Don't Ask Me Why I'm Single

It amuses me that my family has a much different way of asking whether I’m married than when a stranger asks. For example, that time I was at Starbucks and was helping a guy out with his computer and he said someone of my ethnicity and age should be married by now.

No Pressure

When I saw some of my family last week at a baby shower, a family friend asked if I was married or had kids. I said, “Heck no,” and she responded with a nod and said, “Good.”

My family is great about this. Not one single aunt, uncle, cousin, or even my grandmother has ever pressured me about finding someone to marry or having children. And thankfully, that’s not something I pressure myself about either.

I know exactly why I’m single, and there isn’t one particular reason for it because it’s a situation that has to do with so many factors. I don’t always mind it. To be honest, there are some weekends where I do feel bummed about spending so much time alone and not having a romantic interest who wants to invite me out or have me over for movies and naps.

I do get bummed out that nearly all the men I meet now are either interested in someone else or are direct about not looking for anything serious, or as they say, “I’m just dating a lot and having fun.” Or worse, they do take me out for weeks/months, but then it turns out they were leading me on and I end up heartbroken and unable to meet someone new for a while. That’s my least favorite scenario.

When A Guy Asks

Unexpectedly, the question about why I’m single has been asked to me by other single men. When they ask, it tends to sting a little because I almost want to hold them responsible for it. For example, after hundreds of emails, several text messages, and hours on the phone, I thought I was developing a pretty cool connection with one particular guy. That is, until he said something like, “I’m not sure I understand how a girl like you is single.” It was supposed to be a compliment, I guess. It was supposed to be a nice way of saying, “You’re really awesome and there should be someone who wants you for himself.” But it hurt to realize that he wasn’t plugging himself into the equation of Me plus Him.

Sordid Results From Dating Sites

I think a lot about the difference between what exists in my mind versus what the rest of the world perceives. For example, I might see myself with one particular type of man, but in the real world, that kind of guy doesn’t see himself with a woman like me. Then it turns into this whole thing about marketing, how I present myself to the “market” and what kind of men I will attract. I can’t even trust my online dating profile to properly attract the right kind of “customer,” because I’ve seen that regardless of what I write, the quality of the messages I receive is generally poor and does not bring to me the kind of man I seek. I’ve gotten messages from men who have children, and while that’s amazing, I don’t want to come second or third place to their kids. I very much want to be a top priority to someone I start to date long term. I’ve gotten very RUDE messages in which the guy is giving me a hard time for not replying to his first message. Apparently I’m under some strict obligation to reply to every single generic message I get. And they think I can’t read through their copy/paste job, but I can, because nothing in the message has anything to do with what is in my profile. Keep that in mind as you sift through your own dating profile messages, if it helps.

A Few Reasons

Here’s a quick list of reasons why I’m single, and probably why a lot of other awesome women are single as well:

  • I tried dating, but the guys I met were also seeing other women at the same time, even when we started seeing each other frequently.
  • I got hurt pretty bad and I’m doing my best to liberate my heart from the disappointment so I can see the new and better romantic opportunities.
  • I’m single because guys I give the time of day to are too busy obsessing over women who aren’t giving them any time or even a chance.
  • The dating pool is cloudy with a swarm of “emotionally unavailable” men who are just dating around.
  • I can date a guy for several weeks or months without him committing to me, but as soon as I’m out, he’s in a relationship with the next girl.
  • I look my best and I don’t let my weight drag me down, but I still meet men who are fixated on a specific body type regardless of whether a woman has an amazing personality.
  • They lie about being married!
  • They lie about having girlfriends!

Great Reasons To Further Enjoy Being Single

  • Sometimes I really just want my weekends to myself.
  • I love the flexibility of realizing that all of the choices I make while single are solely based on my own feelings and interests.
  • Nothing I do has the risk of hurting someone’s feelings and starting unnecessary drama.
  • I can stay out late and hang out with whoever for as late as I wish.
  • No matter how much I miss having someone to comfort me on tough days, I’m still tough enough to get through them on my own.
  • I don’t owe anybody explanations about why I do what I do, nor will I ever find the need to apologize when I speak for myself.

Young Woman Alone in Movie Theater via

  • Melissa Linthicum

    Same here. My family never says anything to me! It’s always everyone else! I like being single! :)

  • Kay B. Douglas

    Marianna, I was reading this and wondering if I had possessed your mind and had written this piece OR you’re me in some alternate universe …

    This article is so spot on and explains exactly why I’m single and the various situations I find myself in. Paragraph 4 .. SO ME! And I so dislike the “how is someone like you single” question … ugh

    • Marianna

      Thanks! I might have snooped into your diary. Sorry!

  • Mariela Monegro

    Thank you for this very insightful and honest article! I think every single girl out there can relate to it!

  • Ramou Sarr

    I agree with so much of this and my typical reaction to this question is to just laugh. Because it’s a stupid question. It really, really is. I do, however, disagree with some of your listed reasons. It sounds like the female equivalent of The Nice Guy. You know, the guy who refuses to take any responsibility for himself and instead blames his singledom on women being too X, Y, & Z. I used to be really angry as a single lady, but it’s gotten easier once I took more responsibility for some of it. Maybe I was really awful at picking the right men. Or maybe (definitely) I need to do some more work on myself. I realize that this now sounds like an It Gets Better campaign, sorry for that. But this was great and has me thinking about things.

    • Marianna

      I feel that stuff was best reserved for a whole different article. I may have touched on that in a previous piece about nice guys finishing last, and I did write about how the “nice guy” or girl, does have to take responsibility for how they are choosing people to pursue.
      For example, I could be single because I never give someone a shot when they make it clear they are pursuing. As in, I do have to own up to the times that I”m rejecting others just because they don’t fit the flavor I am craving at the moment. Wow, that sounds awful.
      I meant for this piece to simply articulate the reaction that is felt when someone asks that question, especially when it’s coming from a potential romantic interest and I’m like, “Ugh, how DARE you ask me when I’m trying to be sweet on you?”

