The holiday season, despite all the joy and celebration it brings, inevitably holds a layer of terror even for singles everywhere who have not yet reached the altar or found a long-term partner who meets their standards.
Whether single, seeing someone new or in a serious relationship, the holidays almost promise a plethora of questions from well-meaning relatives, friends and friends of friends who seem to think they are entitled to details about one of the most intimate parts of your life.
Since most of these questions are unwanted and often, frankly, nosy, here are some special tips for respectful dating to cancel these calls early, wherever you are in the dating process.
Single / “So, have you seen anyone recently?”
Whether they are on a trip, unlucky in love or choose to focus on your career, singles often feel questions such as these shed an unwanted spotlight on their loneliness, insecurity and fears about the future. While you may feel that this question implies your solo status is something to be ashamed of, it often stems from nothing more than a search for small talk. Or if the person is a relative, the question is probably from a place of good intention and they just want to see you find someone who makes you happy.
Remember this when preparing a simple and complete answer along the lines of “I went on a date but have not yet met someone who is right for me.” If they keep digging and it starts stealing your holiday joy, keep the conversation optimistic. Noise of some cool stats like, “According to a recent study, 69 percent of online dating users indicate they ‘think more about who they’re really looking for'” and 50 percent say they “no longer chase people they are not interested in,” as a way Prove that being single during the plague is not the end of the world. Let them know that the timing has never been better and you are ready and excited for the future.
If the questions persist, find a kind way to change the subject by asking a question, talking about something else you have in common (e.g., “What about these wolverines in the bowl of roses ?!”).
New couple / “Are things starting to get serious?”
Even if you go home for the holidays before forming an exclusive relationship with your new guy, the people who are waiting to ask you about him may already be one step ahead of you. If the rumor has spread to family and friends that there is a new man in your life, chances are the issue will come up and many may wonder aloud if he has serious potential for a relationship.
While you may be echoing the same questions in your head, this is also where you need to answer them. Do not let stress from family and friends push the timeline of your emerging relationship, but take time to first understand how you feel. You may be bubbling with excitement about your new boyfriend and can talk about it all day, but keep the researchers (and yourself) away by simply telling them it’s too early to know but you’m happy with the situation.
In a long-term relationship / “Do you think he’s the one?”
The incessant questions do not stop once you have found someone you would like to keep around. Returning home with the same significant other even just two years in a row often begins to invite questions about “forever”. Answer only how much you feel comfortable, depending on who it is and how they ask. It could be that you are currently suffering from a serious problem in your relationship or it is simply uncomfortable for you to share these intimate details. If this is the first, you do not owe anyone an explanation and can find a way to express that he is a special person but none of you are in a hurry. The hope is that your ambiguity signals that it’s time for a chance at the subject without hurting the questioner’s feelings.