Thanksgiving is a total family holiday, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you’re dealing with. As many families are notoriously nosy, your relatives might start asking you about your dating life, and more specifically, why you don’t currently have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Annoying, right? When you head over to see your loved ones on Turkey Day, you might want to come prepared with some ways to respond to relationship questions in your back pocket, for when the wine starts flowing and the conversation starts getting awkward.
Of course, your initial instinct might be to tell everyone to back off and mind their own beeswax when they ask you about your dating life. But in the spirit of not making things more uncomfortable than they need to be, and keeping the peace at least while the pie is served, you might be able to respond in a more diplomatic way. So what exactly should you say when people start asking things like, "Are you still single?" "Have you found someone special yet?" "When do we get to meet them?" or even, "When are you getting married?" Before you roll your eyes — take a breath, pass the gravy, and try to answer in a cool and collected manner.
Here are six ways to respond to relationship questions from your family at Thanksgiving this year that are sure to keep the peace.
"Still solo, but I’ve been killing it at work."
This is a polite way of responding to family members when they ask you if you’re dating anyone. If you’re still single (or seeing someone and don’t want to divulge it yet) this response is simple and creates a conversational segue geared toward something that’s going great in your life.
Plus, now you get to elaborate on your recent accomplishments and note that you’re focusing on yourself right now, and proud of it! Thanksgiving is all about practicing gratitude — so give yourself some credit.
This is a sweet, short, and coy response for when family members ask you if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe you are seeing someone special, but aren’t ready to share all the gory details yet.
Of course, it’s possible this statement will open up the conversation for more questions about your dating life, but it’s also OK to just smile, sip your wine, and steer the conversation elsewhere. Hey, it’s a holiday, right? You deserve to have a little fun with your family.
"It wasn’t meant to be. What’s been going on in your life?"
As Ross says in Friends — pivot!
If you’ve recently gone through a breakup and people won’t stop asking you where your ex is or why they aren’t at dinner, you might feel like bursting into tears or throwing the cranberry sauce across the table.
Depending on your family, these responses might not surprise anyone on this already chaotic evening. However, a more diplomatic answer might be something more simple about how things didn’t work out between you and your ex. Then, quickly change the subject and ask something about their life.
No need to dwell on the past, since this holiday season is all about looking past the new year, and towards the future!
"We’re enjoying ourselves and taking things slow."
If you’re in a relationship and your family is bugging you with questions about when they’ll finally get to meet your person, this is a tactful response that will hopefully get them to hold their horses.
So instead of going, "Chill, guys!" or "Butt out!" you’re letting them know that you’re totally content with where things are with your relationship for the time being.
"You’ll definitely be the first to know!"
If you’ve been in a serious relationship for a while, and your family members keep bugging you about when you’re getting engaged, this is a sweet and straightforward way get them to stop asking.
Offering much more information than this may prompt other family members to chime in with their opinions about your romantic timeline. You and your partner might be currently in discussions about taking things to the next level, and if you (understandably) prefer to keep it private until you have a ring on your finger, this is a lighthearted way to shut down this particular convo at Thanksgiving dinner.
"Relationship questions are off limits until we finish with pie!"
This is a funny, yet not overly snarky response to pretty much any question about your dating life that you don’t want to answer. Your prying aunt might take you literally and save up her questions for after dessert, but by that time, there’s a good possibility that everyone will be filled with enough turkey and cider that they forget all together.
Thanksgiving is a time to bond with your family while stuffing your face with great food. Of course, it’s also a time to give thanks for things you’re grateful for. But if you’re not so grateful for your current love life or your busy-body family members, it might be tough to keep your cool when uncomfortable questions are thrown your way.
Keep in mind that although nosy and annoying, these questions probably come from a loving place, so just try to brush things off and roll with the punches. If the conversation goes south and you end up feeling emotional, remember that there may not be a better holiday than Turkey Day to gobble up tons of comfort food, and practice gratitude.
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