Single at Thanksgiving? Here’s how to enjoy the holidays

woman lying on autumn leaves

According to popular culture, Thanksgiving is a time for love. The traditional picture has apple-cheeked children crunching through fall leaves, adults laughing over turkey and pumpkin pie and families watching the Thanksgiving Day Classic before falling asleep in their chairs.

But does tradition match up to reality? For many in Canada, the answer is no. In fact, recent studies have shown that 27.6% of Canadian households are single occupant,1 suggesting that, if you are single at Thanksgiving, you are far from alone. With that figure in mind, EliteSingles decided to talk to Relationship Coach Sam Owen, about how to get through the day when you’re flying solo.

Single at Thanksgiving? Who cares! With this advice, you’ll soon might just find that you aren’t merely surviving the holiday – you are enjoying it too! And don’t forget that, if your head’s in the right place, fall is the best time of year to look for love!

5 tips for thriving during your single Thanksgiving

1. If you’re facing the day alone

The prospect of being alone at Thanksgiving can be a little daunting. However, there are plenty of ways to get through the day. While a wallow at home under the duvet might sound tempting, chances are you will feel happier if you take charge and actively try and do something for yourself. As Sam Owen says: ‘’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.’’

Taking charge can take many shapes – you could gather other single friends and acquaintances and host a dinner yourself; take a walk (delighting in the fact that streets will be relatively empty!) or indulge in a holiday getaway all of your own. If spoiling yourself doesn’t appeal, this can also be a great occasion to spoil others and volunteer your spare time. Soup kitchens and food banks around Canada are often grateful for an extra pair of hands at this time of year and the glow that comes from helping others has been proven to lift a blue mood!2

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2. Being single at Thanksgiving – with company!

Of course, not all single Canadians will be automatically alone this Thanksgiving. Indeed, many will be spending the day with extended family and friends. While the prospect of company can be wonderful, a family Thanksgiving can come with its own complications: from the sting of being surrounded by happy couples to the awkwardness of being grilled about your love life by well-meaning relatives.

Yet, with the right perspective, being single at Thanksgiving can be really enjoyable. For starters, there is the joy of not having to compromise when it comes to whose family you spend the weekend with. Being single means that you don’t have to worry about impressing a partner’s friends and family: the only people getting on your nerves about cranberry sauce consistency and who gets the white meat will be those you truly hold dear.

Another bonus is that, if you are single and looking for a partner, this can be a very productive time of year. Owen points out that this is 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.’’

Want to make the most of that offline confidence? Channel it into online dating success.

3. Juggling Thanksgiving obligations

Of course, being single at Thanksgiving isn’t all about parties, especially when your responsibilities involve more than just bringing dessert. In the 10% of Canadian households that are identified as single parent,3 for instance, obligations are more complicated. Indeed, Thanksgiving can end up being a trying time of year as conflicts arise over where everyone spends the day.

Owen’s advice for single parents is to try and rise above any tension, treating all difficult 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.”

Dating as a single parent? Discover how EliteSIngles can help.

4. Paving the way for next year

If you have tried your hardest to be thankful but are still feeling down about being single, remember this: there is an entire year until the next Thanksgiving. This means an entire year of opportunity to build the kind of romantic future you want. Chances are, you may not even need that long! An EliteSingles members’ survey suggested that it takes members 82 days (on average) to find a compatible, long-term partner – 60 days to get comfortable enough with the platform that they know when the ideal person comes along and then another 22 days of calls and messages before that first thrilling meeting.4

Messages and calls going well? It’s time to plan the perfect first date.

In other words, there is plenty of time to find someone before the next Thanksgiving. And, if you use this time to make a real effort –answering the personality test honestly and filling in your profile fully – you may just find someone who is pretty wonderful. Indeed, joining EliteSingles now means not only might you find love in time for next Thanksgiving, that love could be in your life for many Thanksgivings to come.

EliteSingles editorial, October 2014

If you have any questions, comments or tips about being single at Thanksgiving, please leave them below or email [email protected]

All quotes from an exclusive 2014 interview with Sam Owen: a relationship coach, author, and EliteSingles’ partner psychologist. You can find her website here, or follow her on Google Plus, Facebook or Twitter.


1 Statistics Canada: Canadian households in 2011: Type and growth. Report prepared by Anne Milan and Nora Bohnert, of Statistics Canada’s Demography Division. Found at
2 Sara Konrath, Ph.D., writing for the Huffington Post: Volunteering Could Boost Happiness, Decrease Depression, and Help You Live Longer: Study. 2013. Found at
3 Statistics Canada: Canadian households in 2011: Type and growth. Report prepared by Anne Milan and Nora Bohnert, of Statistics Canada’s Demography Division
4 EliteSingles Survey, 2013.


About the author: Sophie Watson

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