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Whether you’re in between relationships or enjoying your single blessedness, walking into a holiday party may be an experience you dread every year. After greetings about your weight come the inevitable questions about your love life. Fortunately there are some ways to avoid the onslaught.
1) Keep busy
First off, arrive early at a party and help the host with preparations. This takes the attention from who you’re with or without. If you’re nice enough, be useful in moving food and drinks along so you’ll be part of the background. Guests will assume you’re too busy working and won’t want to get in your way. “Hold on, tita needs my help.” is always a good way to escape that cousin asking about your ex.
2) Arrive with a crowd
Arrive late and walk in with the crowd on Filipino time. The arrival of a large party when majority of the guests are already there creates a great diversion. It removes the individualized attention and you can greet your relatives en masse while looking for a safe location to spend the rest of your evening.
3) Survey the minefield
Dodge your favorite tita who bombards you with all the life questions. She’s crafty and will still find a way to ask where your boyfriend or girlfriend is, or when you’re going to get married. Responses may range from “Na-traffic, eh (She/he got caught in traffic).” to “I’m too busy with my studies/career/hobbies to think about that, tita.” to “I’m still enjoying, po, so I can stay happy and look good like you,” knowing that flattery distracts everyone.
4) Create a getaway plan
When cornered, affix your eyes on your getaway plan – a tray of food that comes out, or a new arrival to the party. That way, when Tito Kadiri comes to offer you a trip to the massage parlor, you can easily escape and say, “Andyan na ang ulam (The food is out)!” Or when Uncle Manyak (we all have one) asks where your boyfriend is because “Ang sexy mo pa naman (You’re sexy)!” you can easily say, “Ay! Dumating na rin si Juan (Juan has arrived)!”
Position yourself in clear view of the entrance to ensure an ever-changing pool of people around you. Or stand by the food so you can always say that you’ll just get some food, ha? The buffet is always a good refuge to regroup and figure out where to plant yourself for minimal interaction with the nosy ones.
5) Utilize the children
Hang out with the kids and chase them around, because being in motion makes it hard for you to be pinned down. When asked an awkward question, distract them with the child. “Didn’t Santi get so big, tita?” or even, “How about you, Santi, when are you getting married, said tita?” are good diversions. Chill with your teenage cousins to be shielded from the grownups, who are not as polite as the kids to avoid discussing your personal life.
6) Don’t wallow
Don’t wallow in the fact that everyone is coupled and you are alone, because they all might just want the freedom that you have. Know that singlehood is not a curse, but also a blessing, and that your relatives’ questions are just their way of asking how you are. While staring in envy at happy marriages, take a look and consider all the not-so-happy couples at that gathering. At least you can pull yourself out of drama and have a quiet and peaceful night.
7) Follow the golden rule
Be the person you want the crowd to be. Avoid gossiping about other people’s relationship statuses, weight losses or gains. Always wait for someone to open up to you instead of asking about their personal lives. Surely, there are other things to discuss than that. For one, ask instead if this year has been good to them or not.
Always greet your fellow singles with a compliment, like “You look amazing!” or, “That’s a nice dress/suit.” It feels good to be noticed and to receive positive remarks, especially when you don’t have a date.
8) Keep it positive
Practice your responses for possible questions, keep it positive, and be ready to move on. For example:
What happened to (ex’s name)?
– It didn’t work out.
Baka naman nagger ka (Maybe you nagged him too much)?
– I wish him better and brighter things!
Babalikan mo ba? (Will you get back together?)
– Time will tell, tita. Pero sana masaya na siya (I wish him happiness).
There are certain benefits to attending a holiday party by your lonesome. For one, you spare everyone the announcement of your availability. Second, it’s nice to be seen for your own merits and not your significant other’s qualities. Lastly, it may be liberating to have a break from the “we” and be able to answer questions with “I.”
Take a deep breath and embrace your singlehood this year. It might just be your last time. – Rappler.com
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