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!