When the weather turns chilly, do you crave a snuggle buddy? You’re not alone. The “most wonderful time of the year” is unanimously one of the toughest times of the year for single folks, if not the toughest. Not always. But often. So I thought it would be interesting to open up the conversation about how we can all do this “being single” thing well during the holidays.
It’s easy to come up with a list of reasons why single people might be expected to have a “blue Christmas”.
There are all of the obvious reasons — having to be the only single one surrounded by couples at family/friend gatherings, being barraged by holiday advertisements all about buying gifts for that “special someone”, awkwardly smiling when that distant relative asks about the latest “developments in your love life”, wishing you had someone to snuggle with when it’s -19 degrees outside, yada yada yada. Believe me, I’ve been there. And those situations can be rough.
Most singles might decide around the holiday season that looking for a date or relationship makes sense. The season brings about a feeling of love and relationships in a theme of celebration and togetherness. Being under the mistletoe alone is daunting!
So, what is a single gay man to do during this time of the year if he wants to embark on a journey to find a special someone? Here’s some good tips:
- Keep your spirits lifted by being around friends and family during the holiday season. Support from your friends in established relationships is a great way to talk about your thoughts and feelings about a date. Get advice from some of your friends in healthy relationships. Ask them what makes their relationship work? Be around and celebrate with those people you cherish and get their thoughts. Positivity is great. Seek support from other single gay men embarking on the same journey; being able to have support of someone in a similar situation will be great to share ideas.
If you are healthy, happy and in a place where you want a serious relationship, then you put your head in first and date strategically and thoughtfully. Many times being single can be an opening for a conversation with someone online or meeting. The holidays are a great way to break through the ice by asking real substantive questions, getting to know people on a deeper level and then say ‘how was it being single for you during the holidays?’
- Set your holiday dating mindset in the right place. Start with the basics: watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” to remind yourself all the great experiences that are happening without you. Remember the good times you were part of in life in which you helped others, either directly or indirectly.
- Ask people you know if they can discreetly (tell people ahead of time to be cool and subtle about it) introduce you to available singles you can mingle with during social events. Find out a few key nuggets (their background or values) from your friend when possible.
- Have realistic expectations; the holiday season is a time where lots of people are busy and traveling. If you decide to begin dating through online sites or gay dating apps like Gay Dating Solutions (it is free, easy to use and no gimmicks), remember that patience is a virtue! You might need to begin the planning stages and start to meet new people after the new year if you feel like people seem busy or rushed during December. Remember, it’s not the quantity of those you are seeking but the quality. Be thoughtful in your process for meeting new potential dates and take into account that the holiday season might mean more people traveling in and out of your city.
- If you meet someone around the holidays, it’s OK to feel awkward about not knowing if you need to invite this guy to your holiday event or even purchase a gift. Go with your instincts and what feels most comfortable. Maybe meeting someone new during the holiday season means it is too new of a relationship to exchange gifts. Cards are simple, so consider sharing a greeting card. Talk to them about this! I bet they feel the same, and it opens up sharing and conversations.
Don’t be alone for the holidays. Even if you have tried and been unsuccessful try again. Do not give up on meeting new people and making new friends. Good people are out there. Get involved in a church, a political party, a volunteer group desperate for help during the holidays or join a gay dating app!