Find your 2022 Celebrity Muse

With the new year upon us, now is the perfect time to think ahead, plan, and envision an ideal romantic future.

What better way to gain inspiration than the celebrity couples currently gracing the most headlines.

These stars can’t seem to escape the limelight, so whether you follow them or not, it’s probable that you have an opinion or two.

From Kim Kardashian to Taylor Swift, celebrity relationships can reflect to us important relationship lessons. By observing these public relationships, both their successes and mistakes, we can learn important lessons on love.

Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson

PaparazziAfter her divorce with Kanye West, Kim Kardashian has been focused on herself and growing her business.

Despite the heartbreak, Kim has been busy. In the past months, she has expanded her loungewear collection, Skims, landed a collaboration with the luxury brand, Fendi, hosted Saturday Night Live, and, most recently, she even passed the mini bar exam.

As a CEO, reality TV star, law student, and mother of four adorable children, you could say that Kim is the type of woman capable of doing it all.

Despite her very public separation from Kanye West, Kim has kept up with regular public appearances. While her husband is notoriously candid about the details of their impending divorce, Kim remains mostly tight-lipped, dignified, and discrete about the intimacies of their relationship.

Recently, however, Kim let her love life be back in the spotlight when she was seen paired up with comedian Pete Davidson.

Despite the pair stealing a kiss on Saturday Night Live, they weren’t officially linked together until Kim was seen holding hands with him on a ride at Universal Studios.

Since then, the pair have been several times out in public, allowing the world to weigh in their opinions in this surprising coupling.

Their difference in age, Kardashian being 41 and Davidson, 28, raises eyebrows on social media, with many labeling Pete as Kim’s post-Kanye rebound. For the most part, however, the public agrees that Kim seems happy in this new relationship. Whether it will last or not, no one can say. After a stressful breakup, perhaps being with easy-going Davidson is just the kind of relationship Kardashian needs.

This relationship shows that Kim does not believe that she should have to wait a certain amount of time to move on after a breakup or divorce. That relationship myth is completely untrue. If you, like Kim, are coming out of a breakup or divorce, don’t withhold yourself from finding happiness in a new love. As long as you are happy and are emotionally ready, go for it and move on!

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn

You don’t have to be a fan to agree that Taylor Swift knows a thing or two about love and heartbreak. As one of pop music’s biggest stars, Swift’s love life has continually maintained its prominence as a hot topic in pop culture.

With the recent re-release of her album, Red, the world has turned their attention back to Swift’s old flames, specifically the failed relationship between her and Jake Gyllenhaal.

ConcertThe relationship and breakup between Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal was already highly publicized at the time, and further scrutinized by the public with the release of the album that was largely inspired by the downfall of their relationship.

However, that relationship was years ago. Since then, Swift has found love and stability in her current partner, British actor, Joe Alwyn. Unlike her other relationships, which were highly publicized and scrutinized by the media, Swift has held this relationship close to her chest. Her relationship with Alwyn is very private, with the couple only making a handful of public appearances together to date. It is this discretion that is perhaps what’s allowed their relationship to endure their scrutiny of public opinion.

Swift and Alwyn also often work together, with Alwyn co-writing a few songs from her latest album, “Evermore.” Swift has been very vocal about their creative compatibility, saying they just “get each other.”

This relationship shows that sometimes, keeping your relationship low-key is the right choice to make it succeed. While we might not have the star status of Miss Swift, we can still follow her lead by learning to keep some parts of our relationship private. We can also take note that it’s important to find a partner that feeds your creative side and understands you at a deep level.

Zendaya and Tom Holland

Filming celebrity museThese two Hollywood starlets have been stirring up romance rumors ever since starring each other in the Spider-man franchise. Their on-screen romance got fans talking, but it wasn’t until recently that the couple made their relationship official.

After years of public speculation, they now share subtle flirtations on social media, openly gush about each other during interviewers, and appear together on the red carpet.

Their relationship shows that sometimes, a slow burning romance can turn into flaming passion. After years of working together, the pair have been spotted stealing smooches in the car. As Hollywood’s latest ‘It Couple,’ it’s obvious they can’t quite seem to get enough of each other.

The relationship between Zendaya and Tom Holland shows that sometimes the best relationships start as friendships. If you’re sensing a romance blooming between you and a friend, remember not to rush things and take things slow. When two people are right for each other, true love is worth the wait.

