5 Authentic Ways to Handle the Questions About Your Single Status This Holiday Season
The holidays are upon us, and for those of us who are single, that means we’ll soon be bombarded with questions.
Family members may ask if we’re bringing anyone home for Christmas this year. Beloved aunts and uncles may joke about our (still) single status. Well-meaning relatives will ask when we’re planning on settling down, and parents may drop not-so-subtle hints about their lack of grandchildren.
You’re definitely not alone if you’re dreading sitting around the dinner table at Christmas. A poll taken by online dating app Badoo in 2016 found that 33% of singles feel an enhanced pressure to date or find a significant other during the holiday season.
While those pointed questions from family members may be well-intentioned, sometimes it is hard to keep your composure and not become frustrated about the constant inquiries into your love life.
If you feel like everyone from your mother to your neighbor wants you to find love this holiday season, here are five tips to help you navigate conversations about your romantic life if you’re not bringing someone home for the holidays this year.
Reject the Lie that You’re Not Enough
There’s nothing like someone pointing out your single status to encourage low self-esteem. More than likely, your aunt isn’t the first person to ask you why you don’t have a significant other beside you. You’ve already asked that question to yourself, and that’s why it stings so much.
So before you even sit down around the Christmas tree or the dinner table, bring your pain and frustration to God in prayer and reject the lies that surround your single status. Maybe your lack of boyfriend or girlfriend has left you wondering if you’re good enough. You may be questioning if you’re too picky, or if you’ve set the bar too high when it comes to relationships.
Be Honest and Fearless in Conversations
While it may be tempting to brush off questions about your love life, don’t be afraid to be honest about your feelings surrounding your relationship status. If it’s been a struggle to find someone you’re interested in, or no one has asked you out lately, feel free to share.
You may not be the only one feeling lonely this holiday season. Your friend may have just broken up, and needs to know she’s not alone. Your aunt could have just lost her husband or may be going through a messy divorce situation. Bottling up your feelings regarding your relationship status doesn’t help anyone.
You don’t need to overshare, but letting yourself open up and talk about how your love life is going is a chance to relate to someone. You may find out you’re both in the same boat this holiday season!
Talk About More than Just Your Love Life
Instead of a short and simple ‘no’ when someone asks you if you’re dating anyone, don’t be afraid to share with them something you’re passionate about. You could respond, “I’m not seeing anyone right now, but I’m really excited about a big project that I have going on at work.”
Maybe you’ve just finished reading a great book or had a great vacation over the summer since you’ve seen your relatives last. Conversations don’t have to just revolve around your love life (or lack thereof). Most of the time, people ask about your dating life because they need a conversation starter; and—let’s face it—relationships are an easy go-to.
We’ve probably all been guilty of asking about someone’s relationship status during the holidays. So before you make the trek home this year for the holidays, brainstorm about some things in your life that would make great conversation material.
If you come to the conversation prepared, you can avoid the awkward silences after you answer that you don’t have any romantic interests right now.
Don’t Be Too Quick on the Trigger
It can be easy to let questions about your relationship status dig into your heart. A quick Google search of how to respond to the dreaded relationship question during the holidays reveals lists upon lists of snappy comebacks.
You may want to respond with a snarky reply, but before you roll your eyes and reply, “I’m in a relationship with my sweatpants and a bottle of wine every Friday night,” take a deep breath. More than likely, the person who asked about whether or not you’re dating someone just wants to know what’s going on in your life.
While they could have picked a less loaded subject to bring up while passing the stuffing your way around the table, take it at face value. Sarcasm-laden responses may be snappy and funny, but they aren’t the best at building genuine relationships with those you love.
Take More Interest in Others
After you’ve gotten past telling your mother’s neighbor that you aren’t dating anyone yet, don’t end the conversation there. Instead, ask them how they’ve been doing since you’ve seen them last. How is their job going? Are their parents doing well? What is something they’re looking forward to in the new year?
They’ll love that you’re taking interest in their lives, and you’ll avoid any more probing questions about your love life. Don’t be afraid to look someone in the eye and ask them how they’re really doing this holiday season.
Take time this Advent in prayer to ask God to reaffirm how much He loves you. He’s the divine healer and can help you sort through the wounds in your heart before Aunt Gertrude brings them up for the third time that night.
Chloe Langr is a very short stay-at-home-wife, whose growth has probably been stunted by the inhumane amounts of coffee she regularly consumes. When she is not buried in a growing stack of books, she can be found spending time with her husband, geeking out over Theology of the Body, or podcasting. You can find more about her on her blog "Old Fashioned Girl."