From Our Readers

What NOT To Say To A Single Person

...You know what I'm talking about.

I’m not sure of the exact timeline, but there seems to come a point where people feel you have been single soooo long that they must help you figure out why. You become a puzzle, a solvable problem, a question with an answer that family, friends, and strangers are going to solve for you, because don’t you know? You’re single because…

1)   You just need to become more confident. This could be a legitimate reason, however, this is not something that’s easy to hear from others. This is not helping my confidence level, though, knowing that I seem insecure makes me overly conscious of it and then I just get more awkward.

2)   You’re too comfortable being single. Okay, this could also be true. Alternately, should I be uncomfortable while I’m single? I don’t see the point in that and it seems counter-productive to the promotion of my own well-being. I’m a full person with or without a significant other. I can’t put my life on hold until I meet someone, I’d never do anything if I did that. But…I also see the concern. I like to stay where I’m comfortable.

3)   You should try talking to people. This is my favorite because it implies that I haven’t thought of this or that meeting people is really that simple. People mean well but, come on, we’re all better than this suggestion.

4)   You should put yourself out there more. See above.

5)   Guys are probably intimidated because you’re so smart and funny and pretty. Thanks Mom, I love you, but I think maybe we just focus on reality on this one.

6)   You’re being too picky. There was a time in my life when I just wanted someone to be interested in me – they just had to be male and around my age, no other requirements. Thank god, nothing came out of this phase except a higher investment in my own self-worth. These days, I feel like I’m pretty realistic – I’m not perfect and I’m not expecting to find someone who is. Also, I feel like, if ever there was a time to be picky…maybe this is one of those times.

7)   You shut down. Touché. I do. I’m not good at flirting and I’m not good at picking up on flirting. Instead, I like to play the you-can’t-see-me-because-I’m-not-looking-at-you game. I’m basically undefeated thus far, so, I’m pretty good. I think the downside to this one is pretty obvious…oops.

8)   You’re so young. I’m 26. When you were my age you had been married for five years, had two kids, a mortgage, and a career. I have two degrees and a lot of student debt. Let’s not play this game.

9)  It’s just not the right time. This is the only response I get that I whole-heartedly agree with.

It could be that I’m single for a hundred million reasons that I’ll never understand or admit to, however, ultimately, my time just hasn’t come yet. I don’t know why – and I might never get to know. What I do know is that in the meantime, I have accomplished a lot and put a lot of work in to becoming the woman that I am right now. I’m a work-in-progress, my life is a work-in-progress, and I don’t know who all of the main players are yet, but I’m excited to find out. I’m excited to see what’s next, where I end up, and who chooses to come along for the ride.

So why don’t you just go along with me, instead of trying to solve an unsolvable situation?

Catherine Aleman recently left grad school to explore the world and move out of her hometown.  She watches too much Netflix and routinely texts the wrong things to the wrong people.  She’s on twitter, @mental_arts, and you can check out her blog.

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