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Family, Holidays, and Being Single: How to Deal

Not everyone enjoys the holidays.

Beyond the good Thanksgiving and Christmas eating and paid time off, the holidays really are another opportunity to usher in familial shade. Every pound added will be discussed. Your occupation and educational choices will be dissected. And if you’re single, so will your lack of a #him. Grandmothers, aunts, and older cousins don’t understand that a lot of women aren’t married by 25 like they were. If you have a sister or a cousin that has accomplished all of this and is within a 5 year age window from you, then the pressure will be on even more. But dangit, the dating game has changed and folks got other things to worry about.

If this seems like a scenario you might be facing, heed the following tips on how to deal.

Respond with a witty comeback.

Don’t be too smart because then you’ll have to deal with sassing old folks and respecting elders ON TOP of being single. Chances are, they’ll find a way to connect the two. “With an attitude like that, no wonder…” Okay, girl. We get it. So when they ask “what’s a smart girl like you doing all alone”, you can ask them if they know someone you’d be interested in? (Since they got all the questions, maybe they have the answers too.) Or, you can respond by saying you’re waiting on the right person to come along and because of all that you have going for yourself, you refuse to settle. The #oop factor is always a good route.

Make sure your attitude is confident.

You gotta look like you believe everything you’re saying. If you say you’re single because you’re focused on your career, you can’t say it without oomph. If your family members put that much weight on relationships, you must put the same amount of confidence into defending your singledom. Like, mentioned above, having a witty comeback can add to that confidence. Something like “God hasn’t sent him to me yet” will give them the answer they wanted.

Keep your phone charged.

If all else fails and you end up on the couch next to your great auntie you talk to maybe three times a year, keep your phone handy. Actually, make sure you’ve claimed first dibs on the seat next to the wall with the outlet. That way, if someone starts asking you questions or you end up in a small talk convo that keeps dragging itself out, pull out your phone. Play Candy Crush. Get some tweets out. Scroll through your photos and tag your plate. Find solace, if temporarily, in your smartphone. I know they say you should unplug and spend time with your family, but sometimes that phone is what is keeping you sane.

Let’s face it; your folks were gonna have something to say regardless. That’s just in old folks nature. If you had a man, they’d be asking how long is it going to be until he proposes. And when you’re married, they’ll want to know how long will it be until you two start having kids. And don’t let one of y’all, if not both, already have kids. You get what I’m saying. Just try to make the most of the holiday and don’t let the comments get to you. You know your life and that’s all that matters. Old folks gon’ old; enjoy the football game and the grub and forget the rest.

This post was initially posted on unchose.com.