So, have you found yourself a boyfriend yet?
I like to respond to this question with an equally invasive and personal enquiry: “Oh, not yet. Have you finally found a good bleacher for your upper lip?” Cheap shots, maybe, but I bet they shut up pretty soon. If they don’t get your point, then next time try something a little stronger: “Yeah… he’s right here. Hey, sweetie, this is my cousin, Sarah… She’s been so excited to meet you!” At this point, you can talk to thin air, or, if you’re really gunning for it, pull out an inflatable. I can guarantee you, unless your family is pretty kinky, they’ll definitely leave you alone until next Christmas…
But why? You’re such a catch!
Chances are, it’s been a while since your grandma, uncle, friend or whoever has been on the market. Take a moment to remind them what it’s like. Don’t forget to bring it up to the 21st century, too! Do they have the £20 a month to let you talk to other awesome people on an online dating site? Have they seen the people that go to bars in your hometown (the last guy I talked to in a bar asked me my name 5 times and still got it wrong when he texted me the next day. I did not text back.) Did they ever put themselves through the sheer torture of single’s nights? No? Then don’t let them expect you to, either.
Seriously, I do not understand how couples actually meet each other these days. It’s like having mutual interests and a series of dates doesn’t even matter any more. I can probably just download an app on my iPhone that tells me how close the next single person is and just roll over to them if the date I’m on isn’t doing it for me… (I have no idea if this is true, but the fact it’s probable saddens me.) Killing romance. There’s an app for that.
Really though, if you’re in a nice, functioning couple and you didn’t meet in line at the restaurant in IKEA (relationships should not be built upon a mutual appreciation of a 5 item breakfast for 96p, no matter what), then well done, and please, let the rest of us know how you managed it.
Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find it when you least expect it.
This is the stinger. The last lash before the subject finally gets dropped. Try not to bite at this line. People that aren’t single seem to forget that it’s entirely fine for us to be. I, for example, have a friend who recently got a boyfriend and now constantly tries to set me up with people every time we go out. (Which is why I get texts from people that can’t even remember my name.) I don’t want this! I’m happy to buy my own drinks, dance it out and go home alone to season 7 of Grey’s Anatomy. That’s what I want in my life right now. If there comes a time when I don’t want this to happen (probably never, that show is amazing) then I’ll let the world know and everyone can throw my number at as many guys with short term memory loss as they want to. Until then, just bear this final pity line with a gracious smile and try not to snarkily point out that you haven’t actually lost anything… that’s going to lead to another 20 minute conversation.
The thing is, your family just want you to be happy. Grandparents’ old-timey morals don’t allow for 21-year-olds to be single and have no prospects or Gentleman Callers… but chances are that your grandparents don’t have a bachelor’s degree either, and I’m not sure they’d want us to give those up anytime soon.
So, at your next family gathering, just hold your wine like a classy lady and calmly work your way through these steps as early in the night as you can, leaving you free to continue the night without being blindsided with questions of your personal life by a drunken relative at the buffet table…