Being single during the holidays can be difficult. You get so many comments from family friends and relatives who think it's totally OK to comment on something as personal as your relationships, there is a pressure to have a plus one at parties, it can be a mind field. But instead of feeling weird about it, there's so much to be grateful for about being single. In fact, for some people, it's exactly what they want.
"I think that some people are meant to be single," psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. "They are confident, they love their lives, they love the ability to have no deep-rooted responsibilities that would keep them from doing things at the drop of a hat... Women who are meant to stay single do not feel like they are missing out on something — in fact, they often think everyone else is. They enjoy the experience of dating varied people, and to exploring life's many adventures. They are content with who they are, and how they are."
But even if you want to have a partner one day, that's no reason to feel badly about not having one now. If today is all about giving thanks, here are all the reasons why you should be grateful to be single on Thanksgiving:
1. Because One Family's Stress Is Enough
Thanksgiving is probably peak family stress time. There's a lot to handle. You know what's even more to handle? Your family's stress and your partner's family stress, all happening at the same time. Be grateful you only have one to handle. It can be more than enough.
2. Because You've Got Time For Self-Care
In this stressful holiday season, it's important to make time for self-care and self-love. “Self-love is important because it lays the framework for how we love others, and how we let them love us in return. If we do not love ourselves, how can we accept and give love to others?,” Martinez tells Bustle. “If we have a strong sense of self, love and appreciate who we are, we are a stronger partner. It is true that we attract individuals who are a reflection of how we feel about ourselves.”
But even if you're not looking to get into a relationship, taking time to really love yourself will help today. And you have more time to do it. The family can wait.
3. Because You're Learning About Yourself
Is there anything better than learning what you really want? It's the basis of a whole lot of happiness. “I think being single is an exercise that every person should go through at some point in their adult life. It is a time that gives us the distance and clarity that we need to get to know who we truly are as a person, and to firmly define what it is that we want in a future partner,” Martinez says. And you might be learning that you don't want a partner, that's fine too.
4. Because You're Not Compromising
"I'd rather be single, in a comfortable relationship with myself, than trapped in a dysfunctional, toxic relationship with someone else," certified relationship coach Rosalind Sedacca tells Bustle. Amen. I want to tattoo that on my forehead so some of my friends have to stare it. It's so true and so not something that enough people follow through on. Just be grateful you're not in a bad relationship, because they can eat your damn soul.
5. Because You're Still Growing
Along with bad relationships just being torture, they also stagnate you. In fact, even pretty good relationships can coddle and stagnate you, if you get too comfortable. Independence means growth and there's nothing wrong with growth.
6. Because You're Not Giving Into Pressure
I know, there's a lot of pressure today. You're probably getting a ton of questions from relatives about why you're single. Well f*ck 'em. "If you're happy, then there's no reason to push yourself to be in a relationship just because society expects it," life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle. And your family will get over it.
7. Because You Don't Owe Anybody An Explanation
Just like you don't owe your family an explanation for why you're single, being on your own means you're only really accountable to you. You can go traveling, eat a pint of ice cream for dinner, take up wood carving — whatever. Yes, you can do all of this in a relationship, but you sometimes you can be scared to even try because you don't want to put your partner in a difficult position. When your wants and needs are only yours to follow, there's a whole lot more freedom.
Whether you ultimately want to be in a relationship or not, Thanksgiving can be a time where a lot of people try to make you feel weird about being single. But it should be just the opposite. Celebrate being single, because there's so much to be grateful for.
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