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Sex + Relationships

Do’s and Don’ts of Being Single During the Holidays

The holidays are a special time where everyone celebrates the season with their friends and family. It is a favorite time of the year that many look forward to, but for others, it can be challenging. 


So, if you’re newly single, in a long-distance relationship, or all your friends are cuffed, here are some Do’s and Don’ts for the holiday season.

DO spend extra time with your family and friends.

The holiday season is a time for making new memories with the people you love. Surround yourself with family and friends because they care so much about you. They will show you all the love you need.

DON’T settle for someone close.

Sometimes we can feel pressured to have a significant other during the holiday season. We want someone to give gifts to and bring to parties, but this is not always needed. If you don’t want to be with someone for the holidays, just end it right when the relationship is over. It is not worth it, and it is better to focus on yourself when you feel this pressure.

DON’T go overboard on the gifts.

This one is especially for those new couples out there. If you just started dating or talking to someone, it may be too soon to get them a holiday gift. However, gifts can potentially send a strong message to your significant other, so just make this choice wisely.

DO bake some of your favorite holiday cookie recipes.

This is a given. If you’re not baking, is it even the holiday season? Whip out some of the best cookie recipes your grandma has in her pantry and get baking!

DO watch holiday movies and listen to holiday music.

Holiday movies are the best. Whether you’re binge-watching them on Hallmark, Netflix, or Hulu, they really can help to get you in the spirit. There are some serious classics that you must watch each year, so don’t skip them. Also, if you’re like me, I ditch my usual playlist during December and I try to listen to holiday music as much as I can all month long.

DON’T reach out to an ex.

Just like settling for someone close to you for the holidays, don’t retreat to something familiar. You are exes for a reason, and bringing them back into your life just for some holiday cheer is not okay. 


It could be super weird to have them around your family again anyway. That gets people asking too many questions and starts conversations neither of you want to have.

DO join in on any Pollyanna gift exchanges with collegues, friends, or peers.

Gift-giving can make you just as happy as gift receiving. Pollyannas are so much fun, and they are a good way to make new friends among peers and coworkers. If you are paired with someone you don’t know very well, you might end up making a special connection with them because of the gift exchange. 


Doing a Pollyanna with friends is also special because you can make it a fun theme where everyone gives each other hilarious gag gifts.

DON’T worry about eating a ton.

The holidays are when we get to make and enjoy some of the best meals ever. This is something to look forward to, but I always hear people worrying about food at holiday celebrations. They worry about how much they can eat, but life is too short to be worried about how a couple of holiday meals will affect your weight. Plus, this is what new year’s resolutions are for.


So, just embrace the company and the delicious meals. Don’t be too hard on yourself, your body is beautiful no matter what size it is.

DO get yourself a gift!

You may be busy buying gifts for other people, but you have to remember to treat yourself during the holidays, too. Get yourself special products for a spa night or your favorite snacks for a binge-watch night. It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary – just don’t forget about yourself during this time.

DO live in the moment.

Take advantage of this holiday season, don’t reminisce on past ones with other people or other vacations. Just focus on the celebration this year and try to make it the best it can be with the people around you. It will only be as good as you make it.

Happy holidays, collegiettes!

Marlena is a fourth-year in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State where she is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Psychology and Digital Media Trends & Analytics. She is so grateful to be at Penn State and loves learning more about communications, her peers, and herself every day. She hopes to use this knowledge and her own positive outlook to help others in any way she can.
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