Do Singles Struggle More At Christmas?


I was driving home from a family party on the day after Thanksgiving and I heard three radio stations announce that they will be playing only Christmas music all through out the holiday season.

I saw several houses decked out with blow-up Santa lawn decorations and outside color lights. I shouldn’t be surprised because many people have the tradition of putting up their Christmas trees on Thanksgiving Day. And we all know that Black Friday is the biggest holiday shopping day of the year. Ready or not, the Christmas frenzy is upon us.

Do you look forward to the upcoming season with joyful anticipation or intense dread? Do you welcome the signs of Christmas or do you think about past Christmases and just hope that you can skip the entire thing this year? I think all of us can share stories about good and bad years.

I remember one Christmas, my sister and her fiancé came to my parent’s house to celebrate Christmas. They were just recently engaged so they had a ton of gifts for each other. Long after the rest of us had finished opening our gifts, we continued to watch the love birds open their gifts and give a little smooch after each present. We tease and laugh about it now, but at the time, it was torture sitting through it.

Christmas is a time for family and to be with the ones that you love. But it is also a time when singles are acutely aware of their relationship statuses. Will I be single again this Christmas? Will I spend the holidays alone? Even those who have family can still feel left out at Christmas.

I come from a huge family and whenever we take family pictures together I feel like an outsider. I feel inadequate because everyone else is married and has children. I feel like I can’t relate because I don’t have the same struggles as families with small children.

Does my family make me feel like that? Of course they don’t, but it is hard to explain to my married sister or to my parents why I feel awkward and lonely during the holidays. I feel insecure about being single on a regular day and seeing all the happy couples during Christmastime just makes that insecurity grow.

The holidays can be particularly hard on those who haven’t met their spouse yet, are divorced or have suffered the death of a loved one. Sometimes it is helpful to vent about struggles that are particular to singles. It is nice to know that there are other people who have the same feelings or similar issues during Christmastime. If you are alone this Christmas, CatholicMatch is here to help.

We would like to provide Christmas hope all through out the season. Check out our collection of articles and tips to make the best of this joyful season. Share your trials and triumphs with other members, read our success stories and meet are many members online. Thousands of Catholic singles are already online. We welcome you to the conversation.




  1. Ann-69118 January 6, 2016 Reply

    I think anyone alone has a hard time during the holidays which shine attention on families and kids. If you don’t have those it makes it hard to get through.

  2. Michael-85720 December 22, 2015 Reply

    The Spirit of Christmas?! Bah! Humbug! Underneath such feigning or dreadful personas are hurting people wearing masks. They feel that they must for reasons unbeknownst to us.

    The traumas people go through we’ll never know because we’d rather safely put a description or label on them so that we can remain comfortable and smart. It’s a mild form of judging, actually.

    Normal people who manage to keep a fairly happy life normally don’t intuit hurting people during the holidays. We hear preached to us to spread the cheer and charity, but we don’t perceive the most hurting who are so trapped and broken, who don’t celebrate holidays, and so they don’t get touched by the normal folks who have a decent amount of love.

    I even heard a homily once that said within it to invite the lonely to your holiday celebrations. I’m not sure that sort of thing actually happens, because people are wrapped up in the busyness and centered on their ideas and plans. And, think about it, how would a lonely person who’s used to dark lonely holidays feel around bright and merry people?

    But why not reach out to lonely persons during other times? Because the “lonely” put on different disguises and tend to hide great hurt, and they may “fake it until they make it.” And when the holidays come around, they’re already familiar and feel like a friend.

    Why do we fail to spot them and invite the lonely? We aren’t attracted to them, and may even call them unfriendly. I know because I’ve been called unfriendly, when actually I truly believe I reach out to others way more than I feel reached out to; also, when was I “unfriendly”? Was it when one of my parents died, and my head hung low? Was it when I was in the throes of clinical depression, and I only muttered a low-key hello back? Was it it when my lonely occupation was at an all-time low and I was in crisis? Was it when I was struggling to feel normal but was estranged because my family members kept a subtle condescending attitude toward me because I preferred to be firmly rooted in Christ and the Church?