Will and Jada Pinket-Smith

filming celebrity coupleOne of Hollywood’s favorite couples, Will and Jada’s love has lasted years—however, not without their fair share of scandals.

The two actors met in 1994 when Pinkett Smith auditioned for a role on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show’s star, Will Smith, apparently couldn’t keep his eyes off of her, despite already being married to his first wife, Sheree Zampino.

Smith stayed faithful in his marriage, but it wasn’t long before the pair divorced, allowing him to openly pursue Jada.

The pair quickly began dating and didn’t wait long to make their relationship known to the public. In 1997, the two were married, with Pinkett Smith being three months pregnant at the time of their wedding.

Between an Oscar nomination, starring in a movie together, and the birth of two children, their marriage was filled with success.

In 2013, the couple opened up about a new phase in their relationship. After countless rumors of affairs, Pinkett Smith alluded to the fact that the pair had entered into an open marriage.

Most recently, the pair again made headlines when Pinkett Smith was romantically connected to R&B singer, August Alsina. After nonstop buzz regarding the alleged affair, Pinket Smith decided to address the rumors on her talk show, Red Table Talk. After famously dismissing her fling with Alsina a brief “entanglement,” Pinkett Smith assured the public that she and her husband were still together and more secure in their relationship than ever.

While a bit unorthodox, the relationship between Will and Jada has withstood the test of time. Despite the many opinions about their marriage, the pair continue to present themselves publicly as an united family unit. They are an example that, as long as there is clear, open, and honest communication and expectations between each partner, what a couple decides is best for their relationship is their own prerogative.


New Year’s Resolutions? 5 Dating Habits to Drop in 2022

Did you hear the news? The iconic Times Square Ball Drop is back this New Year’s Eve, allowing in-person guests for the first time since the pandemic.

Like many years before, viewers from across the country will be tuning in, gathering ‘round, and counting down the seconds to the live ball drop. Commemorating the past and celebrating the future, this cherished event is a wonderful way of welcoming in the coming change of the new year.

In honor of this iconic annual event, we’ve come up with a list of resolutions to drop–that is, to eliminate–out of your routine for 2022.

Based on the scientific research within Dr. Terri L. Orbuch’s book, Finding Love Again, we’ve rounded-up a list of five common culprits that are proven to either make or break a date.

Ready for this to be your best dating year yet? Here are our top habits to DROP in 2022.

Drop: Believing in Relationship Myths

Even Aphrodite herself would agree with this one–when it comes to setting ourselves up for relationship success, it’s important to face the facts.

According to Dr. Orbuch, there are some relationship and dating myths that are just as harmful to achieving our dating goals as they are widely accepted in society.

Often reinforced by Hollywood, the media, or well-intentioned friends, these popular misconceptions often cost us the opportunity to form long-lasting relationships.

This new year, stop setting unrealistic expectations for your love life by dropping the myths.

Drop: The Emotional Baggage from Your Past

Every new year is a subtle reminder that, whether we like it or not, time is moving on–and we should, too.

Whether you can’t stop thinking about your ex, or still hurt from the pain from past relationships, carrying the weight of what was will only get in the way of accepting the good that is still to come.

Take time to heal the mountains of hurt in your heart and stop checking up on your previous partners. These habits only get in the way of finding happy, healthy relationships in the future.

If you’re still holding on to emotional baggage from your past, 2022 is your year to let go.

Drop: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Contrary to popular belief, the best place to meet someone is not at a bar or a party.

According to the research in Dr. Orbuck’s book, Finding Love Again, the majority of the married couples she studied met while going about their normal, daily routines. Whether through mutual friends, work, social settings–like church or sports games–or serendipitously bumping into one another at the grocery store, the most compatible couples tend to meet in everyday circumstances.

While online dating has risen in popularity over the years, it still remains a risk towards users’ safety, energy, and money.

Our advice?

Stop wasting time swiping left and drop the disappointing dates for good. You’ll have a higher chance of finding love by skipping the bars and, instead, simply focusing on yourself. However, if you really want to increase your odds at finding love, call in the professionals.

Drop: Your comfort zone

Research shows that in times of stress, sadness, or unhappiness, our brains find the most comfort in old routines.

Viewing the familiar as safe and secure, it’s easy to slip back into old habits that aren't necessarily in line with the future we imagine for ourselves.

If you’re just coming out of a breakup or a tough period, and find yourself slowly slipping into a rut of familiarity, it’s time to make a plan of action.

