Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

A Holly, Jolly, and Single Christmas

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Holidays, Christmas, single people, marriage,

Single Person's TreeThe holidays aren’t always a party for single people, especially when family members insist on using Christmas gatherings to pressure young people into getting married. “So,” someone always asks, “are you seeing anyone special?”

Deflecting these all-too-personal interrogations can takes dexterity and grace, but it can help to be prepared. Writing for the Christian site Busted Halo, Dr. Christine B. Whelan gives some advice and sample answers for single people on the holidays. For example, if someone asks, “You’re always at the office! Do you even have time for a relationship?” Whelan suggests cracking a joke by saying, “Oh, it’s OK. I keep him/her in a closet. He’s very patient.”

The jokes aren’t very funny, but they could work in deflecting some of the pressure. Whelan suggests keeping in mind that most people sincerely want single people to be happy, no matter what the actual outcome of their questions may be. Here are a few other stock answers I would suggest:

Question: Are you dating anyone?
Answer: No, I haven’t dated anyone. Not since… the accident. (Then trail off and walk away.)

Question: What happened to that nice girl/boy you were dating?
Answer: He/She was eaten by an angry hippopotamus a few months ago.

Question: You’re still single? What’s wrong with you?
Answer: Que? Discúlpame, pero no hablo ingles. Permiso, yo necesito un trago.

Image by Greg Palmer, licensed under Creative Commons.