A well-meaning colleague recently asked me if I am dating anyone and, when I answered that I’m not, he asked if his wife could set me up with someone. I tried not to groan audibly and resisted the urge to send both of them directly to this blog post.
Ugh. Not only do I have no desire to date anyone at the moment, and especially not someone I’ve never met before, but I’m also sick to death of people in couples insisting that I either need to meet the special someone they know who is also single, or that I need to get out there and find someone (although no one ever tells you where “there” is); it’s as if they think me being single is something that needs to be fixed. Like it’s not OK that I’m OK with being single.
And that’s not the only thing this single girl is sick of hearing. In no particular order, I’m also quite over hearing following comments and phrases.
1. Do you have a husband/fiancé/boyfriend?
I get this question All. The. Time. Mostly from total strangers. A lot of the time at work events. And I’m not sure if it’s the question that annoys me as much as the reaction to my answer, which is a curt “no”. The reaction is a head tilt, pause, and then a surprised and concerned, “oh.”
To a single person, or at least to this single person, this question is as offensive as asking a new bride when she plans to become pregnant. It’s inappropriate and none of your business, so stop asking. And, while you’re at it, stop asking new brides when they plan to have kids.
Things get really awkward after I say “no,” because the asking party usually expects me to elaborate. They expect an, “I just got out of a long relationship” or “I’m just taking some time for myself right now,” or “I’m focusing on my career right now.” The conversation usually halts and we go our separate ways once they realize I’m not going to elaborate.
There are a billion more interesting, more appropriate things to ask a person that don’t involve prying into their love life. Ask me what I do for a living or why I love living in Vail… I promise you, my response will lead us into a much deeper, much more meaningful conversation.
2. You’re going to find someone when you least expect it.
This one is a little bit comical since it’s sometimes interjected into the same conversation as the aforementioned, “you just need to put yourself out there more.”
Am I the only one who finds those two pieces of advice, when paired together, terribly confusing? Not to mention this is, quite frankly, the weakest piece of advice I’ve ever been given.
As content as I am to be single, I truly believe that I could meet someone tomorrow with whom I want to spend the rest of my life. Life is just funny that way sometimes. But according to this theory, by even stating that I think this could happen, I’ve jinxed myself. Furthermore, I know several people who have ended up happily married as a result of actively seeking out – one might even say expecting – a relationship. See? Weak advice.
3. You should try online dating.
I did. I did not enjoy it one bit and do not plan to try it ever again.
4. Don’t give up.
I haven’t given up. I’m only thirty-freaking-one, people. It’s not as tragic as you seem think it is to spend a good portion of your adult life as a single. Being happy and content with where my life is right at this moment is not the same as giving up. Stating that I’m focused on making my life as fulfilling and rewarding as possible, regardless of whether or not I have a boyfriend – regardless of whether or not I ever get married or have kids – is not the same as giving up.
I might get married and have kids one day. I might not. No matter what, I promise you that I am living and will continue to live a life that is filled to the brim with things that make me happy and fulfill me, not the least of which is a network of the most amazing friends and family I could ask for.
And, yes, of course I get lonely sometimes. And I do think sometimes that life would be easier if I had a partner (mostly when I have to move heavy stuff). But, and correct me if I’m wrong, if you’re married don’t you sometimes feel even just a little smothered? And don’t you sometimes think that you’d love a little extra time to yourself? Thinking those things doesn’t mean you no longer want to be married, just as feeling lonely sometimes doesn’t mean I no longer want to be single.
At the end of the day, we all have our sore subjects. Maybe you’re the bride I mentioned earlier. Or maybe you’re sick of people telling you how to calm your crying baby or raise your kids. I, for one, think it’s good to put it out there and talk about it – even if it’s in a blog rant – because, just maybe, it helps us all be a little more sensitive to one another, a little kinder toward our friends and strangers alike.
So, go ahead and rant. Tell me in the comments: What are you sick of hearing?