Relationships

Being Single for the Holidays

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Cup of Jo editor Caroline recently broke up with her boyfriend and is now flying solo for the holidays. And two of her good friends just got engaged. Whoot. Here, she shares her plan for surviving the ups and downs of the holidays (aka engagement season) alone…

Caroline says:

When I was a child, the sight of a twinkly Christmas tree filled me with joy and wonder. Fast forward a quarter century, and the same sight fills me with panic. In my apartment, there are no children to behold said tree, no partner to artfully display presents beneath it. There is no mistletoe—which is fortunate, as I’d have no one to kiss.

When it comes to being single for the holidays, in my experience, it’s safest to have a game plan. Here are three common problems and how to approach them…

Problem 1: Nosy relatives
There I’ll be, innocently munching on a thumbprint cookie, when some well-meaning but misguided relative will trill, “We’d love to hear news of an engagement!” Um, so would I.

So how do you deal with this? In my experience, the best approach is to be honest, then deflect. “Thanks, Aunt Nosy, I’d love that, too! But right now I’m focusing on my career/friends/burgeoning taxidermy hobby/etc. By the way, did you bake this thumbprint cookie? It’s so tasty.” Voila! Awkwardness averted.

Problem 2: The most dreaded of holidays—New Year’s Eve
Here’s a fun idea: Take a single woman in her thirties and have her stare at a ticking clock. Make everyone around her kiss at a designated moment. Tell her she’s supposed to be enjoying herself.

If you couldn’t already tell, New Year’s is not my favorite. No other holiday has the capacity to make you feel as deflated when real life doesn’t pan out like the final scene in When Harry Met Sally and no one busts into the party declaring they want to spend the rest of their life with you, starting right now. (But, oh, how I love that scene.)

One year, I went to a party with my best friend and her husband. When midnight struck, we engaged in a three-way group hug so I wouldn’t feel left out. Rihanna blared in the background as I stood between them, awkwardly patting two backs. It warmed my heart, until I realized: They’d go home together…and I’d go home alone.

So, when it comes to this most dreaded of days, be kind to yourself. Don’t put yourself under some insane amount of pressure (“I must find a random human to kiss by midnight!”) or enter into stressful situations (going out with your rowdiest friend when you’d rather stay home and eat cheese). If you’re comforted by a crowd, go dance to whatever anthem makes you feel best. But if you—like me—are not a party person by nature, it’s okay to nest with a book or movie and quietly salute the passing of time. [Side note: Funnily enough, the very first Cup of Jo post was about this very thing!]

Problem 3: Your friends’ excitement over couple-y plans
Perhaps you know this feeling: Your paired-up friends can’t help sharing tales of joint travels or Instagramming photos of engagement rings. You’re happy for them, but sometimes it’s enough to make you feel like this girl on the left. But wait—there are good things about spending the holidays solo!

Good Thing 1: No need to search for the perfect romantic gift
Go buy a nice gift for yourself instead! (I’m getting this.)

Good Thing 2: You can skip in-law interactions
When you’re single, you don’t have to smile awkwardly while your partner’s dad dons a reindeer headband, sings carols or passive-aggressively makes a jab at someone’s cooking. You can celebrate with your own dysfunctional family instead.

Good Thing 3: You get to do whatever you want
Don’t feel like splitting time between your and a significant other’s families? Or going to see the newest action movie on Christmas Day? Great! You don’t have to. Do exactly what you want, single friend. Just do you. (May I suggest something like this?)
And remember: If you feel lonely, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are approximately 124.6 million single adults in America, some of whom are currently telling their great aunt Mildred why they, too, are not betrothed.

Happy holidays, everyone! Love, Caroline

P.S. A seven-step guide to heartbreak, and Mindy Kaling’s brilliant loneliness advice.

(Photo by Owen Franken via Bon Appetit)

  1. TheRealTruth says...

    Being single at anytime really Sucks.

