Jewish New Year is traditionally a time to celebrate, share and connect; but at times it can also feel like you’re in a smartly-dressed interrogation.

Who doesn’t have experience of being questioned by family members about their life and future plans?

All those expectations come weighing down on you – heavier even than your mother’s baking – making you wish you’d never come to the family event in the first place.

Of course, this is never more so when you add recently married siblings or cousins, or excited new parents, into the mix. If you’re single, you are bound to feel the weight of expectations at this special time. You may feel that everyone else is winning a race while you are only just tying up your shoelaces.

Equally embarrassing and uncomfortable are the close encounters with people you only see once a year at synagogue. It’s fair to say that the high holidays can also bring a few lows…

But don’t despair.

Here are three ways you can survive the holidays:

  • Focus on positivity – it’s your time to reflect on the year that’s gone and plan the year ahead so it’s a special one. Goal setting is a good start. You may not have found your beshert but you can commit to learning, developing, changing and improving yourself.
  • See the humour in your situation – you know your grandpa is going to ask what you’re doing with your life and then disapprove of it. Your grandma will ask you when you’re marrying (possibly in front of your current girl/boyfriend). You have to set the table like a 12 year old. You don’t recognise people at synagogue yet you’re expected to engage in conversation. You can predict what’s going to happen so accept this, and have answers ready!
  • Plan a treat for afterwards. Anything you fancy, with whoever you want, just make sure you feel 100% at ease with them, and able to vent (briefly) about your frustrating experience at home for the holidays.

Rosh Hashanah does not need to be a miserable time. You can treat it as a perfect opportunity to see all those people in your family, friendship circle and community who have been there for you since you were born. Yes, they may be annoying. Yes, you might find interacting with them frustrating. And, yes, you may be successful and independent and resent being made to feel like a teenager. But in most cases, their concern comes out of love. So accept it and move on.

Make the New Year a fresh start for you, particularly if you’re ready for a meaningful relationship. See our ebook on 7 ways to find love for a helping hand.

Chag sameach!