“I find it hard to strike a balance between wanting to say yes to every fun thing versus remembering to take some time for myself, but then feeling like I’m missing out.”
“Being single makes holiday parties so easy. I decide to go or not—nobody else gets to vote. I get ready at my own pace. I don’t have to think about whether my date is having fun. And I leave when I want to.”
“My biggest suggestion for singles at holidays is to remember that connection is only as valuable as it actually feels to you. Don’t try to attend every party and accept every invitation—just having dinner or a movie with a friend or family member is sometimes the best thing you can do.”
Once, I was invited to a philanthropic gala. I definitely wanted to go, because I simply love an excuse to dress up—especially for an honourable cause—but I had no one to take. My friends didn’t even want to go.
The coordinator tried to let me off the hook by saying she had a backup couple to attend. But I dug in my sparkly heels, put on my fancy dress, drove to the venue and sat with a table full of couples I didn’t know.
A few of them said I was brave for coming alone.
I knew that already. I also knew I could have a great time without an assist. I knew I shouldn’t have to miss out on fun or fancy just because I’m not coupled up—and you shouldn’t either.
Pro-tips for attending holiday parties without plus-ones
Don’t not go to that posh dinner. Remember, you can work the room better without a partner slowing you down.
Before you respond to the invite, pause. Ask yourself, “Will I be happier going—or will I be happier watching Christmas movies in my pajamas?”
Make a plan. This includes:
- Ways to spend your time—who you’ll mingle with, who you’ll want to avoid and, most importantly, what you’re going to eat.
- An excuse if you want to leave early. Pets and work projects are inarguable reasons to duck out.
- Witty (maybe even practiced) answers to “Are you seeing anyone?” or “I can’t believe you and so-and-so broke up!” (See below for ideas.)
- A safe and reliable way home. Take a ride-sharing service or cab—especially if you’ve enjoyed the event a little too much.
Snappy answers to nosy questions
Some of my biggest social regrets have been not having an instant comeback. Sound familiar? Here’s some help.
Are you dating anyone?
- “Good question. Are you?” (This is an especially fun response to a married person.)
- “I’m dating everyone!”
- “Nope. It’s not for me.”
Have you tried those dating apps?
- “No, but they sound delicious.”
- “Yes! I signed you up just last week.”
- “Oh, look at the time. Don’t want my carriage to turn into a pumpkin.”
So, are you like, super lonely?
- “Of course not. I have YOU to talk to.”
- “YUP. Will you be my best friend?”
- “Excuse me?” Practice raising your eyebrows in disbelief. This is a great one for lots of inappropriate questions. A simple, definitive “nope” also works.