    One of my favorite episodes of Little House on the Prairie was entitled Haunted House in Season Two. Everyone just left Mr. Pike alone because he was weird and it seemed that he WANTED to be left alone. People felt even that they were being respectful. Well, it turned out that Mr. Pike was just another one of those severely hurting people, and Laura persevered and broke through with him. The scene where he is struggling to have faith in God is where Laura just cradles and strokes his head…

    As for me, when upon rare instance a person asks me what I’m doing for Christmas, I shrug my shoulders. That person doesn’t take it a step further. I’ve spent over 30 years not celebrating the holidays.

  3. Janaye-1101165 December 20, 2015 Reply

    Wow, reading all your comments puts really puts things into perspective for me. I know this article was posted 2 years ago but this is the first time I’ve come across it and like I said, it is helping me to see things as they really are… Lots of people out there besides me who feel lonely at Christmastime! Although I’d never wish anyone to be unhappy, it’s good to know there are so many people out there who feel the same way I do. It’s hard watching many of my friends get married and enjoying their lives as couples while I feel left out. But, all in God’s perfect timing! There are so many more important things to focus on this time of year than fretting about when one will meet that special someone. Thanks for the article.

  4. Jonathan-612626 December 27, 2012 Reply

    Prayer! Prayer! Prayer! We need to humbly adore, thank and pray to our Infant Lord at this time of His. Such feelings can often be stirred up by the demons who want us to despair and be depressed. Let us thank God for this great gift of suffering with which we can only in His Grace and by His Son’s Passion purchase souls for Heaven. He has His reasons for everything. He didn’t say it would be easy but that it would be worth it. Courage!

  5. Jonathan-612626 December 27, 2012 Reply

    Prayer! Prayer! Prayer! We need to humbly adore, thank and pray to our Infant Lord at this time of His. Such feelings can often be stirred up by the demons who want us to despair and be depressed. Let us thank God for this great gift of suffering with which we can by being in His Grace

  6. Greg-812644 December 22, 2012 Reply

    I have just moved to a new city and really feal the loneliness of the season. I have decided to volunteer at one of our Catholic communities in the city. I just pray that maybe other Catholic Match subscribers would respond to someones message, or instant message, it might make the season that more enjoyable.

  7. Deborah-916369 December 6, 2012 Reply

    This Christmas my “Christmas Spirit” level is up and down. I love everything about Christmas, and of course the fact that it is Jesus’ Birthday. But a Christmas without “love” is rather dim…

  8. Lois-765906 December 2, 2012 Reply

    As I have congratulated myself on how well I have adjusted to my life post-divorce, I did not think I struggled anymore during the holidays. But, I was wrong. One thing that I really miss (and it may sound stupid) but, my church has a New Year’s Eve dinner/dance every year for couples. For the past three years, when I have heard that announcement at the end of mass, I have thought “next year, for sure, I will have a date!” I have such a wonderful church family! It’s great to be Catholic. But, it’s a small church and I have met no guys there. Today after mass, sure enough, the lector made the “be sure to purchase your New Year’s Eve dinner/dance tickets because they will sell out fast! ” announcement. It was SO depressing. I can’t go alone – EVERYONE is a couple! Don’t get me wrong please – I AM profoundly grateful for all the blessings that God has given me. But, I have come to realize what a real struggle this is for me. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Lois-765906 December 2, 2012 Reply

      By the way, I am not really big on going out dancing etc etc – there is just something sentimental, I guess, about this one particular event. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  9. Shirlene-878366 December 1, 2012 Reply

    My husband died suddenly 3 years ago at the age of 60. This is our 4th Christmas without him. I have children and grandchildren, but I am always sad and feel alone during the Christmas season. I work full time, so I keep busy, but the emptiness is ever present. Every one is so happy and full of the Christmas spirit, so I try to join in, but it is difficult.

