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Dreading another Christmas being single

(42 Posts)
user293847923874972 Mon 27-Nov-17 00:41:19

Not sure if this the right place but wasn't brave enough for AIBU. It's probably just Sunday night blues but feeling sorry for myself and a bit down.

I normally like it; Christmas songs, food, spending time with family etc but it definitely amplifies the 'alone-ness' and lack of my own family. I am in my mid-thirties, have been single for what feels like forever and never really had a long term relationship.

I won't be spending it alone I will be with my parents and siblings and their partners and children. While it's lovely to spend time with them and definitely better than being alone like I know some people will be it does make me feel a very obvious odd one out and like an old maiden aunt. And all the build up of decorating the house and stuff just feels pointless doing it alone for just me.

I recently went to a very close friends wedding and had mostly a lovely day but at one point just felt very alone and sad looking around at couples and felt upset and almost panicky (not alcohol induced!) am dreading a similar thing happening at Christmas and it's getting worse as I get older. Any tips for enjoying it?

tiptopteepe Mon 27-Nov-17 00:51:21

keep in mind how stressful christmas is for most couples with kids! Me and my husband always fall out massively at some point during the 'festivities' and i dont think we are the only couple who experiences this. It is top time of the year for relationship tension. It may all look like paradise from the outside but never you worry I bet all those happy couples spend at least some of christmas in stony silence with each other or yelling full pelt.

You are dwelling on the negatives in your situation and the positives in other peoples.

Theres loads of good stuff about being single at christmas. Theres loads of bad stuff about having a family at christmas and vice versa. Try and not waste your time focusing on your fears and thinking about how bad your situation is.
You arent alone you say and will be surrounded by people who care about you so really im sure theres lots of joy to be had.

Christmas brings out the negatives in situations sometimes because theres so much pressure to be happy. Many people end up feeling miserable or not good enough. And it doesnt matter what their family situation is, whether they are married or single or whatever.
Its actually a hard time of year really.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Mon 27-Nov-17 01:09:03

I can promise you that people don't look at their single friends and relations and feel sorry for them. I have single cousins in their thirties and I see their lives as bloody lovely compared to my own at times.

The grass is greener for us all at times OP.

I do understand your sadness as you'd like someone special but look to your life with yourself...we're all on our own really...we come on our own and leave on our own after all.

Is there something in your work life that's not working well at the moment?

OliviaBonas Mon 27-Nov-17 01:14:51

I'm in the same boat and here if you want to talk. Women's Heath magazine has a good article about coping with Christmas in general this month which I found helpful.

CakesRUs Mon 27-Nov-17 01:51:40

The mass advertising of the perfect families around the perfect table, always makes me laugh - these people have never even met each other before and perpetuates an untrue image.

DullAndOld Mon 27-Nov-17 02:05:14

I had visions of you in a bedsit with a Christmas ready meal for one!
Honestly, being single is great, enjoy it. Just read some of the threads here esp about Christmas and in laws....

springydaff Mon 27-Nov-17 05:47:28

Hang on, let's not deny this is a painful position to be in. No amount of jollying along with tales of out of control husband/kids/families etc is going to soften that.

yes it is hard being single at christmas (and no, being single isn't always 'great', frankly).

<group hug> (in the same boat)

SaturdayNIghtAtTheMovies Mon 27-Nov-17 06:00:22

I agree Springy.

Single, no family and friends all doing things with their family.

I have to be present buyer, house decorator, cook, cleaner and entertainer for my children.

Ok, so.they are 18 and 11 and will pitch in, but presents are scant and they have a far more 'Christmassy' experience when they go to their dad's and his girlfriend's on Boxing Day, largely because their combined income is about 4/5 times mine and they have family who will also get involved and send presents.

But in my house it will just be the three of us. It's hard.

user1497997754 Mon 27-Nov-17 06:03:58

Get onto meet ups on the Internet and look up ones in your area...the ones in mine are organising loads of things over the Christmas and new year....party's, meals out, walks, drinks, cinema, visits etc you can then pick and choose what you would like to do and meet up with new people and expand your friendship circle ....maybe meet someone nice.

Pluckedpencil Mon 27-Nov-17 06:19:09

Course it's hard to be alone at Christmas. Maybe try to remember that people meet their partners even at fifty. Some people are married four or five times so try must do that later in life! There is plenty of time, there is all your life, to meet someone. But it's hard at Christmas, I can see that.

ShatnersWig Mon 27-Nov-17 08:13:58

DullandOld Saying "Being single is great, enjoy it" to someone who is long term single is really unhelpful. And it's is nearly always said by someone who is married. A married friend once said something similar to me "Oh, being single is great, don't know why it gets you down, I fucking loved being single!" So I asked her "If it was so great why did you get married and why don't you leave your husband and go back to being single?" There was a pause for a while and then, to her credit, she said "I'm really sorry, what I said is actually really crap, isn't it?"

I hear you OP. I've been single 7.5 years and am approaching 44. I already find Christmas difficult due to a close friend dying on Christmas Eve when I was 19 and I have very little family now. My nan, who I adored, died last summer and my grandfather died two months ago. They were the one thing I looked forward to with Christmas, spending time with them. My parents and I get on but we're not overly close. I shall go to theirs on Xmas Day morning, stay for lunch, come home mid-afternoon and see no one the rest of the day. Or on Boxing Day. Or the day after. Or the day after that. I shall see some friends on New Year's Eve. otherwise it'll be a week without seeing anyone I know. Because everyone has their own families that either come to visit or they go to visit.

