couple at thanksgiving dinner

4 Relationship Questions Families Love to Ask at Thanksgiving (And How to Deflect)

Fall is among us! It’s time for colorful foliage, pumpkin-spiced everything, and (a potentially awkward) Thanksgiving dinner. As wonderful as it can be to gather the whole family together for the holidays, it appears there’s something about turkey and cranberry sauce that brings out notoriously nosy questions about your love life.

It’s no wonder so many young people would rather skip out on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Survey findings from OnePoll found that 68 percent of people aged 18-38 prefer Friendsgiving as a way to celebrate the holiday. It also revealed that 62 percent don’t enjoy hosting or attending a traditional Thanksgiving.

The reasons? Two in five respondents preferred Friendsgiving because they don’t have to bite their tongue around the dinner table, while 38 percent said they don’t have to worry about offending a relative.

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If you fall into the percentage of people who aren’t too fond of Thanksgiving dinner, it can be a bit stressful, especially if you’re seeing certain family members for the first time in a while. You’re probably prepared for the barrage of uncomfortable questions, but that doesn’t make it any easier!

To help you out, we’ve gathered the top four questions families love to ask during Thanksgiving dinner and the best ways to dodge them:

1. Are You Dating Anyone?

As you’re probably aware, family members love to ask about your dating life. If you’re single (or simply don’t want to give too much information), you can reroute the conversation to something that’s going great in your life. A comment like, “I’m not dating right now, I’m taking time to focus on myself,” or “I’m single at the moment, but I’ve been really invested in work lately,” can help steer the dialogue in a new (and less awkward) direction.

There’s absolutely no need to divulge why you’re single, whether it’s by choice or because things aren’t working out in the dating world. All you need to convey is that you’re happy! And you don’t need a romantic relationship to make that happen.

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2. What Happened With [Your Ex]?

If you’ve recently broken up with someone, it’s natural for your family to wonder what happened — but that doesn’t mean you have to talk about it. Whether it ended amicably or terribly, the best way to deflect is to keep it short and simple. “They weren’t the one,” or “We just weren’t meant to be” are perfectly fine responses.

To really switch up the conversation, ask them a question after making your statement, such as, “We just didn’t work out. What’s been going on with you?” It can be frustrating if they keep prying, and if your short responses don’t clue them in, you can always say you don’t want to talk about it. Keep it light-hearted with something like, “There’s all this delicious food here, let’s focus on that!”

3. When Is The Wedding?

Oye, this question can really bring on a lot of awkward tension, especially if you and the person you’re dating haven’t had that discussion yet. You can always respond with, “I’m really happy with where things are, we’re not in a rush,” if your relationship isn’t at that level yet.

If you’ve been talking about marriage with your partner, you can say something like, “We’re waiting for the right time, but I’ll keep you in the loop!” Brushing it off and keeping it casual can help you avoid any follow-up questions or opinions about your relationship timeline.

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4. When Are You Having Kids?

If you’re married or have been in a long-term relationship for quite some time, you might get asked the ever-annoying question about when you’re going to have some little ones.

If you don’t plan on expanding your family, there’s nothing wrong with saying so! A statement like, “As much as we love kids, they’re not for us,” works just fine, but if you’d rather avoid the inevitable “Why?” that follows, you can always keep it vague. Saying, “We’re still talking about it” doesn’t reveal either way whether you want to have them or not.

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, and being able to spend it with family is certainly something to be thankful for. That said, navigating dicey conversations while remaining diplomatic can feel like an intense job interview. When it comes to awkward Thanksgiving questions from family members, the best thing you can do is stay collected, think things through, and remember that you are in control of the conversation.

As frustrating as it can be, try to remember that most of the time, questions from family members come from a place of love. They’re truly invested in your happiness! As you stuff your face with Thanksgiving comfort food in an attempt to avoid talking, remember that you have people there that care about you — and that is definitely something to be grateful for.

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