“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.” Kevin James
Family gatherings can serve up more than turkey. Flooded with good memories, yet some encumbered with fraught. Now you show up at the doorway as a single. You and your plus one and have gone your separate ways be it good, bad, or otherwise.
The sad stares might show up. How are you doing, dear? Their voice was riddled with concern. It could be a comment added with a tone of judging failure. I really did not care for them.
Oh, yeah, here it comes; you did not ask how they felt about your ex.
Don’t bite on that one. They are baiting you.
You cared for your partner for years, but they did not ask that.
Holding onto the fact that you were pretty happy five out of the six years you spent together.
You are starting to devise reasonable solutions to exit the family gathering that feels like a place you are not ready for. Facing gatherings as a couple was one thing; now, as a new single feels entirely different.
How does one keep their head high and carry on?
Be a giraffe.
Hold yourself high and above the verbal questioning. You do not need to share or answer if you are not comfortable or not ready. You can simply say.
“We are not taking sides here; this was our relationship, no one else’s; let’s keep this a villain-free zone.”
Then change the subject. Do not be the center of fodder. This will not help you heal or go through the steps to a healthy singlehood. Remembering this was your relationship, not theirs; it was a mutual decision to split, and you will not be the victim.
Get the help you need when and how you need it. Family’s are known for the stress and button pushing with a side of verbal triggering. Allow yourself to be free of that during your family time.
Remind yourself you are whole as a single. Remind yourself you are taking in the lesson of your lost love. You have learned more about yourself and will not return to some of the same mistakes. You see your game and your pattern. You can admit your culpability.
Finally, when you are done with your healing process, you will find and attract another great love. Single can equal hope, happiness, calm, and reflection. Take away the good and find joy in where you are at. No matter what table your feet land under, there are blessings.
My Mantra: “Embrace the journey of family, friends, and self.”