Single at Thanksgiving? Here’s your holiday survival guide

girl in autumn

Although the traditional image of Thanksgiving conjures up sentiments of smiling children playing in the fall leaves, families savoring turkey and pumpkin pie and everyone gathered watching the football after dinner, the reality of the holiday is far from this picturesque scene.

In fact for many Americans this is not the case at all. Instead, recent census studies have shown that 27.4% of households are single occupant, indicating that actually over a quarter of the population will be alone on Thanksgiving. As a result, EliteSingles asked Relationship Coach Sam Owen for her advice and top tips for those American singles embarking on the holidays this fall.

Ultimately, enjoying Thanksgiving all comes down to your attitude. For a wide variety of reasons, many of us find ourselves alone for the holidays and this is fine! It might be an idea for you to adjust your expectations of this time of year; eliminate the clichéd image of Thanksgiving from your mind and lighten the pressure of the day on yourself. As a result, you might find you even enjoy it!

1. Alone on Thanksgiving? Be proactive

The prospect of being alone on Thanksgiving can be a little daunting. But instead of hiding at home under the covers, Sam Owen advises; ‘’you will always feel better when you proactively take your destiny into your own hands. You’re not going to undo the pressure by sitting at home worrying about it or feeling deflated by your predicament.’’ So pick up your chin and be proactive – plan something interesting for the day.

One of the best things you can do if you’re alone on Thanksgiving is volunteering your spare time. There are plenty of soup kitchens and community events that would appreciate your help and it’s a good opportunity for you to get involved. Helping others brings a warm glow and is actually one of the nicest ways to spend the holidays. Get some information about how you can do your bit here.

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2. Make the most of the Thanksgiving celebrations!

Instead of moping about being alone on Thanksgiving, why not embrace the spirit of the holidays and make the most of the festivities taking place at this time of year. As Owen points out, it’s actually a great time to impress eligible singles, both at parties and online as ‘’holidays… are treated as special occasions and so we make an effort with our appearance; if we look good on the outside, we feel more confident on the inside.’’ It can often be a good time to meet new people, so pick up a glass of eggnog and approach the person who’s caught your eye on the other side of the room.

Indeed, this is a much more exciting prospect than those in relationships having the annoyance of compromising their Thanksgiving plans and spending the day with the dreaded in-laws. So look on the bright side; the holidays are a good opportunity for you to flirt with people you wouldn’t normally meet and then who knows what’s around the corner…

3. Play host

Better still, rather than just attending the Thanksgiving parties, why not host one yourself? Chances are if you’re alone on Thanksgiving, some of your friends will be too! So you could bring everyone together by hosting a meal perhaps? (if you don’t particularly want to cook for lots of people, why not make it a ‘bring a dish’ affair). Invite both your single friends but also your coupled friends – the more the merrier after all!

If you can’t be bothered to cook for the masses, why don’t you and few friends go out for a meal? Thanksgiving in a restaurant will always have a cheerful atmosphere and could be a great way for you all to celebrate the holidays together (plus then there’s no washing up at the end!). And then to top it off, why not take a festive fall walk? (also a good chance for you to make the most of the empty streets!)

4. Take a trip

It may seem a little extravagant, but if you have the cash why not take a little trip away over the holidays? You could go skiing or better still head to Europe where they don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving! Go by yourself or with a friend, but where possible a bit of travel at this time of year is a great way to make the most of being alone on Thanksgiving.

If you don’t have the finances for a trip oversees, you could plan an outing closer to home. How about taking a hike or treating yourself to a relaxing spa day?

5. Juggling Thanksgiving obligations

Many single-parent families can find Thanksgiving a trying time of year. Indeed, according to recent US census data, 14.5% of American households were identified as single parent and the holidays, unfortunately, can often trigger disagreements about where everyone spends the day.

These disagreements can often lead to tension, but Owen advises that single parents should rise above it and treat delicate situations with ‘compassion rather than anger.’ This means ensuring that ‘everyone involved has a fair balance of time with loved ones so nobody feels cheated, whether that means splitting the day fairly between different households or splitting the holidays in the year, fairly.’ This act is not entirely selfless – fairness can make you feel better too as ‘it is easy to respond with anger, it is more empowering and spiritually elevating to respond with compassion.’

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There are plenty of ways to enjoy the holidays if you’re alone on Thanksgiving – it is as much a time for friendship as anything else and you should make the most of it and get into the holiday spirit. However if you are still feeling a bit down about it, just remember you do have an entire year until the next one and a lot can happen in that time!

In other words there’s plenty of time to find someone before next Thanksgiving. Why not join today and see who you meet online? With a highly dedicated customer care team and extensive relationship advice, EliteSingles is here to help you through the different stages of online dating. You never know, you might not only find love in time for next Thanksgiving but for many Thanksgivings to come.

EliteSingles editorial, November 2015

All quotes from an exclusive 2014 interview with Sam Owen: a relationship coach, author, and partner.

“Families and Living Arrangements.” America’s : 2014 CPS Data on Families. United States Census Bureau, 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

About the author: Charlotte Bridge

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