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4 "Single Shaming" Comments You May Hear When Going Home for the Holidays—And How To Handle Them!

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Looking forward to heading home for the holidays but dreading the commentary surrounding your love life? Below find a quick guide to help you adeptly field any "single shaming" that may come your way.

Your Mom: "Are you seeing anyone special?"
You know she's going to ask about your love life so if you have nothing new to report, make a preemptive move by calling or emailing before you go home. Express something along the lines of, "Mom, I love you and I'm looking forward to seeing you this Christmas. I know you're concerned about my love life and you're hoping I meet someone soon. I want the exact same thing but since I'm not dating anyone right now, I'd like to ask that we talk about other stuff. When we focus on what I don't have in my life, it brings me down and I want to stay positive and upbeat during the holidays. Plus I have a lot of great things going on, so let's talk about those!"

Your Newly Engaged Cousin: "I always thought we'd be getting married at the same time!"
If your cousin is cool, she obviously won't single shame but if she flaunts her 3 carat bling and brags incessantly about the surprise proposal in Tuscany, it'll be annoying—there's no getting around it. No matter how much she exasperates you, take the high road. Even if she comes out swinging with, "Wow, I can't believe you're still single! I always thought we'd be getting married around the same time," let it roll off your back. Bite your tongue—even though she started it you'll look like the overly sensitive, bitter singleton if you retaliate. If she leads with a snarky comment, just smile and repeat how happy you are for her. Turn the subject back to her wedding planning. Brides can never resist that bait!

Your Older Sister (Married with 2 Children): "What was wrong with Kevin? He was such a great guy!"
Yes, your sister always hoped you'd have kids around the same time and raise your children together. And sure, that might have been fun, but her not-so-subtle insinuations that you're too picky—and if you weren't you'd both be mommies right now—doesn't change anything and proves hurtful to you. If she goes down this road, just remind her that you're not 100% in control of when love crosses your path. Explain to her that it's hard when she brings up this topic because it makes you feel like you're disappointing her. Then distract her with a question about the increase of peanut allergies or the free-range parenting movement.

Your Ex: "I can't believe you haven't found anyone yet!"
If you're likely to run into you ex at a party, be prepared—especially if he/she is currently attached (but still bitter about your breakup) and in the mood to "single shame." Again, take the high road. If he/she makes some comment about how things could have been different for you two, resist the urge to fire back with, "Yeah, right—except you CHEATED on me and then expected me to forgive and forget!" Leave the past in the past and return any single shaming with a smile and a breezy, "Well, we all have different timing when it comes to love. And I'm really happy for you." Hold your head up high and turn toward the bar. You may need a sip (or shot)  of egg nog after that run-in!

Don't let any scrooge-like comments turn your Christmas blue! Keep in mind the suggestions above to nimbly side step single shaming and maintain your holiday cheer!