So, instead of unwinding after a long day by binging your favorite shows on Netflix, take a moment to reflect on your life and the goals you’d like to achieve this year. List them on a piece of paper, along with the specific steps you’ll have to take to achieve each goal.
For example, if your 2022 goal is to make more friends, write down some activities that will help you to get yourself out there. Volunteering, attending workshops, or trying out for an amateure sports league are all great ways to network.

When you’ve finished your list, pin it somewhere in your space that’s highly visible. That way, each time you pass by, your list of goals will be impossible to miss.

As the year goes on, try to take a few minutes a day to reflect on the goals you set out for yourself. Be sure to hold yourself accountable. Are you taking the steps that you promised you’d take?

If you want to make the most out of 2022, create a plan of action and stick to it.

Drop: Finding your own dates

We’ve already covered where to stop looking for love–but what if you stopped the search entirely?

Look, dating requires a lot of work–from getting ready for the event, to getting to know the other person… not to mention just finding someone to go out with in the first place!

What if you could stop swiping, stop searching, and still go out with quality, like-minded singles?

Matchmakers make it possible. We do all the work for you, allowing you to drop the dating games and dedicate all that extra time and energy for yourself.

Stop exerting your emotional energy with players who aren’t interested in anything more than casual dates. All of our clients at The Setup are commitment-minded and serious about finding the right long-term partner for their lives.

With a matchmaker, you can date with ease, knowing that each potential match has been screened, interviewed, and hand-selected based on your core values and preferences.

New Year, New You

Whether you’re watching the Ball Drop, celebrating with friends, or counting down for a kiss with your special someone, be sure to reign in the new year with your intentions set clearly ahead.

This new year, it’s time to date smarter, not harder. Don’t stress yourself out with making momentous resolutions. You can make just as big of an impact on your love life by dropping a handful of harmful habits and switching them out for something better.


Best Romantic Christmas Movies on Netflix in 2021

Whether you’re spending the holidays back home with family, cuddled-up with your lover, or making out with a pint of ice cream a la the iconic single-style of Bridget Jones, one thing is for certain—at one point or another, you’ll be watching a Christmas movie.

A sort of staple this time of year, Christmas movies provide a sense of much-needed escapism—a cathartic release for all the emotions we tend to keep under wraps within us.

At their worst, Christmas movies are, well, cliche. At their best, however, sweet holiday tales often offer valuable lessons on life and love.

I mean, when Audrey Hepburn said: “Everything I learned I learned from the movies,” one can only assume that, at least a few of those influential films were holiday rom-coms.

This year, Netflix made the season’s pickings easy, giving us a plethora of feel-good flicks to choose from.

Want to gain something good from your seasonal guilty pleasures? Here’s our list of the best Christmas movies on Netflix right now, and what they can teach us about love.

White Christmas (1954)

White Christmas

What it’s about:

Dreaming of a White Christmas? Despite Netflix’s habit to remove older films, this Hollywood classic is here to stay. A technicolor masterpiece, White Christmas stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen as they dance, sing, and entertain in a wonderful medley of seasonal delight. When they discover that a beloved Vermont Inn is at risk of closure, two show-biz ex-soldiers and a singing set of sisters team up to save it from its fate. As the pairs work together, they find themselves falling in love. Both sentimental and charming, White Christmas is a great, lighthearted musical that’s perfect for the holiday season.

What we learn:

Before any sparks start to fly, this film focuses on friendship and what it means to support a friend in need. When Kaye’s character, Phil, see’s his friend, Bob (Crosby) unhappy in his personal life, he puts it upon himself to play matchmaker, reminding us that sometimes a little love is just what we need to bring the magic back into our lives. His support shows us the value of true friendship, and how, sometimes, a helping hand is often just what we need to guide us through love.

Likewise, Bob reminds us never to settle in love. As an entertainer, he’s well aware of his ability to snatch any girl he’d please. However, he’s after something deeper, something real, and someone with more to offer than just a pretty face.

Ultimately, this Christmas-favorite reminds us all of what we have to be thankful for, the value of supportive friends, and the power of true love.

The Holidate (2020)

The Holidate

What it’s about:

Spending Christmas alone, again?

Two singles, fed up with being dateless during the holidays, decide to become each other’s platonic plus-one’s. Facing the festivities together, Slone (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey), struggle to balance their budding feelings for each other while dodging their family’s nosey inquiries. A bit predictable yet easy-to-watch, The Holidate is a film filled with fun, wit, and lots of romance.