  2. This is so cute and so true! New Year’s Eve IS the worst. My favorite one was spent along on my sofa with good music and a good book!

  3. I am single this New Years too. My friends have a party every year which is usually pretty fun. The issue is my ex will be there. With his new girlfriend. Now the list of pros and cons of going to this party is constantly running through my head. Gotta love that anxious feeling that makes your stomach turn. I certainly don’t want to sit back and watch my ex makeout with his new girl, but I can’t let the fact that he will be around determine whether or not I can have a social life. The risks of dating your best friend. What to do…

  4. Maybe it would be more inviting if the posts are less personal, and more about “Fun Ways to Spend NYE Alone” instead of “Reminder of Sad News from a Girl Who Had a Terrible Breakup.”

    Love you guys, just want to think of ways to keep the community upbeat instead of a sad spiral.

  5. Love this post!! Sometimes it sucks being single around the holidays, but I think the good outweighs the bad- especially not having to find the perfect gift! So much pressure off your shoulders :)

    http://www.wedressalright.blogspot.com

  6. Great post! I am [stubbornly] single. I’ve been single for so long that most relatives don’t ask BUT my career has kind of taken off so they’ve shifted to asking me about work, which I don’t mind one bit.

    I generally like a fun gathering but some years, NYE has made me want to stay home. I never have, mostly because it would kill me to face questions of “how did you spend NYE?” afterward. Wish I didn’t care.

    This year, though, I do have a party with friends lined up and am looking forward to it. Happy holidays all.

  7. I’ve always been single for Christmas and New Year’s, and I have to say, I like it. I have a good mix of single friends and married/dating friends, so we all have a party or go out together. It’s not weird to me. This year my best friend’s husband is working, so we get to celebrate New Year’s together! The best part is not having to pick out gifts for a significant other and/or their family members. Cheers to being single, it really is a positive thing most of the time! :) – Sarah

  8. I came back toe read the responses and it’s nice to know there’s a lot of support for Single Gals out there.

    Texas Jak

  9. When i was single the holidays weren’t so bad as just a regular sunday..what is started doing for any situation where i felt sad for not having someone to share it with is feeling happy that i would get some alone time before all the things i dreamt of came true..
    so, walking around town alone on a sunday i would think “you better enjoy this because a few years down the line you will be doing things with your family and while it will be amazing, you will yearn for some down time alone”. it works!

  10. I am also newly single – recently ended a 5 year relationship and engagement. This post really spoke to me (in a fun/funny way, too!). I would love to be friends with Caroline – she seems delightful!

  11. While I totally GET the posts about owning (and enjoying) singleness; I also get what Caroline is saying. Just a few years ago my serious boyfriend broke up with me a couple of weeks before Christmas. I refused to tell anyone and mostly sat in a corner reading/sulking the whole time. And, frankly, was embarrassed to parade what seemed like another failure around to my family! So, granted, I didn’t handle it well, but I’m also glad I gave myself time to just mourn (in my one other serious relationship, I didn’t do this, and suffered much from it). I finally decided to embrace being single (aka – not where I thought I’d be) by deciding to remain single for a year. To figure myself out and own my life. Nine months later I met my now-husband, and think that the confidence that came from knowing I was proudly – if not voluntary – single, helped me to be a better me.

  12. Caroline is awesome.

  13. Happy Holidays to Joanna and Caroline! I sooo enjoy your writing Caroline. You really speak to a perspective that isn’t often discussed on blogs these days. I along with (what seems like from the many commenters here) will be single yet again for the holidays this year. I echo your sentiments that people, especially coupled-up people either forget what it was like or are those people who have never been single for one holiday ever. (Which I sometimes find strange) I keep thinking there is a lesson for me to learn during these single years and like many commenters, maybe it is to be selfish and enjoy the selfishness that I am allowed with only really having to take care of myself. I also get to hold and kiss the babies and then promptly return them to their parents. LOL Caroline, I read your blog as well. I hope you don’t feel alone in your situation and that your voice is so relateable and important.

