A Study Finds People Fake Relationships On Thanksgiving To Avoid Family Judgment

by Candice Jalili

Going home for the holidays can be wonderful for lots and lots and lots of reasons. Good food, time with family and childhood friends, time off work, pretty decorations everywhere, good food, pumpkin-flavored things everywhere you turn, ice skating, holiday movies galore... oh, wait, did I mention good food? So, yeah, we all know how great it can be. That being said, dealing with family members pestering you about your love life can be less than ideal. In fact, it can be so annoying that a recent study found people actually see faking a relationship on Thanksgiving as a reasonable way to deal with their annoying relatives.

No, I'm not joking. A new study conducted by Heineken showed that nearly one in four American adults 21 and older have actually faked a relationship as a means of avoiding pressure from their family to have a significant other. So... next time your cousin Darla tells you about her dreamy new boyfriend, don't get too jealous. There's a 25 percent chance she's lying.

So, who is most likely to fake a relationship? Well, specifically, millennials. In fact, while only 29 percent of Gen Xers and a mere 9 percent of Boomers have considered lying about a significant other to their families, a whopping 40 percent of millennials have considered doing the same.

Oh, also, if your cousin Darla is bragging about her boyfriend while your other cousin Damien is bragging about his new girlfriend and you just can't decide which one of them is lying, odds are it's Damien. Why? Well, because men are more than twice as likely to lie about being in a relationship than women (33 percent to 16 percent).

Oh, and if Damien is a working person and Darla isn't, he's even more likely to be lying. Why, you ask? Because working people are three times (34 percent) as likely as their unemployed peers (11 percent) to have pretended to be in a relationship during the holidays to avoid pressure from their families.

What sort of "pressure" are we referring to here? Well, mostly, it's just fielding questions from your annoying relatives. In fact, the study found that nearly one in five adults have been hit with questions about an ex. And even if you are in a relationship, you still aren't safe. In fact, one in five people surveyed have had to endure their family excessively "hinting" about things like marriage and having children. As someone who's currently in a serious relationship and not planning on getting engaged anytime soon, I'm going to have to say there's a chance I'm one of those one in five people.

The main takeaway here? If you have made up a significant other to avoid your annoying relatives, you're not alone. If you haven't done this before, now you have a new way to shut your annoying relatives up! You're welcome. OK, I'm not encouraging lying. Lying is bad! But sometimes it's not the worst thing int he world... especially if it gets you out of another long conversation with Aunt Gertrude about why it is that you don't have a beau.