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SEX FILES: The challenges of flying solo as a single guest at weddings


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It’s time to dust off your dancing shoes and attempt to zip up that special occasion dress you haven’t worn since 2019. Wedding season is upon us!

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For singles, this marks the beginning of a four month emotional rollercoaster where you’re forced to come up with increasingly creative answers to prying questions about your marital status while encased in Spanx. If you’re in the midst of your own anxiety spiral about attending a wedding as a solo guest (perhaps, for the first time since 2020), it’s important to know that you’re not alone.

In preparation for a booming wedding season, Dating.com surveyed users about their past experiences as wedding guests and found that the majority of people have a lot of anxiety when it comes to flying solo. In fact, according to Dating.com, 63% of those surveyed said they only brought a date to avoid family members asking them about their love life.

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While bringing a date as a buffer may seem like the way to go, you might actually be better off attending your next wedding stag. More than half of those surveyed reported they felt they would have had a better time if they had attended solo rather than with the person they chose to bring. Adding fuel to the fire, a whopping 48% of respondents noted that they ended up breaking up with their partner following a wedding they attended together (yikes!)

On the other hand, 27% of respondents who attended a wedding solo ended up meeting a new romantic partner at the event. Of those connections, 20% went on to get married themselves.

It’s natural to feel anxious, but Maria Sullivan, VP and dating expert of Dating.com encourages solo guests to see wedding season as an opportunity. “Singles should feel confident and open-minded while attending the weddings of friends or family without a romantic partner. Weddings open doors to a huge amount of potential for new connections, and attending without a date shouldn’t be considered a negative,” she says.

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With that being said, if you need a pep talk to get you in the mood for the season of love, here are a few things to consider:

Turn your frown upside down.

No one likes the person sulking by the chocolate fountain all night. “If you go into the situation with a negative mindset, it is likely that you will end up ruining your own fun and other attendees will be able to see it,” says Sullivan.

Instead, having a great time at a wedding sans date starts with a positive mindset. Remind yourself why you’re there in the first place. As Sullivan notes, “wedding season should be a time to celebrate the union between your loved ones, and a time to have fun without thinking of outsider expectations when it comes to your dating life.”

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Find other solo guests

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“Weddings can be a fantastic place to meet new people. If you’re attending the wedding of a friend, it’s likely that many of the guests will be around the same age and potentially from the same area,” says Sullivan, who encourages singles to “keep an open mind to starting new connections or relationships.”

Don’t be the person who’s just there to hook up. Talk to everyone, whether you’re romantically interested in them or not. Many people have met their closest friends at weddings! If you need an ice breaker, “How do you know the bride and/or groom can be a great conversation starter!” says Sullivan.

Allow the wedding to be your oyster!

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to entertain a date – especially when they’re the one brooding by the snack table. Even if it means fielding a few intrusive questions about your love life, keep in mind that every wedding you attend solo is a bad date you don’t have to endure.

While wedding anxiety is very real, Sullivan reminds us, “there is no shame in proudly attending a wedding without a date, so don’t allow old-fashioned mindsets to get you down.”

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