  14. e says...

    I’m pretty good at my own company and have never been a big fan of the enforced merriness of NYE so I’ve spent countless lovely NYEs alone on the sofa with cat, wine/tea, cheese/cookies and the telly… or hiking/camping somewhere in the wilderness… both of those scenarios infinitely preferable to the too-much-alcohol/too-few-clothes-for-the-weather/endless-wait-for-a-taxi/making-conversation-with-people-you-barely-know-over-music-too-loud-to-hear-their-reply/someone-inevitably-falling-out-with-someone-else/horrific-morning-after that has been the few NYEs I’ve been dragged out “celebrating” by friends!

    I also spent almost all of my 20s single, and now that I’m married there are definitely things I still miss about single life…. take advantage while you can!

    Thankfully my husband is not much of a NYE fan either so it’s nights in on the sofa for the forseeable future… which is just fine with me:-)

  15. I was single all through my 20’s and had great Christmases and NYEs. I’ve had great ones as someone in a relationship, and great ones since I’ve been married. All you can hope is that you’re as comfortable with yourself alone as you are partnered-that will get you through the stresses of the holiday season.

    And nosy relatives are the worst. I had a female cousin tell me when I was 27 “Why are you still single? It’s not like you’re ugly.” I felt GREAT that day :)

  16. I can really relate to this right now. Thank you for posting. It brought me comfort and helped remind me…I am not alone.

  17. Honestly I am just a little envious of you getting to just do your own thing on NYE. Being alone with a glass of wine, cheese and a good book sounds amazing. And if people aren’t quizzing you about getting engaged, it would be about something else. They’re problem, not yours. And if you need to cheer yourself up, check out the myfriendsaremarried tumbler. Always good for a laugh.

    http://myfriendsaremarried.tumblr.com

  18. These are nice tips, however, I think it puts a huge burden on any person to think that marriage / relationship / children are the key to filling that loneliness void. I understand the plan- but shouldn’t the whole plan be to enjoy your life now, holiday or not, in the situation you’re currently in? I know of plenty attached people that will not have a very happy holiday, because of their relationship and situation. Wishing happy holidays to all, and the strength for all to find their way, with or without a significant other!

  19. Caroline, I have loved ALL of your post break-ups posts! I recently went through a break up as well and you have a great humorous way of looking at things.

  20. I love your style of writing and your voice of honesty, Caroline. I always enjoy your contributions to Cup of Jo. You speak right to the and really hit the nail on the head with this post for us single gals. Not that I’m even complaining, but it’s nice to be acknowledged.

    Thanks for sharing these great, humorous tips.

    Have a happy holiday no matter what you decide to do! xo

  21. LOL the girl on the left. Anyways, who needs a guy when there’s all that Christmas food to eat?! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  22. I am “older” and I think that anyone who would even ASK or worse, nag, about engagements, etc., is an idiot. If you live long enough, you realize that having someone else in your life/not having/ cycles; sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. The most important thing is being comfortable with yourself.

  23. Love love love this! Caroline is great.

  24. Ugh. As a married woman I can’t completely empathize with this, but I understand a similar situation – in my family it’s babies. The constant refrain of “When are you having babies?” is my personal hell of a backdrop to all holiday gatherings. Not that it’s a comparable situation, but it’s another holiday stress that women feel. Enjoy your fantastic sounding plans (man do I miss the years when I could do what I wanted instead of what we **had** to do). It may suck, but it will be over quickly!

