Mistletoe (Getty Images )
When you grow older, the holiday season just isn't as exciting.
It's not because you receive fewer gifts, or because you learn the truth about Santa Claus. (Well, it's not just those things.) It's because the holidays become a constant reminder that when you stand under mistletoe you have to seek out someone to kiss, instead of having someone already there.
That's especially true for the mistletoe hanging back home, when you're the only person in the family still checking "single" on government documents. Count me among that group this year. Again.
Being single during the holidays is uncomfortable, but it's do-able. Here are my rules to getting through the holiday cheer, solo.
You're single. It's the holidays. And that's OK. Cut it out with lies and excuses like, "Oh, my partner is on a business trip!" Or, "I'm just taking some time to myself. I really don't want to date anyone right now." Instead, proclaim to the world: YES! I'm single. The truth will set you free.
Put yourself out there
You don't necessarily need to go around asking everyone out, but maybe sign up for match.com, or download Grindr, or do something else besides sitting at home watching romantic comedies.
Say "yes" to dates just for the company. Flirt with that person in the legal department. What do you have to lose?
Have a drink ...
... or two, or three, or four, or more. But drink responsibly.
Eat some carbs
The next time you see some desserts you desire, don't think about how much time you would need on an elliptical to burn off the calories.
Instead, think about that chunky new sweater you can wear to hide the holiday bulge. Thank goodness for sweaters. They are like the cloak of invisibility this time of year.
Look at your bank account
All that money you would have spent on an expensive gift for that special someone is now magically sitting in your bank account just for you!
Take yourself out. Buy yourself something nice. Enjoy that singles' rebate check that is in your account.
Hog the blankets
As the temperatures drop and nights get longer, you may find yourself in bed more. If you were dating someone, he or she probably would be in that bed too.
Sure, it would be adorable to watch a movie while eating popcorn there. Or maybe the combination of two bodies would keep you warm for a minute, but who really likes snuggling all night?
Fun fact: According to a survey conducted by the U.K. hotel chain Premier Inn, couples reported arguing about 167 times in the bedroom per year, with hogging the blankets being the top reason why.
So, as you sit in your bed, all single and whatnot, hog that blanket and think about all the fights you're missing out on while enjoying some popcorn. You deserve it.
Zach Stafford is a RedEye special contributor.
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