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Cuffing Season

February is the end of what my friends call “cuffing season.” It’s the time of year that you lock down or “cuff” a relationship in the Fall so that you don’t have to go through the holidays alone. The holidays can be difficult when you’re single, sure, but there are tons of great reasons to not settle for someone just to avoid being alone. Yes, friends and family members can sometimes be “all in your business” about why you’re not married, but don’t let them get you down. Riding solo around the holidays can be a great opportunity to reframe your thinking and really take care of yourself.


First, don’t focus on being alone. Instead, this can be a time to do what you want when you want--You can be the focus! You don’t have to meet anyone’s needs but your own; no in-laws to entertain, no family schedules to coordinate, and no unwanted obligations. That’s one of the best things about being single. Go to a museum, have a spa day, indulge your culinary cravings with dinner at Post and Beam or The District. Don’t like to go out alone? Invite a friend to join you. Or push yourself to accept an invitation to a party on your own. It might feel scary at first, but I bet you’ll start having fun once you get there. Besides, people are more likely to approach you if you’re by yourself.


Second, remember that your goals are important. Pamper and take good care of yourself, but also make plans and set goals. Do things you enjoy that are meaningful to you. You can use this time to be productive; put together a vision board for 2017, create a timeline to meet your goals for the year. Maybe you need some down-time to relax. Perhaps your body’s yearning for a new workout regimen. Take this time to dream about the future and put the steps in place to make them come to fruition.  


Finally, don’t be a negative Nelly. It can be difficult to stay positive, especially when we keep hearing, “When are you going to settle down?” or “When do you think you’ll have a family of your own?” It’s common to have a little post holiday blues. But if you feel yourself getting dragged down, consider volunteering. Distracting yourself with something positive and productive is a great tool.  There are plenty of charities and good causes that could use a little extra help. Doing positive things for others who are in need can bring you joy, help you stop focusing on what’s wrong, and instead focus on what’s right. Once you’re focused on the positive, I bet you’ll notice your mood is lifted -- just-like-that.

No matter how you decide to deal with being single over the holidays, don’t forget that you don’t need to be in a romantic relationship to be happy. It might seem obvious, but sometimes it’s nice to repeat that to yourself when you’re stuck “in your feelings” and things get tough. Besides, just because you aren’t romantically involved doesn’t mean you aren’t important to other people. You have friends, family, and other loved ones who care about you, and that means you’re never really alone. So keep that in mind and carve out some time to focus on you! You’ll be glad you did.