What Not To Say To Single People

Ok, back to this conversation of being single!

Today am going to give you my conversational “makeover” tips on what not to say to single people. And baby do I have some experience with this one.

I think I have heard just about every singleness cliche under the sun, notably coming from both single friends and married friends. Most of the time, I fully believe that each of these comments are well-intentioned and meant to be encouraging. But the fact remains that they typically make single people feel the opposite of encouraged. So, I won’t claim to speak for single people everywhere, but I thought it might be fun and helpful to name my top 10 singleness cliches, and offer a little explanation for why the world might be a better place if we can avoid them from now on.

So here goes nothing Lol

10. “HOW ARE YOU STILL SINGLE?! ”

I think the bigger question is — how exactly is anyone supposed to respond to this question?! I know it’s usually intended as a compliment to a single person. And whenever I hear it, I try to take it as such and avoid rolling my eyes.

The problem with that comment is that it (a) it infers that I (or any reasonably normal, cool, marrying-aged person) should not “still” be single and (b) makes me feel like I have to defend or provide some justification (or at least an explanation) for said singleness. The truth is that most days, I totally dig my single life. Yes, there are ups and downs that come with being single, just like there are with being married. But I would much prefer a happy single life to settling for the wrong relationship any day.

So if that means that I am “still” single at this point in life, bring it on!

9. “YOU’RE JUST TOO PICKY”

To everyone out there who has ever been accused of being too picky, I say the opposite — power to picky-ness!!!

Now, I know that there is a time and a place for giving someone a chance. But I would much rather have my friends on the side of picky-ness and have the confidence to hold out for someone they feel is right for them, rather than yield to the pressure to be in a relationship with the wrong person.

So trust your single friends’ guts. If they aren’t feeling it with someone they are dating — even after just one date — support them. And if you do happen to strongly feel like they should give someone a little more time or a second chance, then if you are a close friend, say that. But do not accuse them of being too picky.

8. “OH! I HEARD THAT SO AND SO… (insert any unmarried guys’ name)… IS ALSO SINGLE! WANT ME TO HOOK YOU UP?”

OH. And you think I’m exaggerating.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have told someone I’m single, and before asking if I even want to be in a relationship, the person instantly starts racking their brain for anyone — anyone — they could know for a set-up, no matter how distant the connection.

Don’t get me wrong, this is usually 100% well-intentioned and I totally appreciate friends in the past who have thoughtfully introduced and/or set me up on dates with people they think would be a good match. But the problem is that more times than not, the person either (a) does not know the guy very well, or (b) does not know me very well, or (c) sometimes knows neither of us well at all but (d) always somehow thinks that this equation is fully sufficient for successful matchmaking. Suffice it to say, those set-ups usually don’t end well.

That being said and done I’m not against the idea of hook ups because some of my friends have met via set-ups. So I’m totally open to the possibility. We just need to have a little more in common besides both being “single”.

7. “YOU’LL MEET SOMEONE WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT”

This comment was definitely at the top of the list for many single people I’ve talked with recently. And I know it is overused because it can be true. Lots of people do genuinely meet someone they love when they “least expect it”. I’ve seen it happen many a time.

But here’s the thing, telling a single person that they will meet someone when they “least expect it” is simply not helpful. Even if that may end up being the case, and even if it is meant to be encouraging, the comment comes off sounding like the single person is doing something wrong by “expecting” “it” — whatever those two words even mean. And how is a person even supposed to respond?

I think my bigger issue with the comment is the fact that it’s simply not always true! Lots of my friends have met their spouses in settings where they are fully expecting (let’s use pursuing instead which is a better word) a relationship — like online dating, or asking friends for set-ups, etc.

6. “DAMN!! I WISH I WERE STILL SINGLE”

In my experience, this comment usually comes with some sort of conversation about all of the “freedom” that single people have…which I get. There are definitely some stellar perks that come with being single.

Single people get to set our own schedules, manage our finances just as we’d like, make big decisions on our own, choose our own meals, have opportunities to travel, and all sorts of other freedoms — which I fully appreciate! But there are a lot of challenges that come with being single too.

On the flipside, there are tons of freedoms that come with being married or in a relationship. Married people have the freedom of not having to bear the weight of making every decision on your own, they have the (potential) support of a second income, help with housework, the freedom to start a family and have kids, and on and on. But there are a lot of challenges that come with being married too.

So while I “get” that there may be things about being single that married people miss, I’m pretty positive that most of the time people who say this really don’t mean that they wish they were single. (Unless they are in an unhappy marriage — that’s an entirely different conversation.) So married people, let’s not glorify being single. And single people, let’s not glorify being married. Let’s just be real about them both.

5. “…. AND THAT’S WHY YOU ARE STILL SINGLE”.

Oh the nerve!! Please just promise that you will never ever say this to a single person or about a single person. EVER!!!

