Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)
(The follow up post:
(Link): The 39 worst things folks said to people who are single during the holidays.)
- … So instead of simply remixing an old post, I decided to create a holiday-focused scorecard. Think of it like a seasonal ale they put nutmeg in during January. It only comes around this time of year. Without further ado, I give you:
Being single during Christmas at church:
5. You good friends hold secret “couples holiday dinners” they don’t invite you to because they don’t want you to feel awkward. = + 3 points
6. They wince when the world’s worst commercials, Jared’s jewelry, come on TV and some horrible actress gets engaged right in front of you. = +4 points
8. They try desperately to find the silver lining and say things like, “It must be nice not to have to shop for anyone. My husband is so hard to get gifts for!” = +2 points
10. They feel slightly guilty for watching romantic Christmas movies in your presence, like “Love Actually.” = +3 points
11. Someone tells you, “Being single doesn’t have to mean being alone.” = +2 points
12. Your friends have stopped saying “When you get married” because they’re not sure you’ve got it in you. = +1 point
21. People spend an exorbitant amount of time telling you marriage success stories, e.g. “The instant my friend Jill stopped looking for a boyfriend this incredible guy came along and swept her off her feet.” = + 1 point
22. You’re divorced and someone gives you the incredibly encouraging advice, “God will bring you someone who will overlook your past.” = + 2 points
24. Someone makes a horrible joke about how this Christmas, you got the “gift of celibacy.” = +10 points
25. Married friends feel compelled to over tell you how difficult marriage is so that you don’t feel like it’s a winter wonderland of constant awesomeness. = +3 points
32. People try to romanticize the tremendous amounts of free time you must have during the holidays without a family to bother you. = +3 points
Some select reader comments:
- Sydney says
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 3:46 PM
As the oldest grandchild and neice on both sides of my family I have recently been given the guilt trip from my grandparents: “We might not have many more Cristmases left, we need some grandchildren!”
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:12 PM
Yup, I started to hear similar comments in the last couple years (and I’m only 24!). Like from my grandfather “Do you have a boyfriend yet? You need to get married before I die.” As if boyfriends magically appear out of force of sheer will.
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 3:48 PM
“It’s so courageous of you to decorate your apartment for the holidays and send out Christmas cards, as if you had a family”.
Yep. From a family member.
I don’t know how many ‘points’ is equal to spending Christmas afternoon in my bedroom crying. Alone, of course. Maybe +20?
DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 10:17 AM
So true! My grandfather gives all my (married) siblings/cousins money (triple digits) for Christmas. Being single, I get $0. Its not so much about the money, but not being considered as “equally deserving of a gift.”
DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 1:01 PM
Me too, Carly! Me too! The exact same thing happens to me.
DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 3:43 PM
Same here!! I always think, I have bills too and nobody to help me pay them! Am I not worthy of a check at Christmas just because I didn’t provide a son-in-law and grandchildren??
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:28 PM
[In response to someone who says she hates #21 on the list, 21 reads,
21. People spend an exorbitant amount of time telling you marriage success stories, e.g. “The instant my friend Jill stopped looking for a boyfriend this incredible guy came along and swept her off her feet.” = + 1 point]
As if God is dangling a gift in front of you and will only give it to you when you stop reaching for it or wanting it! So screwy, but I can’t tell you how many people have thrown this at me in my 35 years of singleness.
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:53 PM
I cannot stand #21 or any spin-offs that deal with, “Well, when you focus fully on God, he’ll be right beside you!”
It implies that all married people are somehow on a separate spiritual playing field than singles. Like they are the first-string players that know how to focus on Jesus better or something—AND FOR THAT, THEY GET A REWARD!
But not you single people. Go read your ESV study bible and pray a little more. Better luck next season!
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 5:20 PM
I’m sick of people saying I should get more involved in church and that I will meet him there. I already go to church and have been for a looong time. No dice. Sitting between my parents each Sunday doesn’t really help either, huh?
DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 12:15 AM
I attend a church and live in a town that has very few single Christian men. My church has none. And I am one of two single ladies myself. Getting more involved will not do anything.
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 5:22 PM
That is fantastic, haha! Yeah, it’s a very good point. A lot of people make comments that imply you’re single because you somehow aren’t putting God first in your life, no matter what you’re actually doing.
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:10 PM
ST.WIPS: Stupid Things Well-Intentioned People Say.
“It’ll happen when…” (and then fill in the blank with any sort of random statement like “when you’re least expecting it…” blah blah blah)
“God is your husband!”
“Maybe you should…” (and then fill in the blank with any sort of random advice that is usually a little bit mean. I usually want to respond, “Maybe you should kiss my grits.”
“Have you prayed about it?” Oh! Now there’s a brilliant idea that I’ve never considered!