What we can learn:

If you’ve ever been single during the holidays, you know all too well of the insufferable, yet often-well intentioned comments made by family and friends around the dinner table each year. While it might be tempting to go to extreme lengths to avoid that awkwardness, The Holidate shows how getting tangled up in deceit often just complicates things.

While, at times, far from fun, it is okay to be single. Your value does not depend on whether or not you’ve snagged a date for Christmas at mom’s.

However, if you really want to avoid the seasonal pressure of showing up solo, start dating earlier in the year. Unlike the pair in The Holidate, by Christmas time, you’ll have a plus-one that you can actually kiss under the mistletoe.

A Holiday Calendar (2018)

A holiday Calendar
What it’s about:

Abby does not like Christmas.

Played by Kat Graham, this aspiring photographer struggles as much in love as she does in work. But, when her grandfather gives her the antique advent calendar of her deceased grandmother, she can’t help but feel the Christmas spirit.

After a chain of curious events, and stumbling upon a new love interest, Abby starts to wonder if the calendar is more than what it seems.

What we can learn:

Chanel’s $825 Advent calendar could only dream of being this powerful!

Christmas is a time when we can often get lost in materialism, but The Holiday Calendar gently reminds us where the true value of this season lies.

This sweet treat of a film features a female lead who’s focused on finding fulfillment in her life. Abby dreams of making art that feeds her soul, something inspiring to viewers who relate to the relentless tug and pool between meaningful work and paying the bills.

Also tugging at her is the dichotomy presented by her two love interests—one who never makes the move, and the other who is seemingly too good to be true.

Overwhelmed with decisions, Abby reminds us that it's okay to feel lost sometimes. But with a little seasonal sparkle, everything will be just fine.

Love Hard (2021)

Love Hard

What it’s about:

Love Hard is a modern tale about a single person’s worst nightmare--being catfished on a dating app. Disappointed with her dating life in Los Angeles, Natalie (Nina Dobrev), turns to a popular dating app to see what’s out there. After sparking an online romance with a handsome stranger on the East Coast, she decides to travel to his hometown to surprise him for the holidays.

Once she arrives, however, she finds out that her online dreamboat, Josh (Jimmy O. Yang), is definitely not the same guy in the pictures.

When Natalie learns that the man in the photos does exist—his name is actually Tag (Darren Barnet), and lives in town—she becomes determined to couple up with him, and, surprisingly, Josh helps.

What we learn:

As Natalie attempts to find the face she originally fell for, she slowly starts to realize that real romance is more than skin deep. Love Hard makes us challenge the values we place on physical appearance in relationships, reminding us that it’s never a good idea to judge a book by its cover.

Attraction can be powerful, yes (after all, that’s what made Natalie fly across the country for someone she hadn’t even met on FaceTime), however, physical appearance isn’t everything. Looks can fizzle out—but true love never fades.

A Christmas Flow (2021)

What it’s about:

What can be more romantic than a Christmas romcom? A Christmas romcom in French, of course!

If you’re tired of all the Christmas cliches, this holiday romance is sure to shake things up. This three-part feature follows a notorious famous rapper, Marcus (played by actual French rapper, Tayc) as he meets and develops and unlikely romance with journalist and feminist activist, Lila (Shirine Boutella).

From the get-go, they seem to be an impossible pair. But, as their paths continue to cross, so does their undeniable attraction.

What we can learn:

While it’s true that opposites often attract, they’re less likely to stick together in the long run.

Main characters Lila and Marcus are total opposites, with core values that completely contradict one another. If they were to join our matchmaking services, they would likely never be paired.

However, Lila’s patience as she helps Marcus to reveal his softer, more empathic side is too heartwarming not to swoon. As we watch their love grow, we learn that love can come from the most unexpected places, and often brings out the best in us.

While lighthearted and fun, this romcom also provides a plethora of discussion-worthy topics to bring up with a partner. If you’re looking for an easy way to approach your significant other with sensitive subjects like sexism and gender roles, cuddling up with A Christmas Flow might be the perfect place to start.


How Covid Changed Love and Dating

How the Pandemic Changed What We Value in Love

A couple years ago, if you would have asked any one of Savannah’s friends who was the biggest “party animal” in their group, with no hesitation, it would have been her name boldly declared. Wild, playful, and a self-described “social butterfly,” Savannah was proud of being the go-to girl to call for an impromptu night on the town, a last-minute road trip to the beach, or just a round of drinks after a grueling day at the office.

