Single / Lonely / CATHOLIC

Hi, Everyone!

I am giving a talk to the Young Adult Singles Group in my parish. The focus on the talk is how to ‘survive’ the Holidays as a single person.

I am looking for tidbits from Faithful Catholics regarding how you combat the Holiday Blues. I am focusing on singles - young, middle aged, older folks - who are practicing Catholics but are (for whatever reason) without a family or spouse or significant other during this time of year.

I know how I want to approach the solution from a theological point of view and I plan on making the talk as light hearted as possible (how to survive being the ‘other one’ at the dinner table, how to smile when someone in the family says, “How come someone as wonderful as you is still single?” and how to not run screaming from the room to avoid still ONE more Hallmark Movie about reuniting with your lost love from 2nd grade) but also remind us (me - I am one of the ‘us’) that we are to be ‘eternity minded’ people of service, that our suffering matters and that we can walk through this stuff with grace and dignity.

I would love to hear from you -

how do you handle being alone during the holidays?

Thanks, gang!

Merry Christmas!:thumbsup:

Pets can be helpful, where possible.

“Think of self, trouble grows. Think of others, trouble goes”.

Volunteering can get a person out of the house, meeting others, and contributing, making a difference, giving the person a sense of purpose. Incidentally, I’ve made friends from my volunteer work which are still my friends, to this day, though I’ve changed countries and everything, true friends.

There are a lot of places looking for volunteers…some for an event, a few days…weeks…months…years. One could work with children, animals, older, youth…teens, sick folks…I once went to a volunteer organization, and they had me fill in a questionaire to determine what my interests were…what setting I wanted to work in…ages…times.

They did find me different things. I tried several things then settled on one and taught literacy at one place for about 5 years, English as a Second Language.

Another thing I’ve done is rosary making. I’ve done this alone, and with one friend. I taught her how, and we’d make rosaries together and drink coffee.

Insofar as romance, I think it often comes when we STOP looking for it, when we just go about our business, in most cases.

Classes are good or some form of study, Bible study, say.

Churches often have tons of groups, depending on the church. We had one church I went to which had coffee for people and an opportunity to talk, problems, whatever. There was no commitment. There were rosary prayer groups, and it’d give a common element.

I’d recommend getting out of the house in some form or other. Some people find exercise helpful.

It’s good to develop relationships with the same sex. Now, I think a lot of single people try the opposite, going for boyfriend/girlfriend. I think people need to focus on friendship, first. It’s easiest with those of the same sex, fewer complications. Besides your friends may have either other friends or siblings!

I have a friend who every year gets together with one or two other single friends in the area, and then they make rounds to everyone’s holiday celebrations together (usually it’s only 2 or 3 homes to go to). It works out really well because no one feels lonely, out of place, or “on the spot”. After they’re done they all go catch a movie together to unwind.

It always kind of made me wish I was single for the day!

Single people don’t have to worry about the logistics of figuring out which family to visit and which not to, etc. :smiley:

But seriously, remind them that this Advent season and the the 12 Days of Christmas are really about God’s love. Family and loved ones are a nice add-on, but the true meaning of Christmas is Christ.

If they are lonely, recommend that they voluneeter at their parish or at other parishes to help out. Parishes are always looking for someone to clean, setup for Christmas, perhaps extra ushers or gift barrers, etc.

God Bless

I would hope that early in the talk you would consider saying “Stuff survival and surviving, plan on making it a special time”. I always put up decorations, cook a special meal, attend mass Christmas Eve and Day. Although I am content being alone (not lonely) I usually invite an old school friend for dinner (out of loving duty). If I didn’t want to be alone, I would ask if I could join the annual Christmas Dinner at the Cathedral and offer to wash up and peel potato’s (it is put on for all singles & widows/ers).

I have general plans of things to do so that I don’t get bored. I want a quiet peaceful time with that special feeling, so I pray and work at it - a secular Christmas is too dull or just full of what some sad people think should be (but rarely is) a good time.

With regard to the comments about “Can’t understand why a nice person like you is still single” - that is a spiteful comment designed to make someone feel bad. The so-called slimy tone doesn’t detract from the intent. I would suggest working on a polite response to that ‘put you down’ (I can’t help as I am too blunt and only a total idiot would say something like that to me now).

That is just how it is and seems to me.

Good suggestions, so far. Thank you all!

I will say this though about the remark about still being single: My experience is that it is rarely done as a put down. When it has been said it me, It usually is by an older person (someone in their 80’s or 90’s) and they are honestly being very genuine. They do not understand how someone as wonderful, as pretty, as intelligent, as funny, as poised, as talented, as spiritually gifted and (most of all) HUMBLE as myself is not married yet.

So, the reply I have always used is, “ME NEITHER! Doggone it anyway!” which makes them (and me) laugh.

I really like the ‘band together’ group mentioned…going around and saying hello and then doing something special together, like a movie.

I try to reach out to some people I know who are alone and invite them over for dinner or desert.

