What are you doing for the holidays? Imagine a perfect scenario. Then read the following three reports.
A law student just told me her holiday plan is to watch the entire Netflix series, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." It's about a lawyer who graduated at the top of her Harvard and Yale classes, turned down a partnership in a prestigious New York firm and moved to a small town in pursuit of a sexy boy who rejected her years ago after a romance at summer camp. The heroine obsessively chases her teenage crush throughout every episode until the series finale, which ends with the couple successfully reunited, literally dressed as prince and princess. Yet this show actually won an Emmy. In 2016! When I was a student, I too internalized the omnipresent commercial message that we need to be married or else we are just not doing something right. It isn’t true.
By contrast, I’m single with nothing special planned for holidays. I feel fine with it, though some people are giving me the Sad Face when they find out I'll be working in the city instead of jetting off to play. Should I be unhappy whenever I am going to be by myself for an evening, a weekend or a vacation? It’s relaxing. I think I'm good company. Spending time by myself is not, by definition, a bad choice. When I am alone, I don’t suddenly become miserable. It isn’t a cause for weeping, swallowing half gallons of chocolate ice cream, or binging on rom-coms.
My friend Rebecca, divorced more than once, says: "The only thing worse than not being in a relationship is being in a relationship." Past 60, happy and productive, she has a large circle of friends and family. Yet she prefers living alone. On the holidays, she will be taking a long-deserved vacation, and she's looking forward to the work break.
Women aren't supposed to think the way I do, or say the things Rebecca says. We’re supposed to dream of romantic scenes with another person and feel devastated when we’re not intimately connected with someone special . But each one of us really can be fine alone.
Now, imagine THAT.