Though she dreamed of one day falling in love, between work, friends, and the occasional fling, there wasn’t much room left for meeting real, serious men. Plus, ‘settling down’ sounded a lot like being ‘tied down,’ and she valued her independence far too much for that.

Then came COVID-19. Savannah’s daily routine changed drastically overnight, permanently shattering the spontaneous and lighthearted life she had loved to live.

Thinking things would eventually return to “normal,” Savannah kept up (as close as she could) with her old habits--however, girls' night on Zoom just didn’t feel the same without the stilettos.

After seeing the sickness and struggles experienced by friends, family, and the world, Savannah’s philosophy of “work hard, play harder” suddenly stopped making so much sense. Trapped alone in her apartment and with more free time than ever, she began to reflect on her values, goals, and how to create a fulfilling future.

After what seemed like an eternity, life began to resume to some level of normalcy. Curfews lifted, work returned to office, and all her favorite spots were up-and-running, again. The city called her to step back out into the hustle and bustle.

But, Savannah’s priorities had changed. Now, she craved connection, hoping to find someone special, safe, and real.

Shaking Up the Dating Game

Every year, Match releases its study, Singles in America, surveying thousands of singles like Savannah, between the ages of 18 and 98.

In the midst of a pandemic, this year’s report revealed some revolutionary insights into the psyche of the singles.

To say that Savannah, and others like her, experienced some changes during the pandemic would be the understatement of the century. Marking a monumental shift in modern history, COVID-19 has given way to nearly two years of instability, loss, and fear of the unknown, forcing many of us to reexamine the parts of our lives that, before, we took blissfully for granted.

Though we can’t quite say it has all been doom and gloom. In the face of adversity, singles have somehow managed to find a silver lining in the coronavirus-shaped cloud.

Whether to distract themselves from the nonstop negativity on the news, or just to fill their time after a pandemic-induced lay-off, 68 percent of Millennials took up new hobbies during these dark days.

Turns out, Savannah was not the only single to shake up their thinking this past year. When it came to putting things in their proper place, 72 percent of singles said they’re finally prioritizing the right things in life, like mental and physical health.

Put simply, singles made the most of 2021. Coming out of the pandemic as better versions of themselves, it’s safe to say this dose of singles are more eligible than ever.

Virtual Meets Reality

Nearly no aspect of life was immune to the consequences of the virus--love and relationships being no exception.

Thanks to social distancing, many singles found themselves stuck at home instead of out on the roam. Either impossible or too risky to meet their crushes in person, the cultural consensus of ‘dating’ begged to be redefined.

Like a knight in shining (disinfected) armor, a new influx of video chat technology ushered its way into lives to successfully save our dates.

Thus, the video date quickly cemented itself as a common courtship courtesy for a quarter of singles during the pandemic, with half of younger singles insisting to meet virtually before in person.

So, anyone can go on a Facetime date, but what about experiencing real love?

Turns out, you don’t have to be in the same space as someone to feel a spark in the air, with 78 percent of singles having felt romantic chemistry during a video date.

Still not convinced? According to nearly half of Gen Z and Millennials, you can fall in love over a video date. Long-distance daters, rejoice!

So, if you're single and suffering from pandemic-induced Zoom fatigue (yes, it’s a thing), a romantic video date with your special someone might be just the thing you need.

Maturity Matters, Looks Don’t

Needless to say, amongst local restrictions, life-threatening illness, and worldwide uncertainty, looks tended to take a back seat during the pandemic. With the most exciting adventure in town being a run to the supermarket, most people stayed home, alone, and in pajamas.

After endless lockdowns and social distancing at home, dressing up felt more like more of a chore than taking out the Tuesday trash. Aesthetically, comfort took control in our choice of clothing, with loungewear, athleta-leisure, and sneakers seeing a huge spike in sales. And, with masks covering half of our faces, makeup trends were quick to ditch the contour sticks and focused, instead, on a more natural, simple look.

Thanks to the habits we picked up during the pandemic, the trend towards inner beauty was well on it’s way. However, it wasn’t until some of our most cherished celebrity crushes began to publicly question the necessity of personal hygiene, that the hotness hierarchy finally fell to its knobby knees.

With that, it became official: looks are out, maturity is in.