Anyway…keep those ideas coming people…I like what I am reading!:thumbsup:

I only occasionally have someone to go and have Christmas dinner with. I am widowed, over 70, have been alone for 2 1/2 years now. The first year was really depressing, the second a bit less so. What helped me was to volunteer to be a Eucharistic Minister at every Christmas Mass we had! I served at the early Vigil Mass last year, then at Midnight Mass, then again in the early morning! It did help a lot! This year, don’t know if I’ll be invited to a friend’s home to share Christmas dinner or not, hasn’t been mentioned yet, but if they have Christmas here in town, I’m usually invited to share with their extended family. I am only serving at one Mass this year, on Christmas morning. My few friends who are single or widowed have local family (siblings, nieces, children) to spend Christmas with, so I don’t get invited to those. One friend who has a 6 year old son, and 2 daughters in their early 20’s usually invite me, as both the older girls and the young son consider me as a “extra” Grandma". That is, when they are in town. I plan to fix a Cornish game hen, a small bowl of stuffing and some mashed potatoes for dinner (which will also provide extra meals for a couple days to heat up) and spend the day either reading or watch a movie on tv. I’ve become accustomed (somewhat) to being alone. No one has asked me why I haven’t gotten remarried! (Guess they think I’m too old to remarry! LOL) If I met a nice, older CATHOLIC widower, I would consider marrying again, but probably will live alone until I die. I spend a lot of time reading, praying and on CAF, so I don’t feel especially lonely much now. Don’t enjoy eating out as much, since I usually am sitting alone, looking at all the couples around me, but have gotten used to it now. I often pray for the older couples I see at the restaurant, asking God to let them appreciate the time they have together, and bless them for having that time. My only advice is to get involved as much as possible with groups, or volunteering at Church. Only place here which offers a Christmas dinner to singles & widowed doesn’t have very good food (food is o.k., but usually cold when served), so I really prefer a home-cooked meal. Might try it again this year if I feel myself getting too lonesome and blue. We don’t have a group for the singles or widowed at my Parish, just a group that meets at the secondary Parish 20 miles away, which is for high school kids – don’t think I’d fit in!! LOL Wish we had such a group here. I tried to start one for the widowed, but none of them showed up and we have at least 30 of them here. Guess they all have nearby family. Being the last living member of my family, I don’t have that option. Good luck with the Group!

For a practical solution create a parish sponsored Christmas party and add in a Secret Santa for all who show up. Just because your single doesn’t mean your lonely. You can all be single together!

Mere survival is a lowly goal. Aim higher!

I don’t really do anything in particular to feel less lonely during the holidays. Well… besides maybe eating a little more comfort food than usual :stuck_out_tongue: But doing something to get out of your own head is always a good idea if something like that is bothering you. Volunteering, doing some hard work, visiting The Blessed Sacrament and praying have all been ways of coping, for myself. Sometimes I can start to feel like it is so unfair that everyone I know (not literally but you know what I mean) has someone except me and that makes me feel lonely. But sometimes I can be so happy for all my blessings that the thought of never finding anyone does not bother me. Which one it will be for this holiday season is still up in the air :smiley:

If I see one more similar comment to this on FB or here I’m gonna flip.

How about married people are so lucky and blessed to GET to Spend time with MULTIPLE families that love them so much they want to see them

I am lucky enough to have one family…but I have only one. Most of the time, they don’t all make it. And sometimes, the siblings go their inlaws, decide not to do our family holiday. and I’m left by myself going to Denny’s.

I get so sick of people complaining about how difficult holidays are trying to go to multiple places. Yes…kids get tired. Yes, its a long day.

be grateful.

Good point here. The word “survive” is coming from a negative perspective. Perhaps title your talk with a more positive slant about being single in the holidays.

First of all, I challenge the assumption that it’s somehow a bad thing to spend the holidays alone. For some people, this time could be a wonderful time to just stay home and relax.
Secondly, as for being the only “one” at a dinner table if invited someplace else, keep in mind that being single is not a disease. You don’t have to meet someone else’s expectations that you should be “coupled.”
Third, you could invite other singles or even couples without a family in the area over to your place. Everyone could bring some food so it’s not overwhelming for one person to cook.

At this point I’ll just be glad the year is over. I bought a house with termites, leaking roof, bug issues, shoddy rehab work including cracking floors and ceilings not to mention all the other stuff I knew about. Trying to find something to do on Christmas eve would be nice but it looks like alone time is ahead. Going to mass only kind of rubs it in.

I have read some great stuff here in this thread. Rest assured you are all going to be ‘heard’ during the talk.

What puts a smile on my face is how many of you chose to look outward - to be of service - during a time which could really be depressing and lonely.

I know that, intellectually, we should never EVER be ashamed of our station in life. I also know that, due to concupiscence, all of us fight off ‘demons’. Being in a culture which celebrates the importance of family while surrounded by the reality of a secular culture of death which has lead to so many broken families can tug hard at our reality. I salute those who are chosing to follow the path Christ has forged for us by looking how they can help, by not giving in to fear or despair and for celebrating the wonderful gift of their life!

I have been widowed for a long time. It looks as though the only man who ever wanted to marry me did, and died. I would love to be someone’s wife and I would have loved to have had children. Doesn’t look like that is God’s plan for me.

I have discovered that service, laughter, honesty, willingness and openess is the way for me to have a fabulous life - even if it is NOT the life I would have chosen for myself.

I look forward to my presentation and I will let you all know how it went!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!:stuck_out_tongue:

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