The 11th of November is a busy day. Above all, we remember the heroes of WWI. Apart from that, some bearded fellow leaves gifts for kids here in Belgium, but more importantly (at least for me) we’ve come to celebrate ‘Singles’ Day’ as well. Let’s forget about the fact that it’s mostly a very commercial holiday blown over from China for a second here, and look at the whole idea behind it: acknowledging AND appreciating Singledom, giving the whole thing its own special day in what’s considered the hardest time during a year to even be single: cuffing season. The topic of being single is very close to my heart, as you probably already know by now, and so it was sort of a given I’d write you a blogpost all about dealing with it, and why it’s simply not the worst thing in the world. Heck, you’re probably even better off. Read on!
what’s cuffing season?
Just in case you hadn’t heard of the term, cuffing season is the time of year when an otherwise rather happy single is most likely to feel the need to get - you guessed it - ‘cuffed’. Settling for a (often impulsive and ill-considered) relationship to get through the cold days of Autumn and Winter rather than going it alone. Believe me, I get it. After a Summer full of casual hanging with friends the minute you wanted to (everyone was already out or about to go out, anyway), it’s pretty confronting to sit through the ‘stay cosy at home while the weather is horrible’ season all by yourself. I, for one, know how lonely that can get and how the feeling of wanting someone to spend your days with is quite uncontrollably present (seriously, I’ve never had more Romcom dreams starring me than the last couple of days. I mean - what?). And yet, I know how - excuse the harshness - stupid it would be to just settle for something quickly now just to get rid of that feeling. Why? Here’s a couple of things I can think of just from the top of my head:
1) It’s the perfect time for self-reflection.
Instead of focusing on finding that significant other, Autumn and Winter are the perfect time to choose you instead. It’s probably been a busy Summer for most of us, so why not seize this opportunity of time slowing down to truly focus on what’s going on in your own bubble? Squeeze out some extra energy for work, or reflect on where you want to go. Set new goals. Get a head start on those New Year Resolutions, even!
2) Strengthen the relationships you already have.
Feeling lonely? Well, there’s absolutely no reason why you would think that that loneliness can only be resolved by a boy - or girlfriend, is there? Host a film night for your friends - better even: your single friends! -, have an old school game night with family, or go for a drink anyway, it’s not like a bit of rain and cold would kill you, right?
3) Treasure the alone time.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of at least SOME weekly alone time. Whenever I have a busy week, I absolutely miss crawling into my sofa with Strummer, picking out something to watch without having to consider anyone else (oh, those discussions and dilemmas on what to watch when you’ve got company. They can go on and on!), pouring myself a glass of wine or hot cup o’ something, lighting some candles and just fully relax. What a dream.
4) Think about the whole settling just for the sake of it thing.
I mean, just imagine all the stuff that could go wrong when you settle for something just to get rid of the loneliness. First and foremost, even IF you agree to keep it casual just to get through A/W, the probability of someone getting hurt at the end anyway is gigantic. On the contrary, when you ARE looking for something serious and decide to go for someone just because you feel lonely, it might (read: probably will) turn out to be a huge waste of your time. It’s an emotionally risky thing to do, let’s just leave it at that. Besides all that, know this:
a) going for a relationship like that is almost always a sign of insecurity. So. Turn to paragraph number one and start over.
b) screw what others think. All those lists about ‘why A/W is the loneliest time of year’, family members asking about when you’re finally going to settle down during the obligatory holiday gatherings, etc. Screw ‘em.
c) it’s better to keep your options open. You never know. The perfect person could come around just when you’ve settled for a good old cuffing and then what? It could go full-on drama, that’s what.
5) Being single during the holidays is F U N.
Less gift-giving stress (and, basically, an extra present for yourself am I right?). No discussions about where and when to celebrate Christmas or the New Year. No awkard meet-the-parents moments. You get to choose when and how to decorate for Christmas. Or watch that cheesy Christmas film. Or listen to that cheesy Christmas playlist on repeat all day, no apologies or explanations necessary. Catch my drift?
So that’s it, (single) folks. I hope you get to go about your A/W days without feeling all that lonely, but when those moments do arrive: think about all the good things that come with being single, never just settle if you’re a romantic like I am, never lose hope of finding something special if that’s what you want, and for God’s sake: spoil the bleep out of yourself. On Singles Day and every other day.
fellow-singletons, how are you coping this time of year? feel free to share it with us!