The holidays are upon us. For some of us this means returning home and spending time with the ones we love. However, for those who are single, this time of year can bring about feelings of dread, anxiety and, often, irritation – you know, the kinds of feelings that make you want to grab a bottle of wine and hide under the kids table until the whole ordeal is over. But here’s the thing: if you’re mentally prepared for the holidays, the holidays can be whatever you want them to be. Read: actually fun.
For those who find themselves unattached this season, here are a few tips that will help you not just survive, but thrive during the holidays.
The Office Party
The situation: While all your coworkers bring their significant others to the office party, you find yourself all by your lonesome, lingering at the snack table for longer than feels socially acceptable.
The fix: Buck up gorgeous! We’ve all been there and you’ve totally got this. Instead of overindulging in champagne, bring a friend. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t consider this option. Not only will bringing your favorite partner in crime guarantee that you’ll have a great time, it’ll help you get out of your shell in an office setting and give your co workers a chance to see even more of your sparkling personality.
However, if you’re not allowed a platonic guest, fear not. Use your favorite online dating app to schedule a date for later in the evening. While all the coupled folks are getting drunk on that tequila Bob from marketing brought back from his Mexican vacay and creating memories that will later be tagged #AWKWARD, slip out a bit early and go meet that cute person you connected with online for a night-cap at the bistro down the street. Not only will this provide a nice end to the evening, it will also give you something to look forward to while you watch Jared the mail room guy do the robot for the entire office.
The Family Dinner
The situation: Everyone is gathered around the table for dinner. As one of the only single people at the table, questions soon arise about when you are going to expand your family to include a partner (“Maybe you’re being too picky” – Aunt Edith) and offspring (“I want to meet my grandchildren before I die” – Mom.) Sound familiar?
The fix: Shift the focus by asking questions. This is a classic deflection tactic, but it works. If you’re worried the heat is going to be all on you, go on the offensive and be so interested in catching up with your family and their significant others that it steers the conversation away from you and your dating (and reproductive) life. If you really want to shift things away from you, bring up the fact that Uncle Jerry is wearing his “Make America Great Again” baseball cap at the dinner table. This will surely incite a World War III level political discussion that is so litigious and divisive that it makes it impossible for the entire family to hang out together, ever again. Or you know, just ask your brother’s wife, “Where did your get your Christmas cards done this year? They’re adorable!”
The High School Reunion
The situation: You’re meeting for drinks with the old high school crew. It seems like no time has passed, except for the fact that they are now all newlyweds and the closest thing you have to a partner is a Chia pet that you accidentally killed again last week.
The fix: Remember that the grass is always greener on the other side. As much as your married friends may be content with their relationship status, many of them are secretly curious about the single life they left behind. So, lean into it. Rather than spending all of your time talking about how hard dating is and how you wish you weren’t single, flip the script and share fun stories from your dating and work life – like how you got a promotion at work and spent three weeks traveling through Thailand solo (Because. You. Can.)
If they really give you a hard time, this is also a good opportunity to jokingly ask if they have a friend they’d like to set you up with. Keeping things light lets them know that your world hasn’t stopped because you’re single, in fact you’re loving life right now and while you’re open to meeting someone, you don’t need a partner to make your existence complete.
Can’t get enough? Learn more about how to thrive as a single from our Top 5 Dating Picks of the year.