One in five singles admit inventing a partner at Christmas

Relationship studies  |  December 15, 2021

eharmony experts surveyed a sample of 2,000 adults in the UK and identified a new Christmas dating trend, which shows single people pretend to be coupled up to avoid prying questions from family and friends. Coined “snow-faking”, the trend is most common among people aged 18-34.


one in five single people invented a partner for the festive period

Based on research commissioned by Opinium between 24th and 28th September 2021, comprising a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults (18+) with a boost to 1,000 singles

Reasons to pretend

The desire to invent a fake-partner is to avoid “bubble-bursting” questions from family and friends as to why singletons are not in a relationship. It’s very understandable that some singles feel that they have to snow-fake to fend off festive questions from family. It can be excruciating when you feel that you are being judged on your relationship status. When you are looking for love, the most important thing is finding someone that shares your core values and character traits, rather than being pressured into the wrong relationship. That often takes time and careful consideration. Meanwhile, for those who haven’t reached the stage where they feel a need to fake, preparation can be the key to help you get through the festive period unscathed.

Most annoying questions about single status

Over one in ten (13%) singles say they routinely fend off questions from close ones about their relationship status at Christmas, and the questions that bother people the most are – ‘have you got a partner yet?’ (19%) and ‘do you think your standards are too high?’ (14%).  The ticking clock also seems to be driving the snow-faking trend, with 16% worried about being asked if they might be leaving it a little late to couple up or how long they imagine they’ll be single for (15%).  Thankfully, not everyone feels pressured romantically over the festive period. Three in five singles (58%) prefer to prioritise seeing family and friends. And lacking a partner is clearly not an issue for the one in five (21%) scrooge-like singles who say they’d rather not splash out on a gift for a partner this year2.  

Most common questions from family during the festive season (% who agree)

Are you still single?

Do you think your standards are too high?

How long do you think you’ll remain single?

n = 1000; Percentages rounded; supported
Study information
  • Study typeOnline survey
  • Populationy2000
  • Sample Size1000
  • Reference PeriodSeptember 2021
  • Region/City/CountryUK
  • LanguageEnglish