Single and happy on holiday
The very idea of going on holiday on your own can create feelings of doubt and panic – but why? If you're single, you've got every opportunity to make the most of your summer and have the time of your life. Read on for psychotherapist Sylvie Tenenbaum’s top tips on going on holiday as a single.
1. My best friend is...me
“Remember: to be able to live with someone, you first need to know how to live with yourself,” psychotherapist Sylvie Tenenbaum points out. A single holiday is a unique experience that's all about getting to know yourself. Make the most of the fact that you don’t have the same constraints you would have if you were travelling as a couple. What do you really want to do with your time? Perhaps you are a keen reader, and you have a stack of novels you’ve been wanting to read? Pack them in your suitcase, and once you arrive at your destination, lose yourself and savour the peace. Maybe you have always dreamed of trekking in Mongolia, or staying on an eco-friendly farm? Or perhaps you want to do absolutely nothing apart from your nails, sunbathing and sipping cocktails at the bar by the beach...Whatever your perfect holiday, don’t be afraid to go it alone!
2. Don't listen to other people
You probably won’t escape the inevitable question: “What are you up to this summer?” and then have to suffer the reaction: “Oh, you poor thing, you’re single.” “Remember that most of the time, people project their own anxieties onto you when they hear about situations like this,” Sylvie Tenenbaum explains. But you shouldn't let being single make you unhappy, so tell it to them straight. Stand by your choice and be single and happy on holiday. Even if it bothers them, there is no reason why you should let other people tell you who you are, or think for you. A retort that “it is better to be alone than with the wrong person” should shut them up.
3. Open your mind to romance
Just because you're single now, doesn’t mean you'll still be single when you come back. Make the most of your summer break to meet new people...on one condition. There's no point in setting yourself the challenge of finding someone and getting engaged by the end of your holiday. Put yourself first and forget the obsession with finding The One. “You are not supposed to need someone else to lean on all the time. Meeting someone else is a good opportunity to see things from a different perspective and explore new interests,” our expert says. So if you want to, go and meet new people when you feel like it. On the other hand, allow yourself the luxury of saying no too, if it becomes too much hassle.
4. Take friends with you
There's no point in going on holiday alone if you know it's going to make you feel uncomfortable. If travelling solo just doesn’t appeal, go away with a group of friends. Choose your travelling companions carefully though. “Avoid friends who are couples perhaps, as this will inevitably be a constant reminder of what you don’t have,” Sylvie Tenenbaum explains. Make a shortlist of your single, most cynical girlfriends who will spend the whole holiday complaining about men! Once again, the idea of choice is important here — getting out of the mindset that being single is bad requires a certain amount of determination.
5. Don't let couples get you down
Everywhere you look are smooching, cooing couples – and you're bound to feel negative when you see them cosying up on the beach. Stop! “Avoid telling yourself that you’ll be single forever; this is neither the time nor the place,” says our expert. Ask yourself instead what is really missing from your life at the moment, and keep a mental note of it for when you get back home. You can sort it when you get back.
Finally, remember too that holidaying as a couple isn’t all it's cracked up to be. A boyfriend would probably snore all night, complain about being hungry and not want to eat at the same time as you, and hate sunbathing. But you are free to do exatly what you want – and that's no small thing!
6. Focus on your self esteem
Among the array of different techniques for positive thinking, gratitude comes top of the list. This is about seeing the glass half full. What's the point in thinking your glass is half empty all the time? Make a note of three different events when life has been kind to you. These can be large or small significant moments when you felt your heart swell with happiness and gratitude. Good things happen all the time, and the more you notice these moments in your life, the better you will feel. All you have to do is have a good time. It really is that simple, and you will have loads of jealousy-inducing stories to tell everyone when you get back!
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