  25. Girrrl, I FEEL you on this one. As a southern transplant living in Cali, going home single for the holidays is rough. NYE is the worst…whoever came up with the whole fancy party/forced kissing tradition should be strung up with twinkle lights and lit on fire. BUT my favorite NYE…was getting a group of single friends together and camping on the beach (may I suggest a house/hotel/cabin slumber party for colder climates)…no pressure to dress up, no worrying about getting around, just fun friend times around a fire with lots of snacks and champagne :)

  26. Caroline, thanks so much for sharing. I have never commented before, but your post so reminded me of myself a few years ago. I spent so much time feeling anxious and worried about what the future would hold that I didn’t cherish the amazing luxury of being able to focus on my self and my happiness 100% of the time. Now, with a husband, a baby, a dog and a full-time job to focus on I often daydream about those years: living in my small studio apartment, reading books at the coffee shop, going for a run in the evenings… just taking care of myself. I wouldn’t change a thing, but things get complex so quickly. My unsolicited advice is to enjoy and luxuriate in the selfishness allowed to you in this time in your life. It will all work itself out.

  27. Caroline and Joanna,

    Thank you for helping me feel less alone in my absolute drudgery of NYE! I echo everyone’s sentiments here: high expectations, lackluster outcomes, and a spotlight on one’s singledom. I, too, have a hard time convincing my extroverted, coupled up girlfriends that I really would prefer to stay home by myself. As someone who has endured several breakups in the past two years, I’m taking charge and not feeling sorry for myself. What’s worked for me, too, was something I read in Eat, Pray, Love along the lines of- when you feel something, just feel it. Don’t wish it away or stress about why you’re feeling it, just acknowledge it and move on. That helped me so much after the demise of a 5+ year relationship. I hope that helps you too, Caroline!

    Merry merry Christmas to both of you and to all the commenters here! This warmed my heart and helped me feel less alone. Thank you!

    xoM

  28. I love love love this post. Wishing Jo and Caroline a season full of warm delights that are just right for *your* souls.

  29. I agree completely! It took me 42 years to meet my Beloved. I have spent many a Christmas and New Years solo. I always treated myself to something decadent and special as a Christmas gift and for New Years I’d order in a great dinner or go out with single girlfriends. I lived my life my way in a way that made me happy and fulfilled. BTW Caroline “When Harry Met Sally” is one of my all time favorite movies! Merry Christmas!

  30. I really enjoyed this post! (And I’m married with two small kiddos.) Thanks, Caroline, and happy holidays! XO

  31. Thank you for this. As a never married but relatively normal 37 year old in the South with a 7+ year romance that went up in flames, just…Thank you.

  32. Thanks so much for the post I totally relate as I will be spending NYE with only couples and to be honest really don’t feel like it, it’s hard to explain to your (loving) friends that you dread that moment which will only highlight your “singleness”. I know they mean so well but I’d rather stay home, as I have done before, but stupidly I surrendered to the social pressure, Which I think indeed exists no matter your situation…. Thanks for the post it’s good to hear about your perspective, too often do I feel that too many articles are solely about managing relationships as if people assume that the whole world is in a relationship!! Greetings to the cup of Jo team from Paris !

  33. This is great, Caroline! Luckily I’ll be spending my second NYE with my parents and brother at a huge party in California and my brother and I will kill the dance floor! It is a memory I’ll cherish forever… Even if/when we both find a permanent NYE partner!

  34. I would totally be BRUTALLY honest and somewhat rude to a nosy relative. If you’re expecting the question then you won’t be caught off guard. Come up with something bitchy. You can focus on your career and be in a relationship too. I never really understood that excuse, but anyway. I agree with all the other suggestions, especially the NYE one. Even as a married girl, I enjoy low key NYEs. Neither of us like the party scene with a roomful of kissing people lol. We grab burgers. It’s great! And remember, when you do caught yourself feeling sorry for yourself (I used to), just tell yourself that this too shall pass.

  35. Even though this is my first married Christmas, I can SO relate to this post, as I had 29 consecutive single holiday seasons before meeting my husband! Having good friends and family to spend time with helps to keep it in your mind that there are always people around who love you, even when you’re missing THE ONE.

