Embracing the Season Solo
Some people view being single during the holiday season as the end of the world. The truth, however, is that not being in a relationship during the holidays can allow you the opportunity to create a new beginning of a freshly imagined world for yourself. If you are single during this holiday season, take this time to refresh, reconnect, reflect, and recommit yourself to your best life.
Refresh: No matter if your last relationship ended three hours ago, three weeks ago, or three months ago, chances are it took something out of you. Now is the time to work on getting back some of that energy you willfully gave to that other person and finding your center. Take some time away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to focus on you and heal yourself. This could mean reading all the books you’ve said you wanted to read but didn’t have time to when you were with that other person. It may mean spending some quality time at the gym or simply more time in silence and meditation. Whatever it looks like for you, refresh yourself with that which fills you with joy and peace. This prepares you to be in sound mind, body, and spirit for the next courtship. It will make you a better you—for both you and your next partner.
Reconnect: In addition to refreshing and reintroducing yourself to you, the holiday season is the perfect time to reengage with family, friends, and former colleagues. While you might not be dating someone special, there are a number of people who think you are special. Those people would value spending time with you catching up. Quality phone calls, coffees, and shopping trips with people at this time of year offer chances to bond with those you care about but don’t always share just how much they mean to you. Seize this opportunity before life has you in the fast-and-furious dating lane again.
Many of your favorite charities may be looking for volunteers to help them through this season. Calling up your preferred organization and finding out where you might be able to assist them would be an important contribution. More than what you would put into the volunteer activity is what you would get out of it by reconnecting with a cause that matters to you and that you see as being bigger than you.
Reflect: Now would be the perfect time to pull out your journal and ask yourself some serious questions that can help you in the future—not just informing how you show up on your next dating or relationship journey, but also who you are as a person. What were the lessons that you learned about yourself in the last relationship? When did you feel most happy? What were healthy communication practices that you’d like to continue? Have you noticed any patterns that you need to break? What held you back from being vulnerable, if you think you weren’t vulnerable enough? If you’re fortunate enough to have good friends and family that will be completely honest and provide their insight and observations, this can be helpful too.
Ask them. They often see us in ways that we can’t see ourselves.
Recommit: Once you begin to feel rejuvenated and once again interested in returning to the dating scene, look back and honestly assess your prior relationships. Take a good look at the role you played in all of the successes and failures. Recommit yourself to doing all of the positive things you did to keep the lines of communication open and those relationships going.
Also affirm that you will be equally as diligent in not bringing old bad habits into a new relationship. In every failed relationship that you have had there is one common denominator—you! While we would all like to think that we are perfect, none of us are and sometimes our denials of our own imperfections hinder us from building healthy and sustainable relationships with others. Recommit to doing the work that is necessary for you and your future partner.
Refresh, reconnect, reflect, and recommit. ▼
Clarence J. Fluker is a public affairs and social impact strategist. Since 2008, he’s also been a contributing writer for Swerv, a lifestyle periodical celebrating African American LGBTQ+ culture and community. Follow him on Twitter: @CJFluker or Instagram: @Mr_CJFluker.