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Surviving Holiday Dating Anxiety Part 1: If You Are Single

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It’s almost December, and that means the holidays: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve are right around the corner. For many, this is the season for sharing and love. For others, it can be a time of loneliness and disappointment.

Whether you are single or dating – eagerly awaiting the holidays or dreading them – it is important to realize that you can make this season what you want it to be. You are in the driver’s seat.

This is the first of a two-part series on how to survive dating anxiety during the holidays. Read on to ensure a peaceful and happy holiday season.

A Jewish Single’s Guide to Holiday Dating

Holiday celebrations can cause even the most self-reliant singles to feel lonely and desperate. If you are faced with an unwelcome gap between being alone and achieving your dreams of being partnered, it is very tempting to let the commercially fueled holidays drag you down. Here are a few tips to help you take charge and feel better, no matter what your status:

1.  Don’t Let Your Status Define Who You Are

Whether you are single, dating, or partnered, that status is not an explanation of who you are as a person. You are defined by your own character – your trustworthiness, your ability to rely on yourself, your integrity and your compassion for others.

2. Accept All Holiday Invitations

Make a point of getting out of your comfort zone and attend whatever holiday functions come your way. There is no time better than the holiday season for meeting new people, networking, and making new acquaintances. During the holidays, most people are welcoming and full of cheer.

3. Don’t Romanticize The Holiday Season

Be careful about embracing the idea that it’s not okay to be on your own during this time of the year. Being part of a couple during the holidays has its own set of challenges. Just as being coupled does not ensure happiness, being single does not have to mean that you are unhappy.

4.  Connect With Friends

The season is full of wonderful things to do – and you don’t need a partner to do them. Hang out with your favorite people and enjoy some entertainment: movies, theater, travel, exhibits, and special events!

5. Exercise Your Autonomy

As an unattached person, you are in an ideal place to take complete charge of your holiday experience. While others may be stuck eating fruitcake with their in-laws, you can develop your own agenda. Engage in self-reflection, consider the many options available to you, and choose the ones that will create a meaningful list of activities for the holiday.

6. Volunteer/Take Up A New Hobby

The holidays present a unique window to volunteer, which will benefit others as well as refresh your perspective on what is important in life. There are wounded veterans and their families in almost every community. Seek them out and help make a difference in their lives. Also, engaging in a new hobby will increase the chances of meeting new people.

Regardless of your status, the holidays are an excellent opportunity to exercise your independence. It is important to be mindful of what is personally important to you about the holiday season. Click here for part 2 of this series, which will be interesting to those of you who recently coupled up with another JDater®!

Author of the recently released book, “Who Am I Without My Partner? Post-Divorce Healing and Rediscovering Your SELF,” Deborah Hecker, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist with over 35 years of private practice experience. She received her Master’s Degree from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from The Union Institute. In addition, she is certified as a psychoanalyst and has extensive training in the following areas: addiction counseling, grief counseling, collaborative practice and mediation. For more information, please visit www.drdeborahhecker.com.
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