  36. I would also mention that many many people who have the spouse do all these things begrudgingly. Yes they have people but they may be strained relationships. Try to enjoy what you have and not go after what other people are doing. 😊

  37. This is delightful. The description of New Year’s is hilarious and spot-on.

    And I completely agree with buying yourself something fabulous. I’m a big proponent of treating yourself well.

  38. Being single is awesome, not a curse. Everyone’s life choices are their own and it’s great if women have fulfilling romantic relationships. It’s personally never been a priority for me, and I still think my life is great – especially at the holidays. I have a lot of close and loving friendships, fulfilling work, adventures, fun, and great sex. Being single doesn’t have to be a temporary state on the road to something better.

  39. Oh my gosh! That photo with the engaged girls gets funnier and funnier the more I look at it. I actually don’t mind the holidays being single. Although, as I get older Christmas does get a little more difficult not having children. Take out, a movie and my couch are my favorite plans for NYE as well as Valentine’s Day :)

  40. Awesome post! Glad there are other humans who dread New Year’s Eve as much as I do! Last year I went through a horrible break up right before the holidays. On NYE I met up with a friend, her new boyfriend and a bunch of his friends that I had never met. The boyfriend immediately started asking me about my relationship and what went wrong and saying how sad I must be… (Seriously?! We JUST met!) when we were all piling into a cab headed to a party I burst out “I’m going to take my car, I’ll meet you guys there!” The idea of being in a cab and having to pretend I was doing fine and having fun was just too depressing. And I knew that was my way out.

    I got in my car and drove straight home, turned on the Twilight Zone and ate chocolate bars all night and ended up having a pretty wonderful time.

  41. I have to say, the sight of a twinkly Christmas tree still fills me with awe and wonder. I’m 34, single and childless and I love everything about the holiday’s. However, long ago, I decided I don’t care about society’s expectations… only my own.

  42. Even though I am married, I have many single friends that will appreciate this! Joanna– LOVE this blog, and even more now with Caroline’s perspective. Keep up the great work and happy holidays!

  43. Such a good post Caroline! I love that you referenced that When Harry Met Sally scene…isn’t that everyone’s dream NYE? And I NEVER get tired of that pic (from Problem 3)…oh my goodness.

    Now that I’m married, my equivalent to this is “Surviving the Holidays without a Pregnancy Announcement” — We’ve been married 3 years now, I may or may not have hinted in a recent blog post that I am getting ready to be ready to start trying…and somehow everyone is interpreting that as “Pregnancy Announcement Forthcoming.” Sheesh!

  44. YES I am definitely rocking the single life this holiday season! Easier travel, more possibilities to be sporadic in planning, and fewer obligation gifts to get. Perfect! haha loved this!
    ~ Samantha

  45. Nice job.

    Also. In my vast experience on this matter (ahem), and I’m way older than most of you, many of these ppl know EXACTLY what they are doing. I’ve watched them, with interest, quizzing others (when I was single & when I was not.) Many of these folks are unhappily coupled…Honestly, I am not saying to dwell on that but it is true.

    Having a plan is always a good idea. Have a few, in fact.

  46. My husband and I separated in May, so I’m facing the holiday season as a “single” for the first time in over a decade. Not fun. Thank you SO much for this post!

  47. I love this post – the NYE description totally cracked me up because I can DEFINITELY relate!

  48. This was a great post. I.E. Summed up perfectly how I’ve felt for the past 28 years. Cheers to a New Year being comfortable in your own skin and happy with your current situation.

    xo Rachel

  49. Caroline’s heartbreak is palpable – you can feel the pain between the lines of her smart quips and self-deprecation. But what a great attitude to assume moving forward. My NYE book-to-cuddle-up-with suggestion? Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. One of my favorite lines:

    “Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”

  50. i know, i hate new year’s eve! you feel all this pressure to make it the wildest craziest night you’ve ever had. i’d rather have a huge party on january 3rd. :)

  51. Interesting post but I also love the comments.
    Cheers and happy holidays to all the singletons – I dont think it should be that bad. Its only one/two full week(s) of nonsense and then in Jan. youre back to normal eh?

