If you’ve never had your parents/cousins/vaguely-related third aunt question you on your love life, then you’ve either never been to a family gathering or you’re really good at running away from the elderly before they can catch you by the cheek.
Now I’ve still got my fair share of time to find ‘the one’ (whatever the hell that means) but it doesn’t stop old people I barely know from trampling all over the poor excuse of a love life that I do manage to have.
Over the years, I’ve developed some tips and tricks to help me through those awkward birthdays and Christmas gatherings. So, without further delay, here are 11 ways to avoid questions about your love life these holidays.
Straight-up bullshit. Say that you’re happily single, or that you’re focusing on your studies/really into your work/insert other terrible excuse. They won’t believe you, and you’ll be caught out in a matter of seconds—but it’s worth a try.
Stuff your mouth full of potatoes and try not to make eye-contact. This was one I picked up at a young age, and probably enjoyed doing it a bit too much considering I am still single and have not exercised since 2008.
If they push it, tell them that it’s rude to speak with your mouth full and keep eating.
New Years Eve 2013. One bottle of rum and way too many cocktails later my very curious aunt was questioning my sexuality in between bouts of being sick. Do not recommend.
4. Flip It Around And Ask Them Back
This one works particularly well if the family member is divorced, widowed, or over 40 and still living with his parents.
5. Make Up A Significant Other
This is one you’d have to prepare weeks in advance, because there will probably be hours of follow-up questions. Make sure that anyone on your side is also up-to-date, and knows that your made-up boyfriend’s name is Michael/Jonathan/something else just as vanilla.
6.Make Up Two Significant Others
This is sure to buy you some time in horrified gasps, and they’ll probably have more questions for your parents than they do you.
7. Start Singing Happy Birthday Everytime Someone So Much As Looks At You
Just say that you’re really into birthday parties. Surprisingly, this only works for birthday parties—I learnt that the hard way.
8. Tell Them That Your Only Love Is The Lord, Our Saviour
If that doesn’t work, start praying when you see someone approaching, or recite the Lord’s Prayer. If all else fails, tell people that you’re going away to live with the Amish (I suggest bringing a bonnet or a butter churn, just in case you need to make it more convincing)
9. Make An Excuse And Escape To Another Room
Your mum needs help with the cheese platters. Your grandpa got locked out on the balcony again. Your dog needs to be tucked in to bed. You have to deliver your cousin’s child. Literally anything will work, as long as you play it cool.
This is basically my ace card. If you play it well enough, relatives wont come near you for the next four to six family gatherings.
11. Run For Your Life
As much as you enjoy playing these mind-games with your kooky grandma, you can't run away forever. She will catch you, even if she has a walking frame and an odd number of working limbs. Don’t fight it.
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Image Credit: HBO