Sara Altschule
October 06, 2014 7:17 pm

There are plenty of awesome perks to being single: independence, more girls’ nights out, freedom to choose what you watch on Netflix. But there’s one glaring con you totally forget until you’re back in the single game: all those comments from non-singles. People generally mean well, but if they’re not single themselves, they may lose sight of what you want to hear in the throes of romantic solitude, and what you really, absolutely don’t want to hear at all.

There are tons of assumptions people make about single folks, and not all of them are true. Not having a partner does not indicate that a person is unhappy. Being alone doesn’t necessarily translate to being lonely. Sometimes people want to be single and are happy this way. But not everyone gets that. So here’s to letting go of these common sayings and questions we could kind of do without.

1. “I have the perfect person for you.”

People mean well, and sometimes set-ups are the very best, but the assumption that we’re constantly on a search for the perfect partner isn’t always right on the money. It also makes us feel desperate, when we’re not. That’s not to say people should stop with the set-ups, but it’s important to know your audience. You know?

2. “You need to settle down, get married, have kids, etc.”

Settling down, getting married and having kids can all be amazing—if that’s what you want. However, this is not for everyone. It’s okay to never want to get married and not want to have children. Or maybe you want these things, but not right now. And it doesn’t always help when people try to tell you what you SHOULD want.

3. “You’re getting older.”

There is never an age when this statement will feel OK. It’s like someone’s setting a timer on your life. Falling in love and finding ‘the one’ has no expiration date.

4. “How come you’re still single?”

Oh, that dreaded question. There’s no good answer to this one. It makes people feel as if being single means there’s something wrong with them. Think about it, no one goes around asking “How come you’re in a relationship?”.

5. “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone.”

This statement assumes that the single person is “worried” about finding a mate, when there’s really nothing to worry about. It also suggests that finding someone is the ultimate goal in life, and that feels kind of invalidating.

6. “Have you tried online dating?”

Out of all the single lady questions, this one may be the least offensive. It’s a solid question, but user beware: it could be misinterpreted as pressure. The old “get back out there” is not always the thing single people want to hear when they’re fresh off the relationship boat.

7. “Maybe if you weren’t so [insert quirky thing here] you’d find someone.”

This could make a person feel bad about her unique qualities. And, so what if you’re a little kooky or you’ve watched Lord Of the Rings five hundred times? There’s someone for everyone. Isn’t it better to find that person who will love that part of you? Yes! The answer is totally yes.

8. “When you least expect it, it will happen.”

This one could be a little frustrating because what if you really are looking? Just because someone is open and ready for a relationship, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Just as it’s OK to not want to be in relationship, it’s perfectly cool to be seeking one out if that’s what you want. You shouldn’t have to pretend not to care in order to find love, amirite?

9. “Ugh, I always hated dating. I can’t imagine doing that again.”

Do you really need to remind a single girl of this? Trust me, after she’s been on a bad first date, she has this same thought too.

10. “You just need to put yourself out there more.”

For us shy gals, this is our worst nightmare. Dating can be scary and overwhelming. And maybe we’re not that comfortable with the dating scene.

11. “Maybe you’re just too picky.”

What does ‘too picky’ really even mean? So what if your girlfriend wants a guy with a steady job? We all have our priorities and our deal-breakers, and we’re entitled to them. Bottom line: it’s OK to want things. Also, why does it feel people are always trying to ‘fix’ us single folks?

12. “Have you thought about trying out for The Bachelor?”

This one doesn’t actually need an explanation. 

13. “When I was your age, I was already married with kids.”

There’s no timeline for finding true love. It could happen in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. Heck, maybe it’ll happen in your 90’s. There is no universal path that’s right for everyone, and that’s OK. So dear, wonderful, well-meaning friends, maybe just hold that thought. We got this.

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