As the festive season approaches, a surprising trend is emerging among single people: bringing a pretend partner home for the holidays. A recent survey by Flirtini, a dating app, has uncovered this phenomenon.
According to Anastasii Pochotna, Flirtini’s dating expert, the holiday season’s focus on family gatherings puts considerable pressure on single adults. This pressure is so intense that a staggering 73% of singles feel the need to be in a relationship during this time.
The survey, which involved 2,000 adults, revealed that over 40% have asked a friend to act as their date for family gatherings. Even more telling, 53% have played the role of a ‘fake date’ for someone else.
At the beginning of the holiday season, about 42% of adults were single, with one-third actively searching for a partner. Anna Hintsyak, a representative from the dating app Pure, noted that the reasons for this trend vary.
Interestingly, half of the singles reported feeling pressured by family interrogations during festive gatherings, with questions from curious relatives and the sight of younger cousins flaunting their engagement rings adding to their discomfort.
Today’s younger adults often view marriage differently than their elders, but many prefer not to explain their stance to their grandparents. Instead, they choose to create a facade. Dating coach Cher Gopman, also known as the NYC Wingwoman, advises caution with such fabrications and stresses the need for backup plans.
Gopman recounted a story to The Post about a client who invited a friend to act as his partner during the holidays to avoid family questioning. While the plan worked temporarily, it backfired when the family continued to inquire about the relationship after the holidays, leading to regret and a decision to seek dating coaching.
This trend is common, with many dating coaches and apps witnessing a surge in clientele during the holiday season. However, as Gopman’s client discovered, introducing a ‘significant other’ doesn’t stop family inquiries. NYC-based dating coach Grace Lee points out that questions about marriage, kids, and even future grandchildren often follow.
Lee suggests responding vaguely to prying questions and redirecting the conversation towards other aspects of life, emphasizing the importance of setting boundaries with family. However, for those not ready to navigate these conversations, following the footsteps of nearly half of Americans by having a friend play the role of a ‘holidate’ is an increasingly popular option.