With the chill in the air matching your cold, single AF heart, the holidays can be a shitty time for your self-esteem, to say the least. At family reunions, your titas pinch your cheek and bellow, “Ang gwapong bata! Nasaan na si iswitheart mo?” To which you avert your gaze and mutter that you were dumped earlier this year. At every Christmas party, your friends try to set you up with someone’s cousin’s officemate, and the chemistry, as with most things that are merely other people’s idea of what’s good for you, falls short. Back in your room you stare at the ceiling and consider staying there until Valentine’s (another shitty holiday for single people) is over.
But since that’s not a real option, here’s how you can navigate the season without burrowing deeper into your heartbreak hole, or hurling a plate of puto bumbong at the next person who asks where your girlfriend is.
1) Thou shalt not regress
You’ve come this far without your ex in your life. Three weeks? Three months? (Popoy would give you the go signal to start dating again.) Three years, even? Don’t slide back into your suffering by sliding into her DMs one lonely December night with a “musta?” or “still up?” or worst of all, “miss u.” Remember why it ended in the first place. And remember, you are petmalu, not pokmaru.
2) Thou shalt try to be happy for your friends
While there is a surge in breakups once the –ber months roll in, conversely, there is also a surge in people coupling up—blame it on everyone’s heightened emotions this time of the year. We get it, the sight of any level of PDA makes you feel like poking your eye out, and deep down you’re probably thinking, “Magbe-break din kayo, mga ulol.” But don’t be the scrooge who can't be happy for his bros in love. At least not to their faces.
3) Thou shalt not flirt with your balikbayan third cousin
We mean, she’s probably attractive and the thirst is probably real, but…
4) Thou shalt spend time with family
No matter how disgusting or unmotivated or inconsiderate you can be, your family will always love you. Your mom will always think you’re awesome. Your siblings will always have your back. Being single during the holidays makes you question your degree of lovability, but going home to the people who accept you unconditionally is the best reminder that maybe you’re not as awful as you think.
5) Thou shalt savor time alone
Whether it’s Netflix and chill, a quiet afternoon at a coffee shop, or even going away for the weekend, take advantage of your freedom (and free time) and learn to enjoy your own company. It might not score you a new girl right away, but when the right one finally comes along, you’ll be more confident and self-aware, thanks to all that introspection you’ve had the chance to marinate in.
With any luck, by next year, you would have graduated out of the SMP. Until then, cheer up, drink up, take it easy on the lechon, and remember that you’re never too old to receive ang paos from your titos. MPMP: Maligayang Pasko, mga pre!