“Oh my god, really? How can you be single? You’re so awesome!” I hear this a lot, and it isn’t as much of a compliment as you might think. I know you’re only trying to tell me you think I’d be a great catch — which I know is a nice sentiment — but it also puts the emphasis on me being single, which makes me feel like you think I’m lacking something without a relationship.
- I don’t need you to feel sorry for me. Seriously, I can see it in your eyes. The glaze of pity clearly communicates, “Oh, you poor thing” louder than any words can. I know you don’t mean to, but it can come off as condescending when you ask me why I’m single. It makes me feel like what you’re really asking is, “What’s wrong with you that you can’t seem to fix in order to attract a guy?”
- Dating is boring. I can’t be alone in this feeling! Dating is 95 percent boring small talk with dudes who are bored by you too. We endure this for the five percent chance of meeting someone who makes us feel that spark. Sometimes, I’m just too fed up with that boring majority to bother dating around in search of that slim chance of chemistry.
- I’m doing tons of other things with my time. Instead of asking me why I’m single, ask me what I’ve been up to lately. I promise the answer to that question will be way more interesting than me saying, “I don’t know why I’m single.” I could tell you about the new projects I’m working on or the instrument I’m learning to play. I might have a funny story about one of the thousands of awkward mishaps I get into on the daily; you might have a much better time talking to me about almost anything else.
- You’re right, I am pretty great. While it’s nice to hear, I don’t really need the reassurance of my good qualities. I know that I’m a good catch, and I’m not exactly looking for validation of that. Being single doesn’t make me depressed about my self-worth.
- My life revolves around more than dating. No, seriously, it does. That’s probably the real reason behind my state of singleness. I’ve had opportunities for romance, and I’ve decided to put them on hold in search of other accomplishments in my life. This doesn’t make me a brittle, type-A heroine of a rom-com. I have room in my heart for the possibility of love. But I’m just not living like it’s my sole purpose.
- You don’t know if I even want to be coupled. I think people automatically assume that the default desire of a single woman is to be in love. That may be true for a lot of us, but it’s so much more complex than that. Sometimes I wish I was in a relationship, and sometimes I’m relieved that I’m not. Assuming I’m dying to revoke my single status isn’t the best way to approach me.
- I’m more than the state of my relationships. I’m a whole human being, filled with dreams and hopes and flaws just like anyone else. I realize it’s an easy conversation groove to get into, but there’s so much more to who I am than my relationship status on Facebook. Give me a chance to be a person, not just a girl waiting on a ring. I might surprise you.