    @Erin W – I am also in a awkward stage right now and had to do the similar things you did but my friends were receptive and I scored invites to various open house type things for Xmas eve with my mom (my #1 date) – it feels like I am back in H.S. but guess what – that’s great. Time to just reconnect and grow on your own. The rest can keep their head tilts to themselves ;)

  52. Great article- I love hearing from Caroline- as everyone else who blogs etc seems to be in relationships. I’m in my 30s and there is no time like Christmas to make you feel very single! I’m very lucky in my life, I know it- I have great friends, loving parents and travel the world- but some people just see your single status and it seems to be printed on my forehead this time of year. I think it’s a te of year single people can allow ourselves to be a little selfish!
    Marry Christmas Caroline! X

  53. Honestly, I think New Years’ Eve sucks no matter what your relationship status. It’s been built up to be such an important event, so whatever you end up doing, and whomever you’re with, you still feel like it’s not enough. Perhaps it’s also because NYE means winter break is almost over… (I’m a teacher). So I’ve always tried to be with people doing something fun and distracting–for a long time I went out to dinner and saw a movie with family, and now my husband and I play board games with friends. Anything to distract myself!

  54. I’m right there with you, Caroline! Broke up 2 months ago, just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving, my Christmas Eve 32nd birthday Christmas, and New years!!!…

    But you’re right, I too will be nestled in bed with my pup, a movie and maybe even a bottle of bubbly…Goodbye 2014, let’s see what 2015 has in store. It can only get better.

    It can’t rain forever, just keeping my chin above water;-)

  55. THANK YOU. I, too, am not a big fan of New Year’s Eve and plan on spending the night at home alone, preferably in my bed, with a very classy plate of cheese, a glass of red wine and a good movie. It’s going to be glorious and i’m tired of explaining it to my numerous extroverted friends. Happy holidays to you! xx

  56. My sister is in the same boat, but I’m telling her who cares? New Years is a little overrated and should be a night you spend with people you love and not worry about kissing at midnight with someone.

    I’d grab some good flicks, liquor and food and either veg out alone or invite some friends over to hang out and relax!

    Leslie
    http://www.alifewellconsumed.com

  57. I think it comes from being comfortable alone. I live far away from my family and recently ended a long-term relationship. I had no problem spending Thanksgiving by myself or the upcoming holidays. Who says that it’s not ok to spend them alone? Hollywood? Your friends who aren’t comfortable being alone? Your grandma who never did anything by herself? It’s 2014!! It’s not sad at all, I make my own traditions. It’s actually kind of awesome! I get to enjoy my favorite time of year the way I want to enjoy it! Without false expectations, let downs, having to spend it with people I don’t like, having to eat food I don’t want, or being exhausted. My holidays are now completely authentic, things don’t happen just because everyone thinks they should. IT’S OK TO BE ALONE!!!!

  58. I’m with you, Caroline!

    I’ve been single for years and I live in Utah, where I’m considered an old maid at 28! Instead of tag along with all my married friends, this year I’m spending the holidays on a solo trip to Prague and Vienna. On NYE I’m going to a ball at a palace, where I’m sure the last thing on my mind will be a midnight kiss. :)

  59. Thank you, Caroline! The worst of being single at Christmas/NYE is that EVERYBODY wishes you get a boyfriend for next Christmas/NYE, because in case you were not even thinking about it, they remind you that you are alone.

  60. This will actually be my first new years when I’m NOT single (and I’m 30). So I feel your pain on this. Every Christmas I would think about the money I was “saving” by not having to buy a gift for a significant other and then would use it to buy something for myself!

  61. haha, erin, “sympathy head tilt,” i love that.

  62. Now this is coming from someone who is not as newly single as Caroline is, but I think the tone of this post is all wrong! It should be ways to THRIVE being single at the holidays, not just ways to survive!

