The Holidays are the perfect time to catch up with relatives you may only see once or twice a year, and it’s nice to go in with high hopes for civil and productive conversation, but achieving true Christmas dinner table peace is another feat altogether. That’s right, we’re talking about the inevitable inquisition that occurs at Christmas dinners all over the world, every single year (especially if you’re single, and all your relatives know it). Below are 5 awkward questions commonly asked at Christmas dinner, and tips on how to counter them:
“Why are you still single?”
Ummm…when faced with this awkward question, you can either joke, “just lucky, I guess” or “because Sharon’s husband says he can’t leave her” but if the dinner table really won’t let up, just tell them you’re single because you know your worth. This is music to parents and relatives ears. I’m sure that most parents out there strongly wish that their sons or daughters would be selective with who they become serious with. Being picky means they know their worth, and won’t settle for anything less than what they deserve. Talk about the various things you’ve accomplished this year, perhaps being single has even made some of these things possible. It’s likely you may be ready for, or open to the idea of a relationship now, but you’re glad you were not in one before as it gave you time to work on yourself.
“I heard you’re dating someone, when are we going to meet them?”
Perhaps you are seeing someone but you weren’t ready to introduce that person to the family. Good for you! Your boundaries should be respected. Remind your relatives that it’s a good thing you didn’t bring this person to Christmas Dinner, and it’s a good sign that it’s been however many years since you’ve brought a date for them to meet. It means that the day that you do bring someone, he or she is obviously someone very special since it’s clear you won’t bring just anyone to meet the family. All your family can then do, is wait for the day you meet someone you deem worthy to introduce.
“So, when are you going to get a real job?”
Maybe what you do for work isn’t exactly stable or consistent. Or perhaps your relatives simply don’t consider your career to be a real career…Who cares!? If you have plans for something more consistent, share these plans with your relatives, of course. But if you plan to just keep doing what you’re doing, tell them that, and say “it is a real job, and I’m lucky to be where I am because _______”.
“What happened to that nice guy we met at your Birthday?”
Trust me when I say, don’t give too many details. Your relatives don’t need to know all about how you dumped the last guy because he kind of didn’t like showers, and he wore sunglasses indoors. Just say he had to go, he was blocking the door, preventing Mr. Right from getting in.
“Why don’t you ever call anymore?”
Ah, yes. The guilt trip. We saw that one coming. Help your relatives understand how busy life is as a young professional trying to make it on his / her own in this crazy world. But even better than excuses, is a promise to do better and make more of an effort. Thank them for the reminder and say, “I love you so much, and I’m sorry.”