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Being single can be a sore spot at holiday gatherings

Date: 2006-11-21

After a lifetime of being single, David Greenfield, 38, of Syracuse, has learned to pack a smile when he goes to family gatherings over the holidays.

He estimates he'll be asked at least a half-dozen times about his marital status from relatives and friends concerned about his personal happiness.

"I'm asked about whom I'm seeing, why am I not married, all that good stuff. You take it with a grain of salt and a little humor, actually," says Greenfield, a personal banker at Chase Bank.

According to experts, the holiday season can bring on a deep shade of the blues for unmarried adults, especially if they find themselves celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's Eve far from close friends and family.

Thirty-five percent of 1,000 singles recently surveyed by the dating service It's Just Lunch said the worst part about Thanksgiving was not having a date.

The poll also found that 44 percent expect to be asked about their love lives at least five times during the holiday season.

WKRL-FM (K-Rock) morning radio disc jockey Ty Donnelly, 25, who is single, says with a laugh that holiday work parties are "the worst" for this kind of question.

"Because if you're just kind

of dating someone . . . and bring them to see all these people you work with, they're always asking questions after that," Donnelly says. "Work people are so much more nosy than family."

Reacting with anger or silence to these personal questions only makes matters worse, according to Alana Beyer, vice president of It's Just Lunch, which has locations in Rochester and Buffalo. A joke is often the best response when a single person is asked why he or she isn't married, Beyer says.

After a lifetime of being single, David Greenfield, 38, of Syracuse, has learned to pack a smile when he goes to family gatherings over the holidays.

He estimates he'll be asked at least a half-dozen times about his marital status from relatives and friends concerned about his personal happiness.

"I'm asked about whom I'm seeing, why am I not married, all that good stuff. You take it with a grain of salt and a little humor, actually," says Greenfield, a personal banker at Chase Bank.




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