The Single Person’s Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving

Blonde girl smiling and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner
The holiday season is well and truly upon us, with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner. It is a lovely time of the year, with our calendars packed with celebrations and parties. But, does anyone else feel that the festive season kind of forgets about single people? Between adverts of couples enjoying a cozy night in, festive rom-coms, and our great aunt Julie quizzing us about our singleness over the dinner table, being single at thanksgiving can be annoying! But, don’t worry! We at #Dating have your back and want to give a bit of advice to those flying solo on Thanksgiving. Whether you are perpetually single or have just broken up with your significant other, there are ways of coping on Thanksgiving that let you enjoy the festivities.

How to cope with being perpetually single on Thanksgiving

Is it that time of the year again? Your family has invited you for your yearly Thanksgiving meal and have again offered you a plus one? Perhaps you have had to tell them, again, that you will be coming to the meal alone.  If you, like a lot of us, are perpetually single, the festive season can be a little bit irksome. What is it about turkey, stuffing, and gravy that makes people think that they can quiz you on your love life for hours?  So, what is the best way to deal with being single on Thanksgiving when, again, you arrive without a date?

Don’t avoid your family!

Family With Grandparents Enjoying Thanksgiving Meal At Table

You may feel that it would be easier for you to just decline the invitation and spend Thanksgiving on your own or with friends. But if you haven’t seen your family for a while, you may really want to see them all! 

Thanksgiving is about being grateful for those around you and all the good stuff in your life, and after the last couple of years, it is really important to get together with those close to you to celebrate. 

Because of local lockdowns and travel restrictions, you may not have been able to see your extended family for quite a while. This means that this year, celebrating Thanksgiving is a really nice way of getting together and being grateful. 

Don’t avoid your family, and look forward to spending time with them. Even though they might be a little annoying when they ask you for the one-hundredth time why you haven’t got a partner yet, you know that they are just saying this from a place of love. Plus, their interrogation of your romantic life won’t last that long… Hopefully!

Be grateful for your friends and family

This leads us on to our next tip. Thanksgiving might highlight your singleness, but it also will remind you of how great the people in your life are. 

If you are spending Thanksgiving with your friends or family, remember it is a time to be grateful for the people that are in your life and supporting you right now. You don’t have to be in a relationship to be happy and being single is pretty fun, too! 

It is time to remember how great the people around you are, and how they give you all the happiness you need. Romantic relationships are nice, but so are friendships. It is easy to focus on the relationships that we don’t have and forget about the wonderful people that are in our lives right now. 

Plan a day out with your friends! Go for drinks and a meal, and be grateful for all the love that is around you.

Be prepared for questions

If you are going to be single on Thanksgiving, you are going to be getting a lot of questions. Why haven’t you got a partner yet? Do you not want to get married? 


Urrgghhh. Yeah. These kinds of questions are ridiculously annoying, especially when you hear them every single year. But, be honest with your family and tell them if you do not like the questions! If they make you uncomfortable, make your voice heard. Your family probably doesn’t understand that the questions are inappropriate. Respectfully tell them that you don’t enjoy discussing your singledom at great length.

Being single isn’t a bad thing, but it can get boring to discuss. Instead, veer the discussion towards your successes and passions. Yeah, you haven’t got a partner, but what about that exciting job opportunity that happened to you this year? Have you started a new hobby that is filling your life with joy?! Tell your family about these things, and they soon will forget about the other thing. <

Oh, and try to keep your cool. Some extended family members might irk you because you can just feel the judgment in their voice, but so what?! If you are happy, who cares!

Don’t compare yourself to others

Group of friends talking and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner.

If you are spending time with your family over Thanksgiving, it can be easy to compare yourself with your cousins and siblings. Maybe your aunt is going on and on about their kid’s upcoming wedding, and you are feeling slightly awkward as your own parents sit there nodding along.

It is important to remember that you and your cousins and siblings are different people! Perhaps your sister and her boyfriend’s gross romantic behavior at the dinner table might make you feel sick, but she’s happy being with him and you are happy being single. You are both on your own journey in life, and both have your own passions and interests. Everyone is different, and everyone’s love life is completely unique.

You may not have found the right person for you yet, but don’t obsess on those around you that have.

How to cope with being newly single on Thanksgiving

If you have recently broken up with your partner, Thanksgiving can be pretty tough. Those around you in relationships might slightly (or massively) upset you, and you probably will have to tell your extended family that you are newly single again and again. 

It may be painful, but there are ways in which you can deal with the stress of being newly single on Thanksgiving.

