All relationships have their place. I, like many of my peers, have experienced sneaky links, a couple of situationships, and a committed relationship.  It's just about being honest with yourself and seeing what you can handle.  

Growing up, I didn’t see healthy relationships. My parents divorced and moved on to other partners when I was young. I remember my dad dating a salsa-obsessed blonde who was not too fond of me and tried to hustle my dad. My mom remarried quickly. Unfortunately, he had a Jheri curl. He wasn’t around a lot and later, my friends confessed to me that they thought he was just my uncle or something. I say all of this is to say that the relationships you see as a child have an effect on you because they are your first demonstrations of romantic love.

A lot of what we saw, we have to unlearn. I used to ask the wrong people for the right type of love. I thought if I made myself nice enough, pretty enough, and small enough that I’d receive that love. I thought if I could manipulate and twist enough, I would receive it.  The truth is, you can do everything right. Love yourself, exercise, eat right, meditate, do your homework, and not get that kiss under the mistletoe (fingers crossed for New Year's Eve though). If you do, lucky you!  If you don't, lucky you, too!  

Recently, I’ve been taking time for myself and healing from my past bad relationships. I’m opening myself up to the idea of love again. It’s been nice, feeling whole on my own, and it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever given to myself. My journey to love internally is giving me hope. I know that the love I feel inside is somewhere out there too. 

In this time of reflection and singleness, I’ve been reading All About Love by bell hooks. In the book, she speaks about how love is an action rather than a feeling. She explains that you do not just uncontrollably fall in love, but rather choose to love. This is important in all types of relationships, whether platonic, romantic, or familial. 

Having said that, here are some insights to help you leave this holiday season emotionally unscathed.