“Following any traumatic event,” Match reports, “we often look for partners who are stabilizing, regardless of whether or not they have a six pack. This psychological effect leads us to surround ourselves with people and social contexts that feel genuinely safe.”

Emotional security suddenly became the new sexy.

Before the pandemic, if you would have asked your single friends how they ranked physical attractiveness in a list of desired qualities in a mate, almost everyone would put 'hotness' at the very top. This year, however, only 78 percent considered it an important quality at all.

While physical attractiveness might temporarily catch the eye, qualities like being open-minded, accepting, and a good communicator are what makes a partner truly show-stopping.

Covid Killed the Hookup

With all this emphasis on emotional security, is there any room left for keeping things casual? According to singles, not much.

Today, only 11 percent of single people are interested in casual dating.

“We’re not saying one-night-stands are gone for good,” says the Match report, “but they’re definitely on the decline.”

Were social distancing restrictions to blame? Maybe. But, catching the COVID-19 cooties didn’t sound very appealing, either.

When it came to taking seriously their role in stopping the spread of the virus, Millennials and Gen Z understood the assignment.

Both generations are known for their passion for improving society; so, it makes sense that amongst a global pandemic, the young, wild, and free were more careful with their mingling.

Interestingly, 75 percent of singles, both young and old, are vaccinated. Considering the wider social opportunities and lesser risk of infection, in the times of corona, getting the pinch could mean a greater shot at love.

For all it’s chaos and instability, the pandemic also provided singles with an opportunity to slow down, work on themselves, and reflect about what they really want out of their lives.

Not interested in risking their health for something not serious, pretty quickly, the flirty flings just stopped cutting it.

Marriage-Minded

What does the future hold for modern singles? According to Match, marriage!

Now, more than ever, singles want meaningful, steadfast and committed relationships.

In the world’s current state of instability, nothing’s more appealing to singles than having a solid sense of security at home. Committing to a reliable, trustworthy, and long-lasting partner is just the sort of stability singles, like Savannah, are searching for right now.

Over the past two years, all singles report 20 percent higher interest in marriage, with men more interested in marriage now more than ever.

So, if you’re single with marriage on your mind, now is the time to get yourself out there.

Not sure where to start? If you’d like to meet like-minded, quality, commitment-minded singles, sign up today and we’ll set you up!


Thanksgiving

Single Survivor Guide for Thanksgiving

Oh, Thanksgiving. The annual Fall feast of gratitude and gravy is right around the corner. As a kid, it used to be one of my favorite holidays—a long weekend off of school, watching football with my uncles, and the smell of mom’s warm pecan pie filling the kitchen air. 

Nowadays, however, this time of year can be a bit tricky, especially for singles. If you’re a perpetual Thanksgiving loner, this season can be downright depressing.

Find yourself dreading showing up dateless to this year’s festivities? Check out my four favorite tips for surviving this Thanksgiving as a singleton.

Prepare your answer: “Are You Seeing Anyone?”

If you’ve been alone for a hot minute, maybe you’ve experienced that brief moment of despair while looking into the mirror and thought to yourself: “Why am I still single?” 

Trust me, we’ve all been there. It’s hard wondering why you still haven’t found The One, but absolutely nothing compares to the searing sting that’s felt when someone else says it to you—especially a family member. 

So, how can you deal with those well-intentioned, yet, annoying questions and remarks you’re bound to hear from your family? Unfortunately, the answer is NOT to hit your great-aunt Bertha over the head with a Turkey wing. 

Before crafting the perfect response, it’s important to remember that your nosey loved ones probably mean well. 

Take their prying as thickly-veiled compliments, as they couldn’t imagine why someone as young, attractive, and fun as you could continue going solo. After all, they just want the best for you. 

It’s also entirely possible that their questions are just a way for them to stir up some small talk, trying to catch up with your life—“How’s work? Seen any good movies lately? Oh, by the way, where’s your date?”

No matter the motivation, questions about your love life are… uncomfortable, to say the least—especially if they’re always asked by the same few people or delivered in the form of some kind of recurring joke. 

Let your family know that, despite being single, you’re not depressed. In fact, you’re happy! If they sense that you’re enjoying life, they might slow down a bit with their concerned comments, allowing you to redirect the conversation towards more interesting aspects of your life. 

To show off your confidence, you can say:

“I’m having such a blast on my own right now. Did you hear about my last-minute trip to Mexico?”

