The holidays are coming. In other words, you're about to take part in an abundance of food, friends, family, gifts, trips home and uncomfortable personal questions to which you will offer no honest response.
To help you prepare for the months-long interview session you'll soon be walking into, here are a few questions for which you might want to prepare a few responses:
Are you dating anyone?
"No, I'm not..."
"I'm putting myself out there; I just haven't found that person yet..."
"Yeah, I have been single for awhile..."
"I've tried online dating, but I didn't really like it..."
"It's kind of hard to explain why [because I don't want to tell you about the vulgar things I've been messaged]..."
"I'm sure you're right; he probably is 'right around the corner'."
"...Oh, is your friend's daughter single? Hmm [she was always a bitch]."
The goal with this response? You should answer, but be vague and address the online dating route early so your family knows exactly where you stand. Then, they'll soon drop it (hopefully).
What do you do?
"I'm a writer..."
"I've been published on a few sites..."
"I have a full-time job, also. One day, though, I hope to just write..."
"I think it's a real job..."
"I don't think I'm wasting my master's degree; it was an experience that allowed me to learn a lot about what I wanted..."
"It's hard to get yourself out there. It's a lot of rejection, mostly..."
"I'm working on a novel. It's kind of hard to explain what it's about [because I don't think you care]..."
"Sure, maybe I'll meet a writer..."
The goal here is to accept that there's a good chance the other person will not understand what you have chosen to do with your life. My honest response is way different, anyway:
I read, I walk my dog, I watch movies and I write. I go to concerts as often as possible. I go to work so tat I can support what I truly enjoy doing. I'm working on a creating a life that makes me happy.
Why don't you try [insert online dating site]?
Try to take a deep breath before answering this question.
"I've had really bad experiences with online dating, and I've just given up on it..."
"I know there could be someone great on there, but I only find creeps so those good guys will just have to meet me in person!"
"I just really didn't like it..."
"Yeah, some people do have luck, I definitely wasn't one of them, ha!"
"Grindr is a little different than a dating site..."
Goal: Do not commit to trying it, or they will check back in with you... especially if they ask the next question.
Are you on the Facebook?
"Oh, you want to add me? Okay..."
"You just downloaded the app today, huh?"
"My name is spelled with a C..."
"I can do it for you if you want. Do you want me to do it?"
"Click there... I can do it for you... No, it's okay. I can do it for you..."
"Would you like me to just add you on mine? I'll just add you on mine; it's okay..."
"Oh, okay, you can try it. You're right; you should learn how to do it..."
Added bonus here: tech issues.
Do you know [insert age-inappropriate or generally despised friend of the family's son]? He's single [and/or just got divorced].
"We went to school together..."
"We didn't get along too well..."
"I don't think he'd remember me. We were into very different things..."
"No, I know him. I still run into him. [He's a douchebag who left his wife while she was pregnant with baby number two because he found an 18-year-old he liked better.]"
Goal: Politely steer the conversation away from this person.
You can handle it; you've got this.