Here’s What I Say When People Ask Me Why I’m Still Single

I never used to think that being single was sad until I started noticing the look on people’s faces when I told them I wasn’t dating anyone. I’m happy being on my own, but I am beyond fed up with being pitied for it. Here’s what I say to people now when they ask me about my relationship status.

  1. “The last thing I need in my life is a boyfriend.” You may as well be honest. Most people think that single women are failing at womanhood and desperate to find a partner, but just being real and telling them you’re definitely not looking for a relationship will shut them down pretty quickly. If they don’t understand that, it’s clearly their problem, not yours. Let them know that you’re single because you want to be and move on to the next topic.
  2. “I don’t settle, and I certainly won’t be ‘settling down’ anytime soon either.” If they’re asking you whether you’re in a relationship, it’s probably because they want to get to know you better. What better way to introduce yourself to someone than by making it clear that you don’t play by the conventional rules and are single by choice because no one you’ve met has deserved you? Make it clear that you don’t lower your standards for partners just so that you can fit old fashioned ideas about what women are supposed to want.
  3. “My relationship status is the least interesting thing about me.” Don’t let anyone off the hook for asking a lazy question. Your relationship status doesn’t define you, nor is it relevant to the person asking. Don’t be afraid to be confrontational about it. Tell them you’re more interesting than your dating status and wait for them to come up with a better question. It’s their responsibility to move the conversation forward.
  4. “As if.” Is there ever a time when quoting Clueless won’t solve all of your problems? It’s doubtful. With the conviction and charm of Cher Horowitz behind you, no one will have the nerve to ask a follow-up question, and even if they do, you’ll be able to stare them down in the classiest and most unapologetic way possible
  5. “I’m having way too much fun to tie myself to someone.” When in doubt, make them jealous. It’s hard for anyone to not feel slightly envious when they learn someone is having more fun being single than they ever did. Let them know how much you enjoy being single and they won’t bring the topic up again.
  6. “I don’t have time for a relationship right now. I have bigger ambitions.” Women are so much more than their relationship status and people need to understand that. Start by telling them you don’t have time to date anyone and then explain why. Tell them the relevant details about yourself, like how you’re advancing in your career or finding meaning in your life beyond dating. You’ll be doing them a favor. Everyone needs to recognize that life is about more than your relationship status.
  7. “I’m playing the field.” Sometimes it helps to be evasive. While saying “it’s complicated” will probably cause them to ask follow up questions, declaring that you’re “playing the field” tells them just enough to impress them, but not enough to make them feel entitled to further questions. Marking yourself as a woman of mystery will make them less nosy in the future.
  8. “Is that the first thing you ask guys too?” When in doubt, call them out on sexism because goodness knows, it’s necessary. The ultimate power play is to respond to unnecessary questions with your own questions, especially when you’re bringing up important issues. Make them uncomfortable. Make them question themselves and their reasons for asking the question. They don’t need to know if you’re dating anyone, but they should know why it’s the first thing they chose to ask you.
  9. “Luckily, I don’t get my validation from whether or not I’m dating anyone.” The fact that someone feels the need to know your relationship status says more about them than it does about you. Anyone who thinks your value rests on who you are or are not dating deserve to be enlightened to the fact that relationship status is irrelevant. By making it clear that you’re confident and happy on your own, you’ll be giving them a much-needed reality check.
  10. “I like casual sex too much.” If people are going to be boring enough to ask about your relationship status instead of something more substantial, the least you can do is spice things up by making it awkward. Chances are your mention of casual sex will embarrass them into silence, or maybe even spark an interesting conversation.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.