    • Walter-533749 December 10, 2014 Reply

      I am with you Shirlene. I lost my wife 7 years ago and while I have many friends, it is difficult to see my couple friends enjoying the holidays together. I still feel out of place at times. I moved to a warmer climate from Missouri and belong to a social outdoor club. We can do outdoor activities almost the entire year. Having lots of friends helps but does not replace my spouse. I am still trying to figure out what my mission is here on earth. Until I do, I am kind to everyone, participate in charity events and try to spread joy even though inside it hurts.

  10. Louis-900679 November 30, 2012 Reply

    Robyn, If you don’t have plans. you are more then Welcome to come over my house to celebrate the Birth of JESUS.) Really!!.)

  11. Lee W. November 29, 2012 Reply

    l work at volunteering for Mercy seniors and get calls like ” l’m so lonely what can you do for me.” l tell them if they are able and walking and still driving a car. They can volunteer at any place that can use help and love, they would never be lonely again. l have made so many friends and received so much more love in return, l have no time to feel sorry or lonely for myself. My life is full and l’m so blessed.

  12. Jennifer-728047 November 28, 2012 Reply

    Eh, I disagree that Christmas is a time for family and to be with the ones we love. While that may sound strange, I will clarify. This walk we are on, as a pilgrimage! I feel that way — the cross — just doing my work as a Pro Life Nurse in a very culture of death society, from lovingly combating the contracpetive mentality, abortion, IVF, euthanasia, etc. It’s a battle. BUT….the victory has already been won by Jesus, and we are here as His hands, feet and mouthpiece. Therefore, we must hold our heads high and focus on the REAL meaning of Christmas, and if we not let ourselves feel the pitty which is soooo easy to feel, trust me!! I get it!!….than we will use these times to grow in our dependence on Him, love of Him, His love of us, and really using the time to be intimate with the Lord…..we all know how He works — blessings are often disguised, indirect and unsuspecting. He won’t drop the man in our laps while we whine about how difficult this time is:) It’s Jesus’ birthday! We need to set our hearts and minds on that, and nothing more…..and we’ll experience deep, inner peace, joy and fulfillment. Seriously, I’m craving the entry into my vocation of marriage as well! As a Creighton Model Fertilitycare Practitioner, I meet with couples (engaged, and married) every other day, and see the love..helping them conceive…..etc? Hard stuff. God’s grace gets me joyfully through though, with out the jealousy, or envy, or wondering “when it’s my turn,” etc. All things for the glory of God, friends. ALL things. Even our sorrows, sadness and loneliness. Offer it up as a prayer…..the world, our president!, our country needs it , BAD!

    Love to all,

    Jennifer, NJ 🙂


  13. Ria-800904 November 28, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for sharing this lovely post. It’s definitely been a struggle in the past, and I don’t doubt that I’ll have those moments this coming Christmas season. But, it’s also comforting to know that this is one of the most significant times our Father reveals Himself to us, and in turn, reveals His love for us. He knows it is a struggle for many singles, and He also knows that when He created us, He planted a seed in us that hungers only for Him. Only He can satisfy us. This is a wonderful time of year to acknowledge the many ways He’s showered us with His love through our loved ones and through the unexpected people we interact with. What better way than to acknowledge His greatest love for us than through His greatest gift, our Saviour’s birth. 8) God bless!!!

  14. Liberty-649008 November 27, 2012 Reply

    Hi Robyn,

    It was so great of you posting your innermost feelings. The Holy Spirit have used you as His instrument to let other singles think thay they are still normal. That kind of feeling is so true. Just only think that the real essence of Christmas is about giving and sharing love as the Baby Jesus was sent as a gift of God to us all:) Happy Holidays and Pray for each other.

  15. David-878013 November 27, 2012 Reply

    You know what lonely is? I will be 39 in December and i am telling the world this. At one point in my life i gave up trying to find a girlfriend because it hurt so much getting turned down all the time. Now i will be 39 soon and still i have never had a girlfriend. It hurts seeing couples everywhere i go and never knowing the joy of being in a relationship. Yes i have been on dates but they never went anywhere. Do nice guys finish last? Yes it happens all the time to me. Why?
    Why does no one have any real interest in me?

