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

Bigstock-Young-Woman-With-Santa-Hat-103711610 (1)

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!

How to Survive Your First Thanksgiving With Your Significant Other’s Family

IJL - Thanksgiving postYou’re excited – it’s your first holiday with your significant other. No more explaining to Aunt Edna why you still haven’t met someone yet.

But just after you celebrate your successful pairing, you realize it also means meeting the family. The only thing worse fielding Aunt Edna’s questions about your nonexistent dating life is watching her grill your new significant other about their job, their family and how they got their teeth so white.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to get you through the holiday with your relationship still intact.

Come bearing gifts

If you’re the one who will be the guest at Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you bring a gift for the hostess. And if you’re not the guest, don’t tell your significant other not to bring a gift. Not even if you think your mother doesn’t need, or won’t expect, anything. It’s a nice gesture, and it makes a nice first impression.

Wine is an obvious choice, but run it by your significant other to ensure you don’t embarrass yourself by bringing wine to a parent who is a recovering alcoholic or perhaps doesn’t drink for religious or other reasons. A great option sure to be a conversation starter? Something from your hometown, like locally-harvested honey or jam from locally-grown raspberries.

Dress to impress

You don’t have to pull out your tuxedo or an evening gown, but leave the graphic tee at home. Everything you’ve heard about first impressions are true, and you really don’t get a second chance at making a good first impression.

Guys, a clean shave or a fresh trim of any facial hair is a must. And nice shoes go a long way, even if your significant other said you should wear jeans.

Ladies, keep your makeup on the lighter, more conservative side and avoid any overpowering jewelry. Short skirts and cleavage-bearing shirts are better saved for date night.

Get the low down

If you’re the one taking your significant other home for the holiday, prep them. Warn them about the possibility of getting trapped with your dad telling long stories if they mention golf. Advise them not to mention your sister’s new baby in front of your sister who just had a miscarriage.  

And don’t be embarrassed. We all have that family member. They’d rather be prepared than caught unaware.

Offer to pitch in

One of the best ways to ingratiate yourself with any host is to offer to help. Whether it’s carrying food out to the table, washing dishes after the meal or offering to take out the trash, simply making the offer will make a positive impression.

Dole out the compliments

You have a lovely home.

The food was amazing.

These are just a couple of suggestions for compliments any host will be happy to receive. Ladies, his mother will love to hear you think her sweater is a great color on her. And guys, her dad will appreciate you noticing his impressive collection of autographed baseballs.

Be judicious with your compliments – no one likes a brown-noser. The most genuine compliments come from observing the environment around you and noting what you appreciate.

But always – always – compliment the chef.

Protect one another

Last, but not least, protect each other. Don’t leave your significant other alone too long in unfamiliar territory. Be aware of when they look uncomfortable and bail them out. Include them in conversations, and give them backstory where necessary to keep them from feeling left out.

If you want this to be the first of many holidays together, it’s imperative you make your date feel comfortable. Rarely is it going to be effortless where they immediately fit in with your family and can carry conversation on their own. There will be some bumps along the way.

It’s how you deal with those bumps that determines whether or not you have a future beyond the holiday season.  

Single for Thanksgiving but want to find a date before Christmas rolls around? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.

The Playing Field May Be Level After All

IJL - couple having coffeeWe’ve all seen the movies where Hollywood gives us hope that we can date someone out of our league – “Hitch,” “Knocked Up,” “Beauty & The Beast,” and the list goes on. But is it possible to “date up” in real life? 

According to science, the answer is yes! 

A recent study published by Psychological Science gives hopeless romantics a glimmer of faith that it can be done – by becoming friends with the desired person first as attraction can grow over time. 

The study surveyed 167 couples – 67 dating and 100 married for various lengths of time – about how long they knew each other before beginning to date and whether or not they had been friends before dating. Researchers also independently rated each individuals’ physical attractiveness. 