Jon–How many points does one get for being single, alone, and OVERSEAS at Christmas? About 100?
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 9:51 PM
Blechk! Im 35, and married now but wow, did i hate that “youre not putting urself in the right situations…” Its bs im sorry. I was told for many years my husband would come to my church one day. And the non-church people i knew were telling me i needed to go to club to find a man. Otherwise i was dooomed.
Well every1 was wrong. I just kept living my life and future hubby came to my WORK PLACE. LOL so there!
And i vowed when i got married i will not become “one of them”. And im didnt. Godmhelp me if i ever do…
DECEMBER 16, 2013 AT 12:58 PM
I tell the Church ladies that there is no one single my age at church, so I’m gonna start going to the bars to find a husband.
That shuts them up quick.
DECEMBER 16, 2013 AT 3:20 PM
I once told a girl at my Bible study that I’d been keeping my hair long because a) I’ve been enjoying doing fun updos with it and b) I read that guys prefer longer hair (which is true) . . . but I’d also considered doing a cute pixie cut. I’m just afraid that if I did everyone would think I was a butch lesbian, so if I get to 35 and I’m still not married I might go ahead and give the pixie a shot, since by then I expect most people will think I’m a butch lesbian anyway . . . LOL. (It’s been thought before, even when I’ve had long hair . . . I’m sorry to say).
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:17 PM
Yup, some of these are accurate already. Like the lady at church who always asks me if I have a boyfriend yet because she has to know as soon as it happens. I have a few friends who like to tell me how lucky I am to be single and how guys are so much more trouble than they’re worth. Yeah, so nice to be told that from the person who has been married or in a relationship for years to the girl who has never had a bf. They all mean well, but there comes a point when every single piece of “advice” or “encouragement” someone gives you about your love life becomes kind of insulting and aggravating. I despise those cliched comments from people.
[In reply to a married about what marrieds can say to singles]
DECEMBER 16, 2013 AT 12:52 AM
Everything else about my life? Because part of what makes it so frustrating/hurtful, is those questions are essentially implying, “it doesn’t really matter what you’ve done or accomplished. Your life isn’t truly valid until you’re in a relationship/married/have kids. Didn’t you know you are defined by your marital status?”
I have a job I’ve worked hard for and really enjoy (and I work with some really fascinating stuff, which I might tell you about if you showed interest in knowing something beyond my 30-second job summary).
I have a master’s degree.
I’ve traveled all over the world.
I have friends and family all over the country/world.
I’ve been remodeling my house over the last 3 years.
I’m in a book club and love to read.
I enjoy working in my yard/garden.
I love to bake and cook.
I love going to the theater and trying new restaurants.
And yes, I have two cats. And they entertain me to no end.
But yet somehow, there are people who can’t think of anything to ask me about or comment on except my relationship status?!
So, what would encourage me and make me feel appreciated? Showing interest in what my life IS (everything listed above), rather than what it might be lacking (a significant other). Celebrating/congratulating me on what I’ve accomplished (job, education, house reno, etc.), rather than focusing on what I haven’t (a husband). Recognizing that I and my life are legitimate and acceptable right now and as is – just as acceptable and legitimate as they would be with a spouse, not just as “it’s nice to see you’re using your time well until you meet someone.”.
Hope that helps!
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 5:28 PM
Yes! I also stopped telling stories to my parents that involves and single guy within 20 years of me. They completely tone-out what I’m saying and become fixed on that guy. “So you just said Jake, who is Jake, how old is he? Are you interested, is he cute?” And they remember him and check-in on how “jake and I ” are doing for months.
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:25 PM
Ooo, wait, can we add watching all the Christmas engagement posts starting to pop up on facebook with the nauseatingly sappy captions??? Seriously.
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:25 PM
Being a widow, I get a lot of “at least…” statements, such as “at least you had the time together that you did. “.
True, but it doesn’t make it any less lonely. These are often preceded by “Wow, the holidays much be so hard for you, being by yourself and all.”
Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn’t noticed.
Which is immediately followed by the suggestion that I sign up to volunteer at all 11 services over four days.
Just because I’m single doesn’t mean I don’t have a life.
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:25 PM
This cracked me up, especially after the question I got yesterday: “Have you tried Christian Mingle yet?”
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 6:40 PM
Ah yes. My old friend. I saw an advert for said company online the other day (thanks, targeted FB advertising) with the terrible, theologically worrying and mildly threatening slogan “Worried about going to heaven alone? Maybe not.” As Charlie Brown says, good grief.
Should definitely be added to the points system.
DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:29 PM
I’m divorced and in my thirties. At this point, I hear comments about how God will “restore the years the locusts have eaten.”
Little do they know that I’m on a wild adventure and I see no locusts in my history.
I was just starting to write a blog post about Christmas as a single woman! I will have to link to this post.