While there’s something alluring about the idea of being coupled up during the holidays, what with all the mistletoe-related kissing and candlelight and snuggling and so on, being single during the season has its benefits too. A lot of benefits. Specifically 12 benefits.
1. You Don’t Have To Be Embarrassed Of Your Weird Relatives
Imagine your one cousin who still calls them “freedom fries” 11 years later and without any prompting. Or your creepy uncle who keeps trying to show everyone his “erotic whittlings.” Imagine getting stuck next to them at the dinner table. Now imagine the person you are dating getting stuck next to them, his or her face frozen in a rigor of politeness and dread. Not having to introduce someone new to your family can be a Christmas gift in and of itself.
2. You Don’t Have To Worry About Getting Someone The Right Gift
Speaking of gifts, I am terrible at giving presents. For my very first Valentine’s Day in a relationship, I got my very first boyfriend ever a potted plant from Meijer. A potted plant! I was 21, not 10 or 95. Was I insane? The fact is that holiday gifts open up a festive writhing snake pit of issues. How much money are we spending on each other? What if we’ve only been together a short time? What if we’ve been together for years and I already went too big with the gifts and now he or she expects tickets to Majorca and all I have is this stupid, stupid houseplant? Even when you find true love, the pressure to get your beloved a perfect gift never goes away. I still have PTSD from the time my dad bought my mom the first season of M*A*S*H on DVD, and this was after they had been married for 20 years! Being single at Christmas spares you the horror of seeing your partner’s face fall with disappointment at the dumb idiot gift you thought they would love. Plus, it means you have more money to buy yourself the first season of M*A*S*H on DVD, so go crazy!
3. You Don’t Have To Fake Excitement Over Their Gift
That same first boyfriend of mine got me a Valentine’ Day present, too. I had complained about needing a belt, so he got me a belt – on which he had written a very heartfelt poem about my beautiful eyes. It was a wonderful thought but a terrible gift, in as much as I couldn’t actually use the belt without destroying the poem. (Oh, and my friends would have ripped on me unrelentingly had they ever seen it.) Being single during the holidays means you don’t have to put on an Oscar-worthy gift-gasm just to avoid hurting your partner’s feelings.
4. You Don’t Have To Travel With Anyone
Next to Ikea, traveling with a romantic partner is the number one cause of spontaneous head explosion. Luckily you are single, so you can breeze past all those couples screaming at each other in the security line or over a flat tire on the interstate. As a bonus corollary, being sans lover means no one will see you eating a foot-long pretzel dog from Auntie Anne’s while reading Star magazine, which we all know you do when you go to the airport, don’t deny it.
5. You Don’t Have To Worry About The Sleeping Arrangements
If you’re a person from a culture where sleeping in the same bed before marriage is seen as the equivalent of slapping your father in the face then backhanding God on the upswing, you know how tense it can be bringing home a current bed mate. So enjoy your emotionally uncomplicated sleep situation, single people! Be happy knowing you skipped the awkward convo where your mom suggests your partner can sleep in your kid brother’s trundle bed, or in the laundry room on a pile of towels.
6. You’ve Got More Time To Hang Out With Your Family
For those of us who like our families (in four day doses), it can be a bummer to cut down on family time in order to accommodate a visit to your beloved’s family’s house. Their family is probably fine, but they aren’t going to get your Wayne’s World references, or want to laugh about that time you peed your pants in the corn maze. So enjoy those screaming arguments with your siblings about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes. They might seem annoying now, but they are sweet memories that will last a lifetime once you see those turd burglars half as much.
7. No One Will Ask When You’re Getting Married/Having A Baby
Unless you eat too much pie and look like you’re having a human/pie baby hybrid, your relatives won’t inquire about your upcoming nuptials or your potential offspring when you’re single. Your nosy aunts will be stymied! And if someone has the audacity to ask you why you’re single, you can just say, “I’m not! I’m going to marry this pie!” then kiss and make out with the nearest pie until they wander away to go watch the game.
8. You’ve Got More Time to Hang Out With Your Home Friends
If you’re single, you simply have more time and freedom to reconnect with all your hometown buddies over the holidays. No one is going to be bugging you to go home after only twelve rounds of Celebrity, thank goodness! Depending on how old you are, enjoy watching your old friends get drunk and try to drag their cornhole board onto the roof or watch them fall asleep after drinking half a beer and play with their adorable fat babies. Truly, home friends are the gold in the “one is silver, the other gold” song from Girl Scouts.
9. You Are Free For Holiday Hook-Ups
This is what your high school friend’s parties are really for. Christmas time is truly a season of wonder and magic: wonder at how hot your acquaintances from high school have magically gotten. Is hooking up with the former captain of the soccer team as a single adult going to rectify all those years of awkward self-loathing and painful yearning as a teen? Nope, but it can’t hurt!
10.You Can Be The Slug You Are At Heart
Being coupled up for the holidays means being trotted out like a prize pig for your beloved’s family and really hoping your family is impressed by the awesome pig you brought home. When you’re single, you can really let loose because all these assholes already love you. No one is going to judge your sweatpants and unwashed hair at this shindig. Well, some people will judge you, but those guys have always been jerks anyway. No one new will judge you at least, and that’s enough to make anyone feel terrific, radiant and humble.
11. You Can Get Really Weird About Christmas
For me, it takes a level of deep intimacy before I let someone see how teary-eyed I get while watching Home Alone 2. Or Prancer. Or Die Hard. Being single during the holidays means no one will give you the side-eye for being a holiday freak: choking up during Elf, making elaborate gingerbread apartment complexes, half-jokingly sitting on Santa’s lap even though you almost have a master’s degree (and asking him to finish your dissertation for you). Obviously your true love won’t judge you for being a Christmas weirdo, but until said time that you meet that person, feel free to let your voice break while singing “Do You Hear What I Hear?” alone in your parents’ Toyota Sienna.
12. You Don’t Have To Make It “Special”
Much like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, people feel a tremendous need to make certain holidays the best most magical romantic experience ever. I blame Love, Actually. This expectation inevitably leads to disappointment and insanely hideous Christmas-themed jewelry. As a single person, your romantic expectations for the holidays are nil, so you can kick back, relax and feel just fine about the romantic evening you’re spending on the couch with a half carton of boozed-up eggnog. And is there anything more special than that?
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