“Maybe someday I’ll meet someone, but right now I’m rocking the single life!”

Feeling snarky? Here’s a few responses that turn the tables around and put that pesky prober in their place: 

“Yeah, I'm still single! I’m just not willing to settle like most people do.”

“Hmm. I’ve never thought about it, actually. Why did you get married?”

Host a Friendsgiving

The idea of confronting your rude relatives is still too much to handle? Maybe it’s time to skip the family feast and apt for a Friendsgiving instead. 

Whether it’s to flee from the family theatrics, or to enjoy a sense of community while far from home, this holiday alternative is a favorite for singles still in the mood to celebrate. 

Modern life has pulled millennials in all sorts of directions, and oftentimes, that means living alone and far from home. However, being a family-of-one doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some family-style fun. 

Many singles find that their friends offer just as much comfort and support as their relatives, if not more. Hosting a Friendsgiving is a perfect opportunity to show your closest circle just how much they mean to you. 

Whether you’re an experienced entertainer or first-time friendsgiver, it’s best to plan ahead. Let your pals know ASAP so they can carve out the time for turkey. When it comes to decor, keep it simple. If you’re in the mood to splurge, focus on the food. 

Feel free to pick a culinary theme that’s totally untraditional (this is Friendsgiving, after all. Anything goes). Yet, keep in mind your guests’ preferences. All your friends are health nuts? Try plant-based versions of the holiday’s staple plates. Are they world-traveling, Insta-influencers? Prepare foods from around the globe and ask your friends to guess their origins. Those who choose correctly get to take home a goody bag of treats! 

While cooking can be a fun part of the evening’s preparation, it’s also a lot of work. No one will judge you if you opt for take-out, instead. This is a holiday for you, too. So, make sure you enjoy it. Friendsgiving can be just as fun by ordering in some Uber-Eats and watching reruns of The Office with your besties. 

Plan a Special Activity

If you’re new to a city or, for some other reason, find yourself single and alone on Thanksgiving—don’t worry. There are still tons of ways to make the fourth Thursday of the month worth remembering.  

Most people get the holiday off work so, I’ve got to ask: wanna get outta here? Whether a quick jet-set to Europe or exploring a neighboring town, a long weekend is just enough time to get your Eat, Pray, Love on. It might sound crazy, but why not? Traveling solo can be even more rewarding than going with friends. Plus, you never know what kind of cool and interesting people you might meet.

If traveling isn’t possible or just not your thing, why not sign up for a Turkey Trot? Most major cities host annual Thanksgiving runs with varying distances from 5k, 10k, and sometimes marathons. 

If you’re like me, Thanksgiving is synonymous with lounging on the couch in a cranberry sauce-stained sweater while watching the Macy’s Day Parade on TV—basically the antithesis of any sort of physical exertion. However, getting your buns out of bed early Thursday morning and heading off to the races might be just what the doctor ordered. 

A bit of exercise and fresh air can be even better for the soul than Grandma’s special stuffing. Even if you’re not athletically inclined, there is something undeniably wonderful about being part of a large group of people that are all running together towards a common goal. Talk about a sense of community!

For extra feel-goodness, try to find a race that supports a good cause, like Run to Feed the Hungry, for example, which raises funds and awareness about hunger in the community. With this marked on your calendar, you’ll look forward to the holiday with excitement, knowing that you’re doing something great for both yourself and others.

If beating the holiday blues with a runner’s high is simply not your thing, volunteering at a local charity center is an excellent way to spend the special day. 

Studies show that volunteer work is great for combating depression, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness. There’s nothing like doing something special for others to put your own life in perspective. Research some local volunteer opportunities where you can donate your time or money for a good cause. By focusing on doing small acts of kindness, you will feel the true spirit of Thanksgiving.

Focus on the Positive

If you’re feeling lonely this Thanksgiving, remember: you’re not alone. The holidays can be hard, especially if you’re going through them without a partner by your side. At its core, Thanksgiving is about expressing our gratitude for the good in life and for those that we love the most. By focusing on the positive, you can do more than survive this Thanksgiving--you can enjoy it, too. 

At The Setup, we want to help you through all the challenges of single life. But, if you’re serious about finding that special someone, these tips are just a temporary fix. 

Ready for this Thanksgiving to be the last holiday you’ll attend alone? ‘Tis the season to make a change. To meet your special someone by Christmas, sign up today!