The agony of being single during the holidays
It’s that time of the year - the holidays. It is the time when you are supposed to take a break from your daily life, probably go for a mini-trip to the mountains or the beach, buy a Christmas tree, decorate it with stars, add some fairy lights, wear those Santa caps, go for a delicious brunch before heading out for a long walk in the city followed by a mesmerising dinner and finally end the day by watching a movie tugged under that cosy and warm blanket wearing oversized hoodies.
That is how holidays should be spent, right?
Right. Except for folks who are single and living away from family. For me, it’s almost the same as a long weekend. There is no Christmas-y feel in my every day apart from whatever I get to see in stores and cafés. I’m just doing a little more of what I like to do in my free time - reading books, meditating, journalling, watching videos from which I could learn a new thing or two and talking to friends.
I know what you might be thinking. I can do all those things that I mentioned at the start of the post by myself as well. Yes, I can. I don’t want to. For 4 years now, I’ve been doing my version of trying to enjoy the holidays. I’m done now. Those are some things that I want to do with my partner. For me, there is no fun in doing it alone.
Just to be clear, I love my time in solitude. I absolutely cherish it and am too protective of my personal space. Maybe that is the reason that I don’t have a partner in the first place. The couple of occasions in which I’ve come close to sharing that personal space with someone, it hasn’t turned out well. That has probably made me even more protective. And over the years, I’ve found a ton of hobbies to keep me entertained during my alone time. Usually, I’m pretty satisfied with being in my own space partaking in one or more of those hobbies.
But there is something about the holidays, you know. Maybe it is the effect of expectations set by social media, movies and TV shows. Maybe it is because of the fact that almost everyone close to me is in a committed, loving, long-term relationship. Maybe it is because of my decision to not date casually. When I see couples spending the holidays in the right way, I honestly feel very deeply happy that they are able to experience the holidays in all their glory. At the same time, I can’t help but feel equally sad that I am unable to do so. I think that it is possible to be happy that someone else has something while simultaneously being sad that we don’t without feeling envious.
To be really honest, I have the same feeling when it comes to any occasion. I deeply value the time that I get to spend with my friends and family during these times. That is what keeps me sane. Still, there are some things that you can only experience with your partner. Or at least, some things that I want to experience only with my partner.
The other day, a few of my friends were scrolling through possible movies that we could watch as we were ending the day. As they rejected each movie as they'd already seen it, the only thing I kept wondering was the fact that I’ve not seen a single one of them. It might sound really silly but I don’t like watching movies alone. So, I haven’t really watched any movie apart from those by Marvel. I have a long list waiting for someone to come and unlock.
I know that growing up, Bollywood movies had a massive effect on how I viewed relationships. I think I’ve done a lot of inner work to get rid of the toxic picture that I had built up inside me. Maybe some of that still remains.
As a society, we’ve become a lot more individualistic. But I’ve never found myself drawn towards complete individualism. I love being around the right people as much as I love being alone. Being around people makes me feel alive. Then, maybe it makes sense that someone like me would have a need for companionship as well.
I know this seems like such a first-world problem. And I know that this is just a temporary frustration that I always go through during the time of the holidays. Usually, only my closest friends hear me rant about it. This is the first time that I’m actually writing about it. I’m probably much more frustrated this time around because I think I’m in the right space in my life to have a partner. Finally.
And I know the drill. I’ll find the right person eventually. I know. But knowing that is not enough. Not enough to get rid of the agony. It’s just not enough. But I’ll be okay. I’ll be okay in a few days. When we get back to the drill of everyday life. I’ll be okay!