Being single – especially newly single – during the holidays can be daunting. Everywhere you look you can’t help but see
happy couples holding hands and the thought of hitting the office Christmas party alone is almost too much to bear. But going through the holiday season being single can actually be a lot better than you think.

We asked Ellie Scarborough, founder of, a site devoted to helping women bounce back from a breakup, why being unattached right now can be a plus. She started the site after going through her own particularly bad breakup and knows firsthand how to put a positive spin on being single.

1. No faking it

Since there is such a stigma attached to being single during the holidays, a lot of people are prone to staying in
relationships that aren’t working just to avoid tackling the season solo. “Almost everyone has been in ill-fitting relationships that felt a little bit like prison from time to time, and lots of people are in them right now,” Scarborough says. “But being alone and happy is better than being attached and miserable.” Being single during the holidays means you don’t have to slap on a smile and pretend to happy just so you can say you have someone to take to Christmas dinner. Just because people are coupled up doesn’t necessarily mean they’re happy, and just because you’re single doesn’t mean you’re not. “Give yourself the gift of perspective this season; you’re luckier than you realize.”

2. More time for yourself

Being attached during the holidays means not only are you attending your own myriad of merry-making soirees, you have to go to his, too. But if you’re single you can make the season whatever you want it to be. “The holidays can provide the ultimate few days or weeks to indulge in a little self-reflection,” says Scarborough. Aside from your usual set of seasonal obligations what you do with your time is totally up to you. You can use your vacation time to tackle a major personal goal or take a solo getaway somewhere exotic and far-flung while everyone else is stuck having fruitcake with their in-laws.

More relationships and dating advice for new singles during the holidays on the next page…

Pucci-bks-d-RF11-9633edit.jpg3. Freedom to choose
One of the best things about the holidays might be the plethora of parties but not every invitation will make the must-attend list. Being single means you have more freedom to pick and choose where to allot your time during the hectic holiday season. “You can choose which parties to hit and which ones to skip,” Scarborough says. “Holiday parties can be either fun or completely lame and when you’re on your own, you’re fully in charge of deciding which ones to dive into headfirst and which ones to politely decline.” Or, if you’re not feeling up to making the rounds, you can skip the events altogether and head out of town for a mini-spa retreat.

4. Less stress
You’re subjected to infinitely less stress when you’re single during the holidays. When you’re in a relationship not only are you concerned with yourself, but you have to factor in someone else. Did he remember to buy a gift for his sister? Are you spending Christmas morning with his family or yours? Will he embarrass you in front of your work friends at the office party? “Tensions run high around the holidays,” Scarborough says. “In fact, the incidence of people changing their Facebook status to single actually spikes in early December.” When you’re unattached through the season you have the power to keep anxiety to a minimum and foster your own happiness without worrying about someone else’s.

5. Fresh start to the New Year
One of the best things about being single as you head into the holiday season is the prospect of making a completely fresh start in 2012. “There’s something amazing about facing the New Year completely unattached,” says Scarborough. You can look at the next 12 months and know that you can fill them with whatever adventures you want, with whomever you please. Your goals are yours to fulfil without having to factor in whether or not your partner wants the same things. “Let freedom ring in the New Year. It can be fun if you embrace it with your arms and your future wide open.”

Read more:
The dos and don’ts of dinner party etiquette
Can you ever move beyond the friend zone?
Can you be too busy for love?
Creative winter date ideas