  • Lissell Paredes

    The reason I’m single is simple. The men I want don’t want me enough and the men I don’t want enough, are willing to offer me the sun, moon, and stars.

    And because I’m extremely picky.

    And because I have not been in the right place at the right time.

    And because I’m possibly the most unlucky person in love.

    • Marianna

      I feel like timing really has a LOT to do in terms of the times when I meet a guy, date him, but he commits to the next girl. Horrible timing! Especially when they say, “you’re awesome,” and I’m like, if I’m awesome, why aren’t we together? Blah!

  • Jen Georgeff

    Amen to the article and to everyone that commented above. One thing to add: I saw my celebrity boyfriend Aziz Ansari on Friday and he hit the nail on the head-there are so few “men” in our generation that are even worth dating, and the bar is set pretty low right now. And that makes him sad. Me too. Aziz, I know you aren’t ready to commit yet, I don’t think I am either, but when you’re ready, I’ll be here :)

  • Kathleen Rhea Galeos

    Marianna, this post is perfect. It clearly explains everything from the ins and outs of singlehood. I now know that I’m not alone :) Thanks for that!

  • Julia Kubke

    AGREE!!! After the big break up after 7 years of realationship I had 2 realatioships for a couple of month! It didn’ work out and I realized that I need time to be on my own! So, now I really enjoy being single and do what ever the eff I want, when I want, if I want for the first time since I was 17! It feels great :)

  • Anamaria Davila

    I LOVE this article! I have 1 aunt in particular that is ALWAYS reminding me about how her daughter is married and owns her own house & it should be everything one is suppose to aspire to have as a Latina. Sorry – but with 2 college degrees, a string of shitty relationships & the travel bug on my shoulder I much more prefer my single life! I’m sure my time will come but in the meantime I don’t need to dwell on what I don’t want. Great read!

    • Marianna

      Travel! So many older women have told me, “Don’t get married! Travel!” And they’re right. I take long drives to far away cities and states and the only person I have to check in with is my mom so she doesn’t worry. But I don’t have anyone bearing down on me with any insecurities about cheating or whatever.

  • Andrew Hanson

    You shouldn’t hold anything dumb a guy says against him. We’re still trying to figure out this while talking thing.

    • Marianna

      I’m glad you’re walking upright at this point. I’ve mostly figured out what the grunts all mean.

  • Evie Totty

    Loved this Marianna, you go girl! And yep, those are the reasons I’m single too! I’m so glad we are in a day and age where we don’t HAVE to have a man in order to SURVIVE. While it would be nice, it is no longer a requirement.

  • Kendall De Jong

    Loved this, thank you! It’s helpful to hear other ladies are in the same place in life that I am. :)

  • Kelly Harris

    the bit about internet dating is so true! I’m glad i’m not the only one finding it difficult to navigate- my friends all seem to be so lucky i was beginning to feel like it was just me! :)

  • Red Garner

    I have to say, in regards to the last list: the right partner SHOULD not have an issue with you basing your decisions on your own thoughts or feelings. Also, they shouldn’t cause unwarranted drama. Just saying.

  • Jill Zielinski

    Amen sister! This is my life! However, being single does have it’s perks, and I agree with what you said! It’s best to wait for someone who will respect you and treat you like the beautiful woman you are.

  • Kelly Stafford

    Ridiculously amazing and so spot on! So reassuring to know that there are other women going through the exact same thing as me!

  • Astrid Estrada Diaz

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve been single for awhile and a lot my friends keep asking me this question! Also..I know what you mean about dating someone who says “you’re amazing, I like you, we should see each other again.” and then you keep seeing each other and keep seeing each other and put more effort in etc. etc. and then BAM!!!!!!! They say they don’t want anything serious :\ Then why state that you want something quote unquote “real”? It makes no sense to me. This has happened to me 3 times already :\ yessh. Thank you for representing us single gals!

  • Julia C.

    Thanks so much for that article! LOVE it!
    I particularly have to agree with two statements: first of all the one about guys with kids – some ppl may think me anti-kids (which I’m not!!!) but I just don’t want a man with that kind of baggage and always being second place to his kids. Been there done that and let’s just say: NOT GOOD! (Well, the girl’s mother was a bit of a jealous nut case anyway…)
    And second: The thing about being able to make my own decisions without always having to take others into consideration. So Red, I only partly agree with you – of course your partner should respect your decisions! But the thing is if I got a partner and kids I HAVE to take them into account when I’m taking life-changing decision whether I want to or not. I, for example, quit my job 2 months ago and started university again full-time. I couldn’t have done that with kids and a husband in tow (I’m 29 btw)! Being single just gives you a lot more freedom in your decisions.

  • Laura Valiente

    Thank you!! I’m 20 and I’ve never dated in my life, just been lead on. I don’t meet any guys that are that right guy, its all just small talk, kind of frustrating but at the end the day it rules to be single. Although I’ve never been in a relationship, I don’t really want one and thank god my parents and family aren’t pressuring me at all. So amen to your article, because for a second I thought I was alone.

  • Kate Maggiolino

    So relatable to my life at the moment, after having 2 horribly failing relationships I have recently met someone who I actually feel a real connection with and supposedly he feels the same way and is always complimenting me and telling me “you’re a great person” and treats me like we are together, even in public, hugging and putting his arm around me and what not. Then when I ask him what we are exactly he says he doesnt want to “be with anyone” and wants to keep this just friends! Talk about confusion! This is making my acceptance of being single a little hard but I’m working on it!

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