Don’t avoid your loved ones

Explaining your recent break-up to those that love you can be pretty tough, and you might be tempted to cancel plans to sit alone watching Friends reruns and eating takeout in your bed. 

This will only make you feel worse, though! Being around your friends and family is super important when you are going through a break-up as they remind you of how amazing you are and how much love they have for you. 

Make sure you go out there and celebrate the holiday season with those close to you. It is really useful to spend time with friends and family as you will soon realize that life is about much more than being in a relationship. 

It might be hard to have to answer questions about your recent breakup, but it also might help in the long run to talk about it. Telling your family what happened and why you are now single will bring them closer to you and let you get the support that you need from them. 

Plus, once the questions are out of the way you will probably feel a bit relieved! Now, onto the celebrating!

Know that you are not alone

Large Family Gathering on Thanksgiving Day

When you go through a breakup and find yourself newly single for Thanksgiving, the holiday season seems to amplify your hurt feelings and loneliness. Everyone is celebrating and coming together to enjoy life. It probably feels as if you are the only one in the world going through heartbreak and that there is nobody that understands your pain.

But, this is not the case! Unfortunately, breakups often happen at the worst times of the year. There are always plenty of people that find themselves newly single for Thanksgiving. 

And you know what that means? Every year, plenty of people get through Thanksgiving newly single! 

It is really important to know that when you are going through a breakup, you are not alone. Firstly, you have your friends and family around you that support and love you. But also, there are loads of other people in the world that are going through exactly what you are going through, and loads of people that have been through and overcome what you are going through!

Keep your calendar full

When we have recently broken up with someone, we will often want to retreat from the world and spend time alone. This can be helpful, but it can be really hard during the holiday season. Everyone is inviting you to parties and dinners, and you kind of feel obligated to go. But, this isn’t a bad thing! These events can actually make you feel so much better when you are feeling lonesome. 

We think that one of the best ways to get through a breakup is to keep busy, and the holiday season is full of events! When planning how you might want to spend your time over Thanksgiving, try to keep your calendar full. Try to be busy with social events and seeing friends and family. Soon you will forget about your recent breakup, and you might even manage to enjoy some of the festivities!

Be thankful

Thanksgiving is all about being thankful, right? Of course, but it can be pretty hard to be grateful for the past year when it hasn’t exactly treated you well. A breakup means that you don’t feel very thankful about anything.

However, we think that even if you are newly single on Thanksgiving, there are still reasons to be thankful and to feel grateful for the past year. Plus, when we concentrate on the positives, we can begin to feel better about our recent singleness.

Because many of us spend Thanksgiving with our family, we can use their support and love to get over our ex. Okay, our family can be annoying,

Also, a breakup isn’t always completely negative! A study conducted in 2003 interviewed people who had just come out of a relationship. The results found that on average, participants identified five positive outcomes of their breakup. Plus, every single person in the study identified at least one positive outcome of their relationship ending!

Thanksgiving and the holiday period are all about spreading positivity and being grateful for all the good stuff in your life. Being newly single for Thanksgiving can be tough, but you can get through this with the love of those close to you and positive thinking!

How to cope with being single and by yourself on Thanksgiving

Girl preparing Thanksgiving dinner in her kitchen.

By choice or because of chance, you might find yourself single and by yourself on Thanksgiving. This may feel pretty daunting as there is a lot of pressure at this time of year to be with your family or friends. 

However, you can spend Thanksgiving alone and still enjoy it!

We think that focusing on your hobbies and interests can be a great way to spend Thanksgiving alone. Have you always loved writing, but haven’t for a while? Perhaps you are a bit of a crafter and want to try out something new.

Plan your day and what you fancy doing, whether it be an art project or baking a delicious treat. Even planning what films and TV shows you want to watch will help you enjoy the day!

If you are single and by yourself on Thanksgiving, see this as an opportunity to do exactly what you want to do. You don’t have to visit people you don’t like or eat food you hate. You can do whatever makes you happy!

Enjoy Thanksgiving!

We hope this single person’s guide to surviving Thanksgiving has given you helpful advice. It can be pretty awkward to be constantly quizzed by others on why you haven’t found your right match yet. However you spend Thanksgiving this year, with friends, family, or alone, we want you to enjoy it! Remember, holidays are, at their core, about celebrating life. Single, married, divorced, whatever! Thanksgiving is for everyone.
Lou Siday

Lou Siday

Lou Siday is a writer from North East England with a degree in Creative Writing. Having been on her own self-love journey over the last few years, she loves writing about empowerment and wellness! For Lou, communication, honesty, and mutual respect are essential when it comes to dating.


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