It’s that Time of Year: The Question No One Likes to Hear…

It doesn’t matter if you’re single or not; happy or sullen. People will ask:

Why are you still single? Not engaged yet? Not married yet?” Etc.

The question is super annoying, but it won’t go away. And it seems like this time of year, holidays in full swing and reunions with loved ones and old friends aplenty, the question comes at you from left and right. And yeah, it can suck. But it happens, and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of asking it of friends myself, even