    • Jennifer-728047 November 28, 2012 Reply

      Keep working on the self……take advantage of these single years (yes, even at 39!) to grow, learn, develop character, sharpen virtue….seek counsel or advice as to what is going wrong, or perhaps what is going right also:) Chin up, hands folded, heart strong. I can share maaaany a story with you, but I’ll spare you. Patience, purity, love of Christ. Keep going brother…the cross is heavy, but His was heavier! 🙂

    • Carol-42915 November 30, 2012 Reply

      Well, David I sent you a message and you did not even reply to me so, no wonder you are were you are right now in you life. You could of at least reply-ed back. …….

  16. Louis-900679 November 26, 2012 Reply

    I Get that.. And Yes I totally agree. but I believe that it is important that you SUBMERGE YOURSELF in People that Love You.. I don’t want to come off as being Selfish, but I miss my family terribly and I don’t think of it as running Solo when I’m with them. Because I am Surrounded by Love. It will be OK Robyn..) Pray and Remember that GOD will always Loves You.. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE..)

  17. j-882005 November 26, 2012 Reply

    I would agree with this story alot. I am from rural West Texas not like the Dallas area
    where being Catholic and single is hard enough. I think the holiday takes a toll on us.
    During the year I think about the idea that people have moved on to be married or
    have children. I prayed on the matter friday and thought you have been though alot,
    but the faith has taken you this far. I am new to the site so I hope that makes sense and
    I have not made anyone angry.

  18. Dan-410503 November 26, 2012 Reply

    I agree with your story, Robyn. Over this Thanksgiving weekend, I found I was slowly but surely feeling the sadness coming on. I was in a relationship for the past two years, so this is the first holiday season in a couple that I’ve been alone, but I remember what it feels like all too well. I have a great extended family, and so the actual holidays are always spent with them, hence I’m not truly alone. But there is definitely something missing. I am trying to concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas and really want to make it a meaningful Advent, but it would be so much more fulfilling to have someone special to share it with.

  19. Gina-775037 November 26, 2012 Reply

    im still single too and ill never meet my spouse

  20. Rollanda-905758 November 25, 2012 Reply

    This made it is seem so much worse, I will not have a home for Christmas, I have only a dog left for family and yes I am single. I have God and he is my best friend, my only firend at present except the dog who was a little gift from him. So I say to all singles it who are sad, feel alone, grief stricken at this time of year, and all threw the year like me and so many others. GOD LOVES YOU!! DON’T GIVE UP ON HIM, HE HAS NOT GIVEN UP ON YOU!!

    • Joseph-924851 December 7, 2014 Reply

      Then maybe he ought to get off the throne and actually do something.

  21. Mary-583970 November 25, 2012 Reply

    I feel it, too. But I feel it throughout the year. I used to happy for others, and I still am in a way, but my sadness is unbearable. I know what’s important, but my heart doesn’t feel it. When I’m shopping for a baby shower, I can’t even spend more than 10minutes in the baby section of the department store without crying. That’s embarrassing 😛 But yeah, I can’t even get very much joy from Christmas decorating because I feel like “what’s the point? I have no family to enjoy this with.” My happiness for a couple getting married is overshadowed by my despise of not having a date to their wedding. It’s a problem :/ But it IS painfully apparent during the holidays….

    • Jennifer-728047 November 28, 2012 Reply

      I hear ya. I prepare couples for their weddings all the time, by teaching NFP. Then? I help them conceive their baby when there are problems…’s a pilgrimage for sure. What He doesn’t grant of our desires here, will be rewarded ten fold in the next life. What is most difficult I think, is that society at large, prefers online doings! People are addicted, not getting out, not doing anything but sitting home on their devices and I’m afraid, other unhealthy habits.

      Well, hang in there. Let’s start a 54 day Novena for our future spouse! And try to keep focused on JESUS! Maybe He knows we need this desert, to develop greater intimacy with Him first!;)

    • Marita-847688 November 28, 2012 Reply

      I keep seeing all of these cute little girl toys and then remembering that I don’t have a little girl to buy for. That’s why every year I pick a girl for my church’s “giving tree” drive, and give a present to her. I am bummed out that I don’t have a spouse to share the holidays with. I do have family, though.

