If you are anything like me, the holidays are quite joyous for you. You don’t have kids of your own but you have a few nieces and nephews. You are a recent college grad so you can still get away with saying you’re too poor to buy Christmas gifts. You live relatively close enough to your family to visit whenever you feel like it, but still far enough away to get away with not coming home as much as they would like. You are pretty much your first priority right now. Bathing thyself. Providing for thyself. Clothing thyself and you’ve got all of that under control. However, when you enter that magical stage of being 22+ and still single (as far as they know), your family may begin to add a little bit of pressure to your somewhat easy life. How do they do this? By working together to bombard you with questions about your possibly non-existent love life as soon as you step one foot across the threshold to visit for the holidays.
They are ready for you to be in a committed relationship. They want you to be planning a wedding and are ready to discuss your ticking biological clock. Your mom begins dropping subtle (though often not) hints about grandchildren. They are ready for you to start a family, but there is just one problem.
You are NOT!
While you may be able to easily dodge their attempts to bring up such subjects over the phone, it is not that easy face-to-face and can often put a damper on your holiday spirit.
Some things they’d like to know:
- Are you dating? (If no, please be prepared for them to ask about your sexual orientation as many families think that you are simply trying to hide something from them.)
- Where did you meet?
- Where is he/she from?
- Does he/she work or go to school? Where?
- Where is he/she right now? Why didn’t you invite him/her?
Blah blah… and the list goes on. But I have dug deep into my Santa Claus bag of tricks and thought of 5 mind-blowing (not really, they are all quite simple) tips that could help you easily steer their attention away from your life and turn the tables back around on them. They won’t even see it coming. *High fives you, passes the eggnog and tosses you a pair of rose colored glasses*
1. As soon as they bring up your personal life… bring up theirs.
It’s so simple. Even if you don’t care, act like you do. Act as though they have your full attention and you sincerely care about whatever it is they are saying. Nod your head frequently, add in an “ummm hummm,” “yes,” “okay,” “exactly!” and “I understand you completely” into the conversation every few minutes to keep them going. Keep them focused on something other than your life — and I mean, what nosey person doesn’t enjoy talking about their life? If you’re lucky, maybe they will tire themselves out and rush off to bed whenever they are done trying to grill you about yours.
2. Whenever you see your nosey aunt directing her attention at you… run for cover.
Do not make it too obvious or then again you could; it doesn’t really matter. It is all up to you. Simply find a reason to extricate yourself from the conversation. Get up and run to the aid of your crying niece or make up a lie about having a headache and needing a few moments to yourself. Then scurry away as fast as you can. Get out of dodge and continue. Eventually she will hopefully stop…
3. And if she doesn’t, you can do one of these two things.
Spend the night milking the headache lie or come clean BUT of course just tell her enough to make her happy. Say, “Yes, I am currently looking, but everyone I have met over the last few months are assholes…” or “I just haven’t found someone special enough to tell you guys about yet… ”. These two excuses typically get the job done unless your family is really proactive and they begin thinking of people to set you up with. (In that case, it actually can backfire on you and I cannot be held accountable for the date you may have to suffer through afterwards. – Katrá)
4. TELL THE TRUTH.
I typically try to beat around the bush a bit when it comes to telling the truth because I’ve found that, when it comes to the truth, older family members do not want to hear it. They are so stuck in the way things used to be that they have a tough time accepting the fact that their 20-something-year-old daughter or son may be trying to focus on achieving their career goals as opposed to finding someone to settle down with. Even though you might have thought you found that person in the past and things turned out poorly, you have finally made peace with that. You are finally happy with what you do have and feel as though you may be single for a reason. While you have chosen to no longer spend your days and nights pining over finding your one true love, you know that person is out there and that you will find them one day. Until it’s “the one,” your family doesn’t have to be privy to any of your dates.
But even that can go wrong. In which case…
5. Get them drunk.
Pass the eggnog. If you make it through #1-#4 with them still grinding your gears, then congratulations, your family is not a group of pushovers. Get them drunk and they’ll lose all their worries, and that includes the one about you and your lonely escapades. POUR. IT. UP.
*** I have read and understand the consequences of applying these 5 tips in real life and will not hold said author nor said Thought Catalog responsible for the outcome.***
Happy Holidays! From my family to yours!