you are single during the holiday season, don't take for granted the perks and pluses that can come with that — sleeping in, saving money, not sharing a remote, hanging out wherever you want with whomever you want for as long as you want, going on a few different dates with a few different guys…I can go on and on. Something that I share from time to time is a video that my goddaughter's mom did for me many years ago (you can check it out here; Rissi also has a dope Apple radio show called Color Me Country. Learn more about it here and here). She's married and she gets really real about the price that comes with that. It's a great reminder that while love is a beautiful thing, there are some blessings that come with being single that are totally unmatched as well (again, watch the video).
“Cuffing Season” Can Apply to YOU Too.
OK, so what if you read all of what I just said and you're like, "I hear you, Shellie. I would still like to go on a romantic date, binge-watch some shows on the couch or cuddle up while listening to some Donny Hathaway this year." Understood and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. That said, there is a big difference between being in a relationship and having a cuffing partner or even just someone to casually date right through here. Definitely do some pondering on which one you actually desire because the latter two require a lot less, basically everything, than that first one does.
Speaking of cuffing season, you know, it really does trip me out that when the topic of it comes up, it's oftentimes assumed that it's a "man's sport" when the reality is they wouldn't be able to pull it off without us. So, if after reading a lot of this, you know that what you want is some holiday company more than anything else, be real with yourself about that and then be honest with others who may be trying to set you up on a blind date or who may be trying to make a match with you online. At the end of the day, cuffing season is about people who want some company and not necessarily a relationship. Personally, I have a lot more respect for people who are honest about that fact than those who try to make something be more than what it is, all in the name of holiday-themed romance.
Whatever You Do, Plan and Choose Wisely, Sis.
See the feature pic for this piece? Imagine that the woman in it got linked up to the guy via a co-worker a week prior to Halloween. Neither of them could travel home for Christmas due to their work schedules, so they stayed at his/her/both places from Christmas thru New Year's and made some great, umm, memories. How beautiful — only, come Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, somebody's period is late and the pregnancy test that she bought seems to have the faintest double line on it. Or, her period is on schedule but there seem to be some little bumps down below. Or, her health is all good but someone is suddenly not answering her calls or responding to her texts anymore.
I could go on and on with various scenarios yet the point is this — whether you decide to make this the year that you get into something serious or you just want some holiday company to tide you over, please don't just let your feelings just run away in any direction that they want. Be honest with yourself, not just about what you want but what you need. Put together a plan that will serve you best. Then move in wisdom, taking your future and not just the present into account. Because no matter how much you may have the urge to reenact some rom-com right now, reality always sets back in and that's what you'll have to deal with after the credits that triggered your emotions in the first place stop rolling. Remember that. Every holiday season. OK? Cool.
Featured image by Getty Images