First of all, let’s keep the discussing-the-shortfalls-of-someone-not-present stuff to a minimum. We’re (usually) better than that. Second of all, it implies that if someone is single, there’s a massive character flaw behind that social status. There are a lot of reasons someone may be single, and most of them have to do with choices, preferences and priorities…not huge hangups.” SMH

4. “YOU MUST HAVE SO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS!”

Yes, single people definitely do not have the time demands of spending time each day with a spouse. And single people without kids do not have the time demands of spending hours a day raising children.

But most single people I know have other demands on their time, thanks to their wonderfully full lives. They spend time diving into their careers, they spend time traveling, they spend lots of time with their friends and family, they spend time living the best life they can. Guess what? We do not sit around all day with endless “time on our hands” watching Netflix and tweeting all day waiting for our time to come. Oh my gosh!! that would be miserable. We are out here living our best lives.

3. “SO, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MEET PEOPLE? ARE YOU PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE?”

Trust me — if a single person wants to meet someone, they have thought long and hard about what they want to be “doing” about it.

Everyone needs to be true to what feels best for them on this. Some love online dating, some love meeting new guys in bars, some love asking for lots of set-ups. But to be honest, I think most people would say that they are not over trying to “do” something about being single and are happy living their lives as they are. If a great guy comes into my life, then awesome! But in the meantime, I’d rather focus my time and energy on the people I already know and love.

2. “THE BIBLE SAYS THAT BEING SINGLE IS A GIFT, SO GOD MUST THINK YOU CAN HANDLE IT.” / “YOU ARE LUCKY TO HAVE THIS TIME TO LEARN FROM YOUR MARRIED FRIENDS AND PREPARE FOR MARRIAGE.” / “IF BEING MARRIED IS A DESIRE OF YOUR HEART, THEN GOD WILL GIVE IT TO YOU.” / “YOU KNOW, TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE.” / “WHEN YOU’RE READY, GOD WILL SEND THE PERFECT PERSON.”

Oh My God!!! Where do I start?? Now these I have heard way too many times. Let me say clearly that I am a Christian and my faith and scripture and prayer and church absolutely play a part in how I process life as a single person. On the hard days, they are often what get me through. But soundbites like these are annoying AF and often flat-out theologically misguided.

1.”I KNOW YOU’LL FIND SOMEONE” /”YOUR TIME WILL COME”.

This is another comment that is usually meant to make a single person feel better. But I feel like it is more often said to make the person saying it feel better, or to bring a conversation about being single to a close. For years, I always tried to make the person saying it feel validated, responding with something like, “I hope so!” or “well, we’ll see”. But I’m over it now, and try to respond instead with something like, “cool”.

You see, telling a single person that they will find someone is problematic because no one actually knows if that “someone” will come along. And the single person may not even be looking for someone, and may not dig the idea that their good time in life has not already come. Either way, though, it definitely puts the single person in an awkward position for a response, since there’s no good answer to that one.

So in summary, instead of giving assurances about what we don’t know, why not celebrate what we do? I know that at least I and my single (and married!) friends would so much rather focus on the good things in life today than whatever may be to come. So carpe the singleness diem, baby!

Whether you’re single, engaged or married, what crazy comments have you ever been told??

Drop a comment below 👇🏾

10 Comments

  1. I am so guilty of number 1& 10 I say that to people alot!
    In my defense number 10 you see someone who has almost everything any guy would dream of & hence the question.
    But thanks to you Penny I now know to stfu😂😂.
    Good stuff

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One comment that irked me off and made me so sad was the statement “You know at your age you should start thinking about conceiving because this is the right age”. I was sad at the thought that this particular guy thought I should just get pregnant for the sake of it or just get pregnant with a random guy because I need a toto that bad.. I shed a tear that night coz that guy didn’t know the struggles coz he didn’t understand me coz he’s living in a perfect world those are struggles he doesn’t understand coz to me getting a baby is a big deal with the perfect person for the perfect reason.. and the statement how come you are still single? I honestly would be a millionaire if I was always collecting a note for this question. So people need to be more understanding more empathetic…. Thank you for this nice read as usual my world put into words.

    Like

    1. Woi don’t get me started on the fact that people think getting pregnant will sort all your problems and that being single at some certain age is a crime or an offence. It really annoys me!!! I would have been LIVID from that comment. People just need to be more understanding and not assume everything. I totally understand where you are coming from❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Like

  3. Guilty of all these lines depending on the heart I am speaking to and the mood ofcourse LOL!!
    But I remember the most annoying for most prolly and even myself is ;
    NO 11:You know time is not on your side or your biological clock is ticking…
    I usually ask…whether that clock is ticking the person asking [roll eyes & get on another convo ]
    Thanks for teaching us..xoxo!

    Liked by 1 person

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