Results showed that people who started dating within a month of meeting were more similar on the attractiveness scale, whereas couples who knew each other, or were just friends for more than a month before dating, were less equal on the attractiveness scale. In other words, people do become couples despite not having an instant physical attraction. 

"If you happen to be shooting for someone ‘out of your league’ (in terms of attractiveness, at least), you may be more likely to succeed if you get to know the person for a while rather than going for it immediately," said the study’s lead author Lucy L. Hunt of University of Texas at Austin’s School of Human Ecology.   

The study also detailed more about the influence attractiveness has on relationship satisfaction. Even though couples who started dating soon after meeting were more likely to match based on attractiveness, it didn’t effect long term happiness, and neither did being friends first. 

Let’s say you show up for your first date and the sparks aren’t immediately flying. Your first instinct might be to shut down mentally and emotionally and down your drink as quickly as possible so you can get out of there. 

Slow down and give it a little time. The study noted, “As individuals become acquainted over time, romantic impressions become increasingly unique and less consensual.” 

And what are some of the best ways to get acquainted? Things such as making someone laugh, the ability to have a great conversation and having common interests can help perceptions of people change over time. 

Are you ready to get out there and meet your match? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.

Survey: Dating and Politics

Untitled design (6)

As we march toward the November elections, and next year's Presidential election, we want to check in with you and find out how politics has impacted dating and relationships for you.

Please take our survey below (or access the survey here on a mobile device):


Create your own user feedback survey

The 3 Biggest Dating Mistakes Women Make (with tips for how to avoid them!)


Bigstock-Urban-Girl-Feeling-Upset-and-A-86020649Here's the deal, ladies—when on the dating scene, we can be our own worst enemy.  We complicate relationships and sabotage them before they even get off the ground!  Read on to learn the mistakes women frequently encounter on their quest to meet The One.

Moving Too Quickly.  After a promising first date, it's natural to feel excited about the possibilities.  But don't start flipping through bridal magazines just yet.  In fact, your enthusiasm for your burgeoning relationship could inadvertently scare him off!  Early on it's best to show restraint and keep your feelings in check.  Women often get frustrated at this stage—we're falling in love and want to express it!  But although you're getting to know him, there's still a lot you don't know.  Look at it this way—if you unleash too much emotion too soon, he'll wonder, "Does she really like me?  Or is she just glad to have a guy—any guy—around?   And frankly, that's a reasonable question on his part.
Dating Tip:  Think of your new relationship as a movie.  Sit back and watch it play out—let things evolve naturally.  Don't project!  When we project what we hope will happen, we can't see what actually is happening.

Overanalyzing.  Women love nothing more than some good girl talk!  And what do we typically talk about?  Guys, of course!  We dish, dissect, and analyze our relationships ad nauseum.  Most of it's harmless, of course.  But we can get into trouble when nit-picking situations and making something out of nothing.  Furthermore, for some reason, we tend to ask our girlfriends to help us figure out our boyfriends.  Does that really make sense?  
Dating Tip:  Cut out the middle-man (or in this case, middle-woman) when trying to discern what your new guy is thinking.  Instead of asking your girlfriends to decipher his last text, see what your brother, cousin, or dad has to say.  Let the men in your life provide insight into the male psyche. 

Being Too Available.  Men like a challenge.  Don't deny them the fun of pursuing you!  We all value things we have to work for, so it behooves women not to appear overly available early in the relationship.  Yes, you want to be authentic.  No, you don't want to play games.  But smart women live busy, full, fantastic lives.  So honestly, we can't be very available to a guy we've just met!
Dating Tip:  Live your life to the fullest!  Consume yourself with your passions, goals, and dreams.  Carving out space in your schedule for your new guy will communicate two things—1) you've got a super busy fabulous life and 2) you like him enough to make time for him!

Listen, ladies!  You have so much to offer!  Put your best foot forward and give your new relationship a strong chance of success by following the tips listed above.  Let the connection develop slowly, don't over-think it, and no matter how much you're into him, stay fully "into" your own life!