Being single CAN be great at times. At other times it stinks. And somehow, yes, it is worse at Xmas.

I wish it were always so simple, user. In my area, there are very little meetups unless you are really into a) dancing b) over-50s walking or c) a geek (not my term, that's the only other meetup group) and only b) is doing anything between Xmas and New Year. And I don't live in the middle of a field.

DullAndOld Mon 27-Nov-17 08:47:18

" And it's is nearly always said by someone who is married."

no I am also single, but I apologise if what I said was insensitive. I love being single, I couldn't be doing with MIL sagas and washing some bloke's pants.

holrosea Mon 27-Nov-17 12:30:24

I'm chiming in with "in the same boat" support! I am 31, single, and although I love my family very dearly, I am also looking forward to Christmas with some trepidation.

My parents are happily married for 35+ years and my sister has been with her partner for 3+ years, they live and work together and have a menagerie of pets, whereas I am the perpetually single "career girl" who "loves her independence".

I may be largely happy in my situation but it doesn't stop me feeling like I stick out like a sore thumb when I go home for Christmas and am surrounded by happy couples with arms around each other for Christmas film watching, or my nieces and nephews running around.

I get the blues too, but I really do try to concentrate on the fact that I have a happy, loving family who want to be together at Christmas and that I have a few good friends (most coupled up, some single) who understand the desire to share your life with someone while not making it a big deal.

I am raising a minced pie to you. xx

ComtesseDeSpair Mon 27-Nov-17 12:33:41

I'm another in the "single and absolutely love it, wouldn't live with a man if you paid me" camp; but I do recognise that not everyone who's single feels the same way and it can be frustrating to be told, particularly by people in couples, that single is great if it's not what you actually want.

I think the only advice I have is that you need to treat it like any other aspect of your life and think about how you're going to get to where you do want to be. What are you going to do in the next year to work towards your goal of being in a relationship? Obviously you can't guarantee that you'll meet somebody great and the feeling will be mutual and you'll fall in love: but you can give it your best shot. Are you proactively dating? Be honest - not just vaguely hoping that men will ask you out, but online dating and messaging men first, flirting with men you like the look of when you go out, asking friends if they can set you up with friends or colleagues etc? Yes, it's hard work and requires effort to do, an investment of time and possibly money - but if, say, it was your job making you unhappy you wouldn't just complain about it - you'd get out there and actively put effort into searching for a new one.

ShatnersWig Mon 27-Nov-17 12:51:01

Comtesse Thing is, you can do all the things you suggest, and maybe the OP has, but it doesn't necessarily produce the goods.

Whirliegigspider Mon 27-Nov-17 13:08:01

I hear ya.

holrosea Mon 27-Nov-17 13:09:20

To be fair, Comtesse did says "Obviously you can't guarantee that you'll meet somebody great and the feeling will be mutual and you'll fall in love: but you can give it your best shot."

ShatnersWig Mon 27-Nov-17 13:43:21

holrosea Oh indeed. But what if the OP - like I have - has done all those things and finds themselves still in the same position years later? The usual suggestions aren't going to cut the mustard forever.

SaturdayNIghtAtTheMovies Mon 27-Nov-17 14:05:52

1. Why does the comment about not wanting to wash pants always come up on these sorts of threads?

2. You can be quite happy living alone/not wanting to live with a man again, but still not want to be single.

3. You can be content with being single most of the time but then, at times, wish you had someone special to share it with.

4. I think some people protest too much...

holrosea Mon 27-Nov-17 14:27:04

Total aside but if it gives anyone a laugh: when I go home for Christmas I shall be sleeping in what I call The Spinster's Attic. 2 bedrooms/2 couples, and I shall be on a camp bed in the not-yet-converted attic space.

Even better, the camp bed is broken so everyone has a good giggle hearing my head bounce off of the floor above them when it collapses in the middle of the night grin

If I had a partner, I'd be in a proper bed...

ShatnersWig Mon 27-Nov-17 14:30:09

holrosea I think I'd opt for the sofa rather than that!

Usernamechange67 Mon 27-Nov-17 14:31:56

More than 4:10 couples are unhappy and I guess it's worse at Xmas! Mine is.

Enjoy what you have.

CatsMother66 Mon 27-Nov-17 17:16:16

I had exactly the same throughout my thirties. A bad marriage in my twenties left me alone throughout my thirties. Every Christmas it was a reminder that I had no partner and no children. It was the worst time of my life although no one knew it as I kept it to myself. Each Christmas I became very depressed that another year had passed without having someone. The thought of having no children made me question my life and many times I wondered what was the point of carrying on. Very dark times.
Christmas amplifies those feelings. Everywhere you look, tv, magazines, fb etc, you find families portrayed as having the best Christmases. I’m sorry you feel as you do, please don’t loose hope. I met my husband at 39 and had my ds at 42. If it happened to me then there is no reason why it could not happen to you too. New Year’s Eve was always worse for me, will be thinking of you xxx

Smeaton Mon 27-Nov-17 17:27:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Worriedrose Mon 27-Nov-17 18:27:51

It's a touch annoying when everyone piped in with the "it's not that fun being married or having kids"
It's just not that helpful to some people.
It's tough when you're a certain age and you're spending yet another Xmas alone.
flowers to you op. Lots of people in the same situation. Life is tough sometimes

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