It’s the most wonderful time of the year… deck the halls and all that.
It’s also the time of year that single people are writing Christmas cards to “Mr and Mrs X” or to favourite couple friends “Paul and Pauline”, adding their children “Peter and Pedro” (those names may or may not be made up…) and signing them off simply as “Love from Shelly” single old Shelly. Every year I wonder if next year will be the year I sign “Love from Shelly and X”
Or maybe I’ll be buying a card that says “To my wonderful boyfriend at Christmas” (do people still do that? I’ve been out of the loop for quite some time…!)
The feeling of being single is heightened at Christmas. Not only are most Christmas movies all about happy families but so is advertising which is hard to avoid. Everyone gets excited about the John Lewis advert, then they want to see what others will produce. Generally it’s a warm 2.4 happy family doing nice Christmassy things. Where’s the advert of a load of happy single girls having the best festive time ever? Drinking gin, dancing to Mariah and wearing Santa hats? It’s as if advertisers don’t even consider that there are other ways to enjoy Christmas other than in the perfect family scenario. Even Kevin the carrot has a girlfriend this year- Katie! (Aldi advert if you think I’ve finally gone crazy!)
Two of my all time favourite films happen to be Christmassy Rom Coms- ‘Serendipity’ and ‘The Holiday’. Maybe these films are why I’ve been single so long, I’m waiting for these moments… that perhaps aren’t real? I can aim high right? For years I’ve had a dream. That dream is to go to New York at Christmas with a boyfriend. However earlier this year I decided that I didn’t NEED a boyfriend to do this. And actually New York at Christmas would be freezing so I went with one of my best friends in April, had the best time and thankfully I feel like that “itch” has been scratched. In your face, MOVIES.
So I’ve decided that if I can’t beat the happy families having lovely festive times… I can at least try and join them. Christmas is the perfect time to go on dates! There are so many romantic things you can do. No, not like ice skating. No one really enjoys that do they? That’s something that really is never like the movies. Plus, if you fall over and put your hand down, you could lose a finger! It’s DANGEROUS!
You can go for walks around Christmassy places wrapped up all nice and snug, go for lovely candle lit dinners, lunch in pubs by fires with pretty Christmas trees and meet for festive flavoured coffees whilst eating ginger bread.
Other than going on lovely Christmassy dates, there are lots of other things to enjoy and be thankful for at Christmas as a singleton. It doesn’t have to feel lonely and daunting. I feel very lucky that due to my single life, it’s meant I have spent the last 3 years over in Lincolnshire with my sister and my nephews, and this year will be the fourth year. There’s no worry about seeing any in-laws, I have been able to go out on copious nights out and not had to worry about anyone else (other than my liver). For years I’ve thought that putting up the decorations with someone, drinking mulled wine whilst listening to Christmas music must be amazing and romantic. But actually… I know where all my decs go and I’ve got to a stage in my life where I feel the satisfaction of doing it on my own. I love all my baubles- they all have a story that only I know and they are mine, and only mine! There’s also the bonus of not having to buy Christmas presents for your other half. Instead… you can spend that money on presents for yourself! It’s win win really!
When I originally wrote this blog, I wrote that 2017 has been full of ups and downs, but the reality is, it’s mainly been full of ups! I can’t think of many down moments. And it’s thanks to me growing in strength and finally learning and accepting that being single is ok. I’m at a stage where I’m happy with my own company, I can easily entertain myself and I don’t want to get with someone just because society constantly tells us that the norm is to be in a relationship. I don’t think the norm should be to settle because of this pressure. Instead, I’ll continue to wait and only accept someone who is prepared to give me 100% and who I know is the right one for me. I’ve learnt to have a lot of self respect and to love myself and my life. I’ve stopped going on pointless dates- just ones that I believe are right and I won’t let men walk all over me anymore. First sign of madness and I’m gone. I’m worth more than that. It’s taken a good four years to get to this feeling, but now I’m here, I’m very happy. And it feels bloody great!! I know it’s a huge cliché but I really do believe that you wont be happy with anyone until you’re happy with yourself.
Thank you all for your support since starting my blog in March this year, and with my book launch a month ago.
Without all of your kind words of encouragement and support, I’d probably be hiding under my duvet in fear of putting myself out there. It’s been a scary and daunting time, but knowing I’ve already inspired others and helped them feel like they’re not alone is more than I could have asked for.
For those of you who haven’t yet bought a copy and would like to, it’s available here: http://amzn.eu/8TpFqWH
And I can’t end this blog without on of my “mental messages”… especially as it’s an almost festive one… (chicken is close to turkey… right?!)
M**** Let’s have KFC and you can nibble my chicken drumstick. Lol.
5 days later he follows that up with:
M**** Fancy a bag of chips? Lol.
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year xxxx