Waiting for Mr. Right can be an ongoing challenge, but for some reason during the holidays it can be even more poignant and painful.

Until I married at 42, I never had a boyfriend during the holidays, a reality that instigated many bouts of tears.  No one to go with to the office parties.  Alone under the mistletoe and on New Year’s Eve.  While everyone else seemed to be extra in-love this time of year, I was alone and often lonely, exasperated too.

Wouldn’t it be fun being a couple enjoying each others’ families?  Or maybe a romantic ski vacation in Aspen (no matter I don’t ski and am afraid of the slopes, I’d sure look fine in a new Pucci ski jacket.)

Parties came and went while I seldom went anywhere, except home alone for Christmas, or New Year’s Eve with a best friend’s kids.

So, how does a heart hold on during yet another holiday season alone?

Here are a few tested strategies which I found can alleviate pain and make for a festive season of joy, while Mr. Right tarries.

Dress Up – Sure, it would be fun shopping with him in mind, but why not don a few sparkles anyway?  Target and H&M have inexpensive sequin tanks or fun little accessories that can make a girl feel special.  Find a friend or two who will appreciate your bling and head out for some fine dining or a festive event like the Nutcracker.  Girlfriends hand out a lot more compliments anyway, so drink it in and enjoy how pretty you feel.

Celebrate Your Family & Friends Now – Once Mr. Right starts weighing in on holiday plans, you can plan to give up some treasured moments with relatives and friends.  Sure it’s a worthy trade-off, but it IS a trade-off.  So while full freedom reigns, choose your favorite crowd and go.  (certainly keep your eyes open too, should one of them be related to Mr. Right.)

Don’t Be Fooled…Attending Alone is Not All Bad – If the thought of going to a holiday party without a date is way outside your comfort zone, why not try it and discover how interesting the freedom can be.  I found it often more enjoyable to attend on my own, completely myself without worrying if my guest was having fun, rather than bring someone I wasn’t in love with along to simply play the part.  Being alone isn’t awkward if you don’t act awkward, so put on a confident smile and enjoy the surprise moments you’re sure to have.

Maybe this year isn’t a MARRY Christmas, but surely it’s a MERRY one.  With 100 million singles in America you’re really not alone.  What a comfort to remember that the Christ child came much later than expected but right on time.  It will be no different for your Mr. Right.  So until he gets here….Joy to the World!

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