Asking A Woman Why She’s Single Is A Stupid Question — Don’t Ask It

We’re not in a relationship, and while that fact is a very small part of our amazing lives, it seems to be the central focus of most people we met. “Why are you single?” becomes a refrain we hear on an almost daily basis, and frankly, we’re sick of it. Not only are we tired of justifying our relationship status or lack thereof, we shouldn’t have to because it’s none of your business.

  1. If We Knew The Answer, We Wouldn’t Be Single. Whenever we asked this question, we can’t help but assume the person asking it believes there must be some obvious reason we’re repelling men and can’t manage to land a boyfriend. Forgive us if, after being asked this several times in the span of an hour, we get a little offended. We don’t know why we’re single — if we did, don’t you think we would do something to change it? We just haven’t met a great guy yet, okay?
  2. We Don’t Want Your Opinion. When we don’t have an answer to this question, why do people feel the need to come up with their own reasons instead? Usually, the suggestion is that we’re too picky or that our standards are too high, but whatever your opinion is, it’s both unneeded and unwelcome. We’ve heard every excuse in the book for why we’re boyfriend-free and we’re really not interested.
  3. Our love lives aren’t a problem that needs fixing. Getting asked this question in the first place is bad enough, but being looked down on as if we’re some sob story that needs fixing just adds to our frustration. God forbid we’re actually happy being uncoupled, in which case we get the patronizing, “Oh good for you!” It’s clear you think we’re deluding ourselves and that’s BS.
  4. We don’t need or want your pity. Being single doesn’t require your pity, and your assumption that we are sad, lonely and miserable is infuriating. Being happy alone is a possibility and as much as this might lead to shock and awe, it isn’t an entirely novel concept. Just because you have never been able to be happy alone, doesn’t mean that you need to project that insecurity on us, thank you very much.
  5. Stop Being So Nosy! Asking why we’re single is straight up rude. It’s invasive and could have a very personal answer we don’t particularly want to share with you. If you don’t know why someone is single, it’s probably because you don’t know us well enough — in which case, you don’t actually know us well enough to ask. Maybe we recently broke up with someone or we’ve been concentrating on work or any number of things. No matter the reason, it’s really none of your business.
  6. Why Are YOU in a Relationship? No one ever asks this question and you would certainly be insulted if we did. It would come across as a dig to your relationship, and that’s how we take it too. When you ask us why we’re single, we take it personally — especially if we’re single out of choice. Please stop judging our lifestyles and concentrate on your own.
  7. We even get asked this question by single people — WTF? Regardless of whether we’re in a room with colleagues, friends or casual acquaintances, this question never seems to be off-limits. It’s almost like we should expect this interrogation at every social event we attend. The weirdest thing is, half the time we get asked this by fellow single people. What the hell?
  8. There really is no good answer. The worst part is that we’ll never be able to answer in a way that satisfies the person asking. If we laugh if off, we’re hiding some internal pain at our eternal spinsterhood. If we tell the asker a genuine reason, you get awkward and think we’re oversharing. If we don’t know, you make it your personal mission to help us find the answer together. Whatever happens, neither of us are coming out of this conversation in a positive place. Please, for the sake of all who are single, never ask this question again.
Michelle Elman is a body confidence activist, certified life coach, creator of Scarred not Scared, and founder of Mindset for Life. She’s written for publications including Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Grazia and appeared on ITV’s “This Morning,” Sky News, Loose Women, and more. She’s also the author of the book “How To Say No.” You can follow Michelle on Instagram at @michelleelman, on Twitter @michelleelman, or on her website,