“So, are you seeing anyone?”
Ah, yes. My favorite question.
Whether it’s been two months or ten months, the first holiday season after a breakup sucks. The constant asks about your dating life, the memories of Christmases with your ex, and the plethora of engagement photos circling social media are enough to make you want to crawl into a hole.
This is my first single Christmas since 2015, so I get it. While I got over my breakup a long time ago, I know the pain of going through a major holiday alone (Valentines Day was so fun… not) and it still sucks to spend Christmas single.
After my breakup, I recall completing scouring the internet for any and all advice on how to survive. To help y’all out who are still reeling from a breakup or confused as to what your first single Christmas is supposed to look like, I’ve decided to give a little advice in a Post-Breakup Christmas Survival Guide. Whether you’re still grieving the loss of your relationship or, like me, just don’t know what to do with your single self in the holidays, I hope this is helpful to you.
Whatever you do, DO NOT reach out to your ex.
You’re lonely, your emotions are high, and everything in you is telling you to text your ex. Let me assure you – now is NOT the time to contact them. When you are feeling especially sad, it can seem feel like talking to your ex will fix how you’re feeling or at least give you a little closure for the holidays.
It won’t. If anything, you’ll feel more lonely, more confused, and more emotional. Don’t do it.
The absolute best advice I ever got after my breakup was to not reach out to my ex. Now, I look back and thank God above that I took that advice. No good can come from making contact when you’re vulnerable. No good at all.
Don’t jump into another relationship just because.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for a new man? NO. No, no, no. The last thing you want to do is jump into a new relationship just because you’re lonely and want a holiday fling. That’s not fair to you or the other person.
If you’re still hurting, let yourself heal. If you just want another relationship to fill the void, reevaluate your motives. Choose to start a new relationship if, and only if, you’re really and truly ready.
Start a new tradition or do something special with your friends.
The holiday season brings with it a lot of memories of traditions, many of which you might have made with your ex. Guess what? It’s time to build some new traditions.
Your old traditions were special and valid. However, with time, you will make new memories that are just as special to you. Watch hallmark movies with your girlfriends, read a good book and drink some hot chocolate by the fireplace, or make Christmas cookies with your community group. There are so many opportunities for new memories, but you must start now.
Advanced Tip: If it’s been a while since your breakup, try going to the same place you went to with your ex over the holidays with your friends or family. It will suck for a few minutes or hours, but it can help you in the long run. (I did this with my family and I’m so glad I did. It helped me to disassociate the place with my ex.)
Hold fast to your faith. It’s going to get you through.
Whether you’re wrestling with the loss of your relationship or just trying to figure out why you’re the only single girl at the party, God is WITH you and God is FOR you. I promise.
You are not single because you are unworthy or un-special. Your relationship did not end because you have been forsaken. You are worthy of love. You are so unbelievably special.
God’s plans don’t always look like our plans, and that’s okay. Remember His promises. Cling to Jeremiah 29:11-13. The Lord promises not only that we will be delivered in his timing, but that we will find Him when we seek Him. Trust that He has big plans for your life within this season of singleness and in your next season too, plans for deliverance and plans for closeness with our Father and King.
Accept that it’s going to be harder this year. Be kind to yourself and let yourself feel your feelings, even if others don’t understand.
Shortly before he knew he would be crucified, Jesus brought his close friends with him to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Matthew 26:38)
If your breakup is anything like mine was, you’ll have a few moments (or like a hundred), where you fall to your knees in sorrow like Jesus did.
And unfortunately, not everyone will understand the pain you’re going through. Do you know what happened after Jesus left his friends to pray? They fell asleep!
I bring that up to say this: your feelings are valid, even when the world seems to invalidate them by turning a blind eye or inundating you with Christmas cheer. When we hurt and feel like no one understands, Jesus is right there with us. His loved ones literally fell asleep when he needed them.
This might be a hard Christmas for you. And that’s okay. Give yourself permission to be sad. Not everyone will understand this, so the hardest part might just be letting yourself be sad without their approval. But you have Jesus’ approval and you have his redemptive, unrelenting, unequivocal love.
Celebrate when the season is over.
When the holidays bring up feelings of longing and loss, it’s understandable to be grateful when they’re over. When the Christmas season is over, recognize that you’ve made it through and CELEBRATE. I promise you’re not a Scrooge. Milestone events like birthdays, Valentines’ Day, and Christmas are difficult after a breakup and it’s worth celebrating when you make it through.
Raise a glass to the freakin’ new year. Thank u, next.