Let’s face it, we live in a society that rewards and supports people who are coupled up in a relationship. Even if that relationship isn’t one that is healthy and happy. Yes, even then.
The message is clear: it’s better to be in a relationship—any relationship at all—than to be single.
That message is total crap. I know it. You (hopefully) know it. But that doesn’t seem to matter.
Because even when a single person is able to find happiness and acceptance of themselves and their relationship status, they still have togo out into the world. A world that loves to remind them they do not have a partner. And that means often having to deal with questions and comments that aren’t just annoying, they’re also completely inappropriate.
So, without further ado, here is a general idea of some of the things you should not say to single women.
Ugh, this damn question. When I was single, I wanted to shout back at the person asking, “If only I knew then I could do something about it!!!”. That response, however, did not help my cause. Because the underlying question within this question tends to be, what’s wrong with you that is keeping you single?
First of all, the answer to this is no one’s business but the single person’s. We pretty much never even think to ask someone in a relationship why they are in a relationship, so why is common decency lifted just because a person is single?
This question may create an emotional reaction in the single person because they would prefer to be in a relationship, and because it puts them on the defensive. Suddenly this woman is forced to explain and defend her life and life choices.
Maybe it’s none of your business. How about that? I once sat through a company holiday party while a coworker (whom I actually really liked) explained to me all the ways I could be sabotaging potential relationships. And it all had to do with being too picky. Which actually means, you should consider lowering your standards.
Ummm, why, exactly would anyone want to do that? A single person does not need to be fixed. Being single isn’t a bad thing. And being told you’re too picky is the same as telling someone it is actually their own fault for not being coupled up.
This comment perpetuates the idea that women are supposed to be in a relationship. And if they aren’t, well it’s not about timing or finding the right partner, it’s because she is doing something wrong.
Again, this comment lets the single person know that if they are single it’s because of something they are doing wrong. In this case, you’re just trying too hard.
Yeah, you want something so badly but apparently you need to just stop wanting it (like that’s an easy switch to flip in your brain) and then you’ll find it.
I can’t tell you how many times people told me some version of, “it’s just so crazy! As soon as I stopped trying to find someone, that’s when Mike appeared!”. Barf. As a single person I did not want to hear about your success story, especially when it was being used against me. Because, clearly, I wasn’t playing the game in the way you thought I should be playing it.
People so often want to be helpful and supportive, but this is unsolicited advice. Unless the single person asks you specifically for your thoughts on how to find a partner, consider just listening and not trying to fix the situation.
Ah, the double standard of it all! If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. If you aren’t trying too hard to find someone, then clearly you aren’t trying hard enough.
This comment once again puts the blame of being single on the single person. It also implies being single is something that can—and should—be fixed. But only if you follow the commenter’s advice.
First of all, you actually have no idea how much this person is or isn’t putting herself out there or why. Out of a desire to help this person achieve what you consider to be a necessary step in finding a partner, you are judging something you can’t possibly understand.
Frankly, this type of comment is hurtful and condescending. Let’s just stop saying it altogether.
When someone is single and wants to be in a relationship so badly (like I was), she is always on the lookout for her someone. She doesn’t know how to—or want to—stop thinking about what she’s looking for in a partner and if the people she meets fit that criteria.
And why should she?
It’s one thing to try to give someone advice—however unsolicited it might be—that is tangible and can actually be measured. Like, “maybe you aren’t dating enough”. While still rude and presumptive, it can be “fixed” by going on more dates. But when you tell someone it will happen when they least expect it you are giving them advice over which they have no control.
The result? The single person could feel completely defeated. Oh cool, it will only happen when I’m not expecting it. But I’m always “expecting” something. So, this will never work for me.
This comment once again tells the single person that she is doing something wrong and that it is her fault that she is single. Ask yourself, is this the message you really want to send?
This is toxic positivity. It’s also gaslighting. And once again it places all of the blame on the single person.
By telling someone to simply stop worrying and start thinking positive you are not validating the actual thoughts and feelings they are dealing with when it comes to being single. You are telling them that their concerns don’t matter and don’t need to be processed. Instead, the single person should bury their feelings under a heap of positive thoughts.
Positivity is great, but every person on this planet deserves to feel their feelings. No matter how negative or messy. No one can move into a place of positive thinking until they’ve validated their worries and fears.
This one just makes me mad. I heard it SO many times when I was single and every time it made me question who I was and the life I had created.
This comment is completely unnecessary. It does not help the single person in any way and instead questions who they are. Maybe she is professionally successful, or makes a lot of money, or has opinions that she doesn’t hesitate to share. Maybe she has a ton of confidence and won’t tolerate being around people who don’t respect her and her boundaries.
Not a single one of those things are the reason she’s single. By telling her she’s intimidating you are shaming her life choices. You’re telling her, if you just weren’t so successful or opinionated then you would have a partner.
But that partner then wouldn’t love and appreciate the single person for who she is. And what kind of a relationship is that?
It is hard enough to be a single woman when you want to be in a relationship. The last thing you need is to be told that it’s because of the strong traits that make you, you.
We know we can't stop every person from asking these uncomfortable and inappropriate questions, but what can we do about it? If you're looking for a little support in dealing with these situations, we've put together a FREE guide to help you respond in a way that doesn't ruin your entire conversation. It's called How To Handle Uncomfortable Questions and Comments, and you can get it right now!
As for these annoying comments, what should we add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!
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