It’s inevitable right?
You’re visiting your family for the holidays, and conversations will start with relatives you haven’t seen in a while. They are going to want to know what is going on with you and (ex, current, future significant other here). Hey, they’re honestly just curious right? But, how do you handle the inquiries to keep from any awkwardness or oversharing of info?
Here are six ways to respond to the questions.
1. “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.
2. “I’M DATING.”
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.
3. “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!
4. “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.
5. “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.
6. “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.