Ah, the holidays. It's the time of year where you get to reconnect with your loved ones, sleep in your childhood bed and be reminded that everyone else has found someone on this godforsaken planet and you're still insufferably alone.
If your family is anything like any family, you might be able to expect being bombarded with questions, accusations and ultimate disappointment in your inability to find love.
If this is the case, it's helpful to prepare your responses in advance so you aren't left with the dangerous (albeit foolproof) reflex of guzzling the wine in your hand to avoid screaming.
So here is exactly what to say when your family asks, "Are you seeing anyone?"
"I'm in a committed relationship with myself."
You can't go wrong with the "Eat, Pray, Love" route.
Explain to them how it's been a big year for you personally. Invent some achievements you've made at work or retreats you could have gone on in South America, and harp on the internal growth you experienced during these extraordinary (yet bogus) times.
It's way easier to talk about a fake vacation than to explain you can't find love because you're addicted to the "Gilmore Girls" reboot and haven't cooked for yourself since last Christmas.
"Relationship norms are a social structure, and also, life is a flat circle or something."
This response is like a smoke bomb. It comes out of nowhere, creates confusion and leaves the person you're chatting with stunned and wanting to leave immediately.
If they press you, launch into a dialogue about the average Millennial, how sexuality is fluid or how our government is designed to corrupt true love.
If THAT doesn't end the whole conversation, I honestly can't help you.
"NO, BUT HOW'S YOUR ARTHRITIS?!"
Remember the three Ds: distract, deflect and disarm. By reminding your opponent of one of their own ailments, you either make them uncomfortable and wanting to end the conversation, OR you give them the opportunity to take over the conversation and talk as much as they want about their own drama.
"I know you are, but what am I?!"
Sometimes, all you ever need to know is what you really did learn in kindergarten.
"I'm waiting for 'The One.'"
Nobody can knock you for having standards. And depending on your geographical location, you can blame having a small pond to fish in or blame drowning in a huge city full of weirdos.
You can also pad your past year with fake failed relationships: a lover who was called to Africa to save animals, a doctor who was transferred to a new city or a brave scientist who died in space exploration.
The point is, finding "the one" will happen when it'll happen.
But if none of these work, you can always choke on the pig in a blanket I assume you're eating and go take a nap.