      • Marita-847688 December 1, 2012 Reply

        I am very grateful that I have family, my health, shelter, and a job this Christmas.

  22. Steve-756554 November 25, 2012 Reply

    Just one note to whom ever reads my message. Be thankful to get up in the morning. At least you know you will be around for one more day. I see lots of sadness during this time of year. lots of callsl fromt people wanting to leave this world by killing themselves. Volunteer sometime doing good for the community.

    • Diana-49558 November 28, 2012 Reply

      Most people greet the new day with joy, and anticipation of what the day will hold. I greet the day with the question “Why am i still here?” I am nothing special, only taking up space in this world. Life is bad enough when you are alone, and holidays only make you more acutely aware of how alone you really are.

  23. Tessa-694373 November 25, 2012 Reply

    I agree with Lori. All singles should remember it is not our time yet…God has his plan for all of us…Keep the Faith!!
    You should look at the up side you have more time as a single to do things close to your heart…like visit long time friends you have not seen in awhile, help out the family out with things don’t have much time to do, or volunteer you time at a soup kitchen or some other worthy cause that may need extra help this Christmas…the power of prayers is AMAZING and God answer all our prayers…God Bless

    • Jennifer-728047 November 28, 2012 Reply

      Agreed! I’d LOVE to be married, and raise a family! I thought by now, I’d have 4 and one on the way! However….man’s rejection is God’s protection. It’s not out time yet for MANY reasons. He knows how much we love and want to love Him He is allowing us this time in the singles waiting room, so that we can take full advantage…get to know ourselves better, serve Him in ways we won’t be able to fully, when married. I am super busy with pro life work, preparing couples for marriage through NFP education, helping my parents, scrapbooking, preparing meals, visiting extended family, training my niece and nephew in the faith, learning new musical instruments…..I’m with you! Also, we need to focus on being intimate with the LORD! The more we keep our eyes on Him as the Target, we will rejoice in all circumstances. Turn to scripture, friends…it’s not just about the Rosary, but reading of His love through the Holy Book!!!:) xoxoxo

  24. Michelle-556805 November 25, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for sharing. I love the holidays and I also come from a large extended family. I always have a wonderful time with them yet, I can’t help but wonder if next year will be different or of I will have someone to share my most favorite time of the year with… I keep hoping and praying! Maybe next year! God bless!

  25. Lori-663130 November 25, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for sharing an article that brings attention to an issue that crosses all single’s minds but we are not aware of or decided to repress it. I have learned to accept it is not my time to have someone in my life just yet….God has a plan and I trust him. In the meanwhile, I take advantage of being single to be available and help the family with as much as I can since I am the one with the most time 🙂

    • Donald-347054 December 2, 2012 Reply

      Lori, not to worry you are way to beautiful to worry about being single. I’ve spent the last 20 Christmas’s experiencing what you’ve gone through, it could be worse. Whoever is lucky enough to get you will be blessed!! Have a blessed Christmas Don

  26. Cheryl-900360 November 25, 2012 Reply

    I totally understand where you coming with those feelings! I am a single mom and from a foreign country so when I see all this togetherness it kind of makes me sad..for me ..but happy for them. This is one of the reasons I have made my own Christmas tradition! For years to avoid all the gift giving and loneliness I go away for Christmas…I find somewhere warm in the Caribbean and set off! Even my 7 year old son loves it! I will pray for you that you do not feel so left out this year!

  27. Lia-74118 November 25, 2012 Reply

    Thank you, Robyn 🙂
    I like when you wrote “I feel insecure about being single on a regular day and seeing all the happy couples during Christmastime just makes that insecurity grow.” I haven’t realized it, but it’s true…
    Recently, after an Adoration I asked for prayer to a Carmelit Sister, and I couldn’t say anything about my needs, then as she prayed, I realized that they’re the insecurity, faithfulness, worries, patience and so on….for those burdens we need to surrender to GOD and keep our faith, especially in this Christmas season.
    God bless us …

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