03 Nov 2016
3 Ways to How to Stop the Holiday Single-Psych-Out in NYC
For years I’ve felt a bittersweet love/hate emotion toward the post-Halloween holiday season. Grinchy? Maybe. The fact is we’re entering the time of the year that what kids now call “cuffing season.” I assume everyone reading this article is familiar with this dual term (or at least if you’ve dated me you’re LOL-ing at this double entendre), but for anyone blissfully unfamiliar, it’s the time of year where those without a significant other flee to Hinge, Happn, or Tinder (if you’re old-school) to shack up before the trifecta of loneliness hits- Christmas, New Years, Valentines Day.
In the past my single self always followed suit with this toxic thinking… Feeling nostalgia for old flames whose embers have long burnt out, scheduling multiple date nights a week, gazing longingly at Valencia-filtered Instagram holiday photos of couple friends holding hands under trimmed trees (you know who you are)! It’s enough to drive the most self-assured Beyonce protégé mad, if you allow it to consume your thoughts. The question is, WHY do we torture ourselves during the most wonderful time of the year?! Why do we revere in single-dom throughout the hot summer and shame ourselves like lepers for the remaining half of the year? The weather changes, but your self assuredness shouldn’t.
As someone who has been perpetually single for the majority of adulthood, fully established now in NYC I’m finally embracing TF out of my solo-self, and I am. Ironically, it’s coming at a time where a former-insecure Fiona would cringe to log-in and see the 15th engagement this week in her timeline. I’m hitting that pivotal stage of adulthood where all my suburban highschool friends are in serious, long-term relationships, my younger cousin I used to babysit is planning his wedding for this upcoming June, and I’m literally here trying to figure out what secrets are hiding in the middle of HBO’s Westworld maze. My natural instinct was that of anxiety- and it’s taken a giant effort to reprogram my brain to where I truly am happy- not just social media happy- with being truly alone.
So if you’re feeling a case of the solo-scaries, I’ve luckily trial-and-errored every #overthinking scenario and finally found some calm in the storm. A practice that offsets any insecurity associated with alleged ticking biological clocks. Consider the following your survival manual, and know we’ve got your back:
1) DO NOT COMPARE
This one is crucial and requires some mental self control. DO NOT COMPARE yourself to Sally Wisconsin in housewife paradise posting another #MCM to her wooly mammoth Bae. There are multiple factors happening with social media personas that your lonely brain fails to recognize. First off, no one Instagrams the photo of their boredom, annoyance, doubt, or second thoughts. This is no shade at you, Sally- I wish no one but the best! The truth is, the grass is always seemingly greener, and I know many who have “settled” because they felt pressure and yearn to feel the independence of not having to answer to another human being. Everyone’s choice is their own, but the internet is always deceiving.
A second factor to keep in mental check, big city life is undeniably fast when it comes to every single facet… except for long-term relationships! Due to the plethora of options, social outings, and chances for encounters with Mr. or Ms. Right- there’s no shortage of opportunities to find love in the single community. If anything, one would call the metropolitan dating scene overwhelming- which is an interesting contrast to the majority of the world. Unless you’re living it, no one can understand the plight of having 100 matches in your inbox after a tipsy post-Soho House night swiping right on Happn. Bottom line, with more opportunity and options it’s going to take more time to weed through the bullshit. Think of it like shopping at H&M- eventually, you’re going to find that life-long gem, only after weeding through the masses.
2) CLEAR THE PAST
Like clockwork, the first time temperature drops below freezing you can bet your bottom dollar last year’s ex will find their way into your inbox. “Heyyyyyyyyyy stranger.” “New life, who dis.” Now, I’d be lying if I said I never visited an old flame so I am not here to play holier than thou. On the contrary, I’ve gone down this path more times than I’d like to admit and it’s never once resulted in being fulfilled, even if it feels like an easy emotional fix at the cold and lonely time.
If you broke up, there’s a reason why it didn’t work out. As tempting as it is, having your ex on your mind and in your bed both mentally and physically limits you from meeting said other human being. It’s crucial implement a forward thinking mindset that imagines the possibilities of greater love, instead of going back to something that was familiar, but ultimately wrong in the end.
3) BECOME YOUR BEST SELF
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to hibernate. There are SO many opportunities year round in the city to take advantage of that’ll introduce you to amazing groups of people. While being alone in the winter can be undoubtedly uncomfortable at first, once you embrace your solo there’s a feeling of liberation. The door is wide OPEN and you have all the time in the world to explore activities that’ll enhance your personal growth- ultimately making you happy without the help of another.
Personally, I’ve met incredible people at gym classes, networking, yoga, and through charities. Doing an activity you love that provides a sense of purpose has been scientifically proven to boost endorphins. And the thing about endorphins is they make everyone look sexy AF! The confidence you’ll get by learning a new skill, giving back, or experiencing something new will be invaluable.
While you’re out there becoming the best most sparkly version of yourself, make sure to make #selflove your mantra every morning. Set your day out with intention, smile to people on the street. Treat yourself to that latte after getting up before your fifth snooze… The weather will be harsh enough, so balance it out with mental reminders to stay positive and happy throughout the day.
Bottom line- society breeds us to think our lives aren’t complete without another human being… But guess what, Carrie was never more fabulous than when she embraced her improved, reinvented self (brunette) after mourning the loss of Big (we’ll ignore the writing mishap of her getting back with him in the end- team Aiden for life). And with health and beauty advancements allowing humans living longer and giving birth later, there’s truly no need to worry about timing. Hear that? It’s the beautiful silence of your biological clock that just stopped ticking.
Drop me a line and tell me what you think!
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Photo Credit Obagi For Life.