    I am very much supposed to be single right now (and believe me, I’m very single) because I would currently so much rather go through the holidays on my own. Do just what I want when I want, spend time with my people, my family and friends, no compromises. This is how I feel about summer vacations, weekends, all holidays really. I figure much of my future years will be spent making plans that accommodate many other people – husband, in-laws, kids, grandkids, etc. I say – embrace doing exactly what you want when you want to!

    (But I’ll also say – New Years Eve is the worst. In or out of a relationship, it’s a let-down. I kind of want to have a NYE wedding some day, just to guarantee an awesome night for one and all just once.)

  63. I spent the last NYE home alone and it felt so sad — I’ve never been good at making friends and since I moved to NYC where I have no friends and people don’t seem to be interested in being my friend, it’s been so hard! I stayed in not by choice, but because I literally was not invited anywhere. Any tips for making new friends in your mid 20’s? I don’t want to spend another NYE alone :(

  64. Even though I am not single anymore to this day my favorite new years eve was spent by myself on the couch in pjs, dogsitting two cute little pugs, with a bottle of red wine and a plate with cinnamon rolls. I watched the ball drop and was able to fall asleep by 12:30. I hope my bf will let us recreate this at some point :)
    http://www.southernfolly.com

  65. Amen, Caroline!

    I am 26, from the south, and living in NYC. Most of my friends back home are long married and on babies 1 or 2, and the questions I get from elders when I return for the holidays are pretty absurd. My favorite exchange unfolded last Christmas, when I politely shrugged off a friend’s mother’s inquiry of when it will be “my turn.” She paused and responded with a terse “Oh, well, I am sure New York is fun.”

    And for the record, I think a quiet NYE spent eating cheese sounds pretty perfect :)

  66. I loved this, Caroline!! So relatable.

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 5 years and I’m already dreading everyone at Christmas saying “When are you getting engaged? What’s taking so long?” What’s with nosy aunts anyway? :)

    Also – what’s the appeal of the diptyque candles? I’ve been seeing them all over blogs these days and am wondering if I’m missing out on something awesome…

  67. Oh my goodness. I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago (ugh) and it has been a gem of a month explaining to family members that actually I’m not bringing him home for Christmas and explaining to coworkers that on second thought I don’t need that plus one for the work party after all.

    The worst of it isn’t the breakup- I’m actually doing alright with that. The worst of it is breaking the news to everyone else. I’ve heard a lot of variations on “oh! [sympathy head tilt] how are you…holding up?” woo-hoo.

  68. It’s a tough pill to swallow. But thank you, Caroline, this article gave me a much needed laugh (and you also made some EXCELLENT points). Merry, merry!

  69. Do something for yourself, chances are your not working on NYE, book a day spa get a massage and a facial and relax your way into the New Year. Nothing better then starting 2015 without a hangover!

  70. I was dumped on Christmas day once, and I still get a bit of a lump in my throat when I think about it — and that NYE I also ended up in a group hug. Fast forward, here I am in love and married. But I’ll never forget that Christmas or the friends that reminded me (to borrow a line from Love Actually) that love is all around.

  71. this is so good, Caroline. Amen.

  72. Love that Caroline tells it like it is. She’s brave! I have been there many times and wish I had this to make me feel less alone. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with cookies or dancing or however it pans out.

  73. I think a NYE alone or with a small small group eating cheese and relaxing sounds downright luxurious!

  74. oh my! first comment. lovelove. this really spoke to me, jo and caroline!! I recently broke up with my bf in august and am painfully dreading the holidays for the interactions listed above!! this gave me a glimmer of hope for sure. thanks for this. may your season be so bright and wonderful. x

  75. This is fantastic. And also nice to see a very different perspective on Cup of Jo, but with the same sweet honesty that we’re used to.

    Also, solo NYE reminds me of Carrie and Miranda in the SATC movie. Chinese food alone on my couch? Yes please.