From Our ReadersSurviving Family Interrogations About Your Love LifeFrom Our Readers

If you’re anything like me, then anytime your family gathers together in more than groups of 5 then, at some point or another, your single life if going to be dragged into conversation in the least subtle way possible. (It doesn’t matter if your sister or cousin or brother is also single single or, even worse, have a sex-friend that they aren’t committed to, you are single and that is the worst.) These questions got asked to me no less than 20 times over Christmas, and so I thought I would share with you the best ways to avoid them/get them over with as quickly as possible…

So, have you found yourself a boyfriend yet?

If one more person asks me this, I might actually cut someone. Though, it’s not the worst… Somebody I know actually told me I need a boyfriend. (As long as this is somebody you know, you shouldn’t get too upset. When it gets to the point where strangers are more concerned about your sex life than you are, then you should worry. Until that point, you’re fine.)

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!

I know! I am fully aware of how awesome I am. I must just intimidate every boy with a pulse because of my stunning good lucks and stellar personality…

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…

By Elizabeth Mitchell

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  1. my family tells me all the time I need to date, and “why don’t you?” “I want grand kids” yeah, yeah that’s nice…
    BUT … you write: “Though, it’s not the worst… Somebody I know actually told me I need a boyfriend. ”
    How about this – two of my good guy friends one night are hitting on these girls, and one basically tells the girls that I’m not really a female because “she’s not somebody any of us would ever hook up with” and then later tells me that he doesn’t want a relationship with any of them, he’s just enjoying being single but “you need to get a boyfriend.”
    Needless to say, I don’t really speak to him anymore :)

  2. As if this wasn’t brilliant enough, you added that little part about Grey’s Anatomy. Perfection.

  3. This is exactly what I experience every time I see my family. They all think I am too focused on school and should try online dating :/ My aunt even offered to make me a profile page on match.com!

  4. I heard this comment once… a friend said ” You really need to get a boyfriend” and another replied ” What did I do that was so wrong to deserve that kind of punishment ?”

  5. Hah! This is fabulous! I have just really started to get this pressure from some of my relatives this past year (I turned 24, so apparently that is the golden age where love must be found or something). I too don’t mind buying my own beverages, dancing my life away hard, and ending the night cuddled up with my favorite boo-ME!

  6. I can totally relate! my grandmother thinks that because i’m single i must not like boys

  7. how about: “Maybe if you focused a little less on school and a little more on boys, we wouldn’t be having this discussion?”
    My Aunt. Verbatim.

  8. My favorite was when my grandmother told me I needed to lower my standards.

  9. haha i can totally relate.

  10. Well I can Honestly say that I dont have a problem with relatives or friends asking me these questions because I am taken but I do see you point , I was ONCE single~LOL Funny thing I met My Bf on myspace when I turn 18 and we been together ever since, we actually live together now and we have a house~ that was like 5 years ago~

  11. I’ve said it before…I’ll NEVER EVER understand the pressure people give single people to find someone. Now, I’m sure there are those out there that live every day trying to find someone & wondering why he/she hasn’t come along yet, but I can honestly say, that is not me. What about this do friends & family not understand? When I say I don’t mind being single, and they turn their heads to the side & make pouty lips, I think they think that I’m lying & I want the pity. It’s like some of us singles can’t prove to them enough that we don’t mind being single!

  12. Hilarious! I can totally identify with this, except for ’21′ read ’29′. Last year my Grandma called me on my birthday, asked me the above question, then when I said ‘no, I don’t have a bf right now’ she replied ‘Shona, what’s wrong with you?’ Nice!

  13. haha, i’m glad not only my family’s like that. Can’t they just be happy about me living my super crazy single life? xD