Being single can be really fun. But there are certain moments when you might find yourself really craving a partner. And this may especially be true as the summer fades and winter begins to roll around, as some people feel more anxiety about being single in the colder months. So if you find yourself feeling especially anxious about your relationship status as the temperatures drop, don't fret, there's a reason for that.
"In colder months, there can be more social pressure to have a partner for holiday parties, family get-togethers, and cozy (romantic) activities involving snow and cuddling," Dr. Carly Claney, PhD and licensed clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. "This season tends to bring people together, and it may highlight one's sense of loneliness or insecurity about not having their own partner to be with." This means that if you feel yourself become or anxious or lonely during this cold season, what you're feeling is perfectly natural. And you might not be alone.
If you feel as though the days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and everyone around you (but you) is getting into a relationship, statistics suggest you may not be wrong. In a 2012 analysis, Facebook found that most of its users were reporting relationship changes (more specifically, they were getting into relationships) around December and February. And thanks to social media, when someone you know gets into a relationship, you get a virtual update in the form of tweets, Instagram posts, and Facebook statuses. This means that even if you may not physically be around a lot of couples, you're probably scrolling through a timeline of couples pics and New Year's kisses. And that alone can be pretty taxing on the single mind.
But having anxiety about your "singledom" doesn't necessarily mean you're looking for a partner. "Anxiety may come from not knowing what you're going to do for holidays or who you're going to do the fun, cozy, winter things with if you don't have your one person to rely on," Claney says.
If you feel yourself feel extra pressured by the amount of coupling-up happening during this cold, cuffing-season, it might just be because you feel lonely in a general sense, rather than a specifically romantic one. But it's all about your mindset and how you approach the situation. You don't have to let yourself succumb to the negative feelings that might come along with being single in the colder months. Claney says, "One way to alleviate feelings about anxiety toward being single is to prioritize making plans with friends and family." She says that if you remain proactive about scheduling activities with your friends (both single and taken), you can enjoy the season doing things you want to do with people you care about.
Whether in the cold weather or warm, being single can sometimes feel difficult. But if you keep your head up, remember that you are sufficient enough on your own, and surround yourself with people you enjoy, you can get through this season and every other one as well.
Dr. Carly Claney, PhD and licensed clinical psychologist
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-data-team/the-right-time-for-love-tracking-the-seasonality-of-relationship-formation/10150643989093859.