Having to face a dining room of folks alone, showing up stag when tons of couples are on the guest list and having to be your own designated driver are all cons to not being coupled when Thanksgiving rolls around. But being single during the holidays doesn't have to be a bummer; these are some of our favorite tips for surviving Thanksgiving (and all the holidays beyond) when your dance card's empty this season.
There's absolutely not a darn thing wrong with being single during the holidays — don't let the tongue-in-cheek tone to this guide make you feel like there is.
But as any person who's ever been single during Thanksgiving or another holiday knows, going stag to certain events can present a unique set of challenges, from overcoming shyness to fielding unintentionally rude inquiries about your relationship status.
Whether you have one (or many) family and friend affairs to attend this Thanksgiving, these tips should help.
Only say "yes" to events you really want to attend
This actually applies pretty well to folks in relationships, too. Try to only say yes to attending the events, dinners, potlucks and get-togethers that you want to go to. But when you're in a relationship, you might feel obligated to attend events with your partner's family or co-workers. Flying solo right now? That means complete freedom over your choices of what events and gatherings you do attend.
Embrace your friends for non-dinner, Thanksgiving-ish plans
Who says the only way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to have a sit-down dinner with family? Throw a potluck friendsgiving. Throw a funny movie night. Organize a hiking trip. Find other singles or folks far away from family to gather for the real reason of the season: Showing appreciation for the ones that you love (even if there's no boyfriend or girlfriend in the picture right now).
Offer to help
Not weighed down by societal expectations or cultural obligations? Offer to help a friend or family member that could really use it, whether that help is Thanksgiving-related or not. Or find local organizations that give back to the community to join to surround yourself with folks giving back.
Get daring with your outfits and potluck dishes
With no one's family or boss to impress, let your creativity really fly this Thanksgiving and holiday season. Try out that wacky outfit. Start wearing ugly Christmas sweaters way too early. Bring an elaborate, exotic dish you've always wanted to try to make to a traditional potluck. Shake things up a little. You'll have more fun.
Have an answer
Should you get the question of "Why are you single?" in any of its rude or unintentionally rude versions, you might want to have an answer ready in advance. From "timing" to "a severe allergy to commitment," you're really free to answer in any way that you'd like. Also effective? An awkward pause, sustained, unblinking eye contact and a mysterious, Mona Lisa-smile as you slowly back away from the question asker.