How to Survive "Cuffing Season"
Let’s face it. The end of the year is the WORST!
Not only do you have to prepare for holidays at home, you must face the questioning of family regarding your love life. Even worse, be compared to those who have significant others or being asked when you are going to have children!? Don’t forget about questions about your friends, especially the ones getting engaged or married… “No, I did not see Linda’s engagement ring pictures on Facebook?”
Why would you want to anyways? All Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat ever do is make me depressed about what I don’t have.
So you just smile and nod while inside you are screaming “damn slow your roll." Auntie may have the best intentions but you need to do things at your own pace. Plus you know that you don’t need a ball and chain to be happy.
Can’t I just love me first?
Even if you were ready to start looking for love…you question their motives during this time of year. Are they genuinely interested or is it because it is cold outside? Are they trying to keep up with everyone else? Wait, why is this relationship moving so fast? Why can’t I breathe?
The end of the year just seems to be filled with relentless questioning from others and within ourselves. Rather than feel sorry for ourselves, here are some tips to help you survive:
1. Monitor Your Obsessiveness on Social Media
Social media is usually the first place our friends hit their engagement, pregnancy, two week anniversary...basically EVERYTHING fine and dandy about their relationship. It reminds us of what we don’t have in our own lives: adventure, love, and happiness. Even though we know that not every person is adventurous, in love, or happy. People post what they want to be portrayed as.
But we can’t help looking through our feed. Instead of spending 3 hours scrolling through your feed, dial it down a bit. Maybe 1 hour spread out through the day so you can spend more time doing things that fulfill you. For that 1 hour, look at Linda’s engagement ring and have an answer when asked if you have seen it.
Reducing our time versus trying to go social media sober is going to have better results.
Take a step back and remember, the holidays are spent with those who matter, regardless of how many questions you have been asked. Remember you are AWESOME and if you don’t feel awesome at this moment, take a breath and remind yourself what makes you awesome. Write them down or better yet create your own social media post about what makes you awesome. Snapchat it, Insta it, whatever you cool and hip kids are doing these days. (WOW that made me sound super old right now lol).
2. Cherish the FREEDOM you have!
This is the time where you have to do what you want without worrying how it’s going to affect the Mr./Mrs.
Even if you are dating someone there is a level of freedom to enjoy that you don’t have when you are married. The slice of freedom will be something our friends secretly envy, they just don’t want to admit it.
Cherish it! Flaunt it! Give it the spotlight it needs.
It could be something as simple as spending the day on yourself or even a weekend. Many married peeps would scream for a weekend retreat away without their ball and chain.
Believe me...I am one of those people (LOL I love my hubby and kids but homegirl could use a nap).
You hold the power!!!
Even if you didn’t want to go out of the house, you could literally do WHATEVER YOU WANT.
You don’t have to ask for permission or feel bad when you don’t. You also don’t have explain yourself.
Relish that freedom. Your friends probably wished they did and if they don’t...give them a few years lol.
3. Do something that makes you happy.
So this is the trifecta of relationship chaos, the turkey dump, cuffing season and 20 questions with family about what you are doing with your life.
It’s a tough time...an extremely tough time.
It is important to find something for your self-care. My favorite suggestion is journaling. You can write down anything and everything you may have honestly wanted to say to your Aunt Bertha who is constantly asking you when you are going to settle down, like you planned for things to be this way. Plus journaling can also help you plan out the next year on paper, it is the end of the year after all.
Whatever your choice is, do something that’s going to get out your frustration with this time of year BUT also be healthy for you.
That can help you prepare for the year ahead with a clearer and healthier mindset. Plus it can help help boost your confidence and self-esteem to help you combat any negativity that comes your way.
Bottom line is this...we love our friends and family, we are happy for them. They also want us to be happy but let’s remind everyone
that being happy doesn’t mean we have to be with someone.
No matter what relationship status you may encounter this holiday season, or in life, the relationship you have with yourself is the most
important. You must first love yourself, truly and honestly before thinking about adding someone else into the mix.
So when asked, "do you have a significant other?", we just need to enjoy the moment, the freedom and the fun so when our time does come we are ready for it.
If you are trying to have one, have fun!
Written by: Jessica Jefferson, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Perinatal Mental Health Counselor and Owner of Cloud Nine Therapeutic Services. My passion is helping individuals who want to learn more about themselves and not get lost within the expectations of being in a relationship. I help them learn more about what makes them unique so that they can overcome their challenges and find peace. I am here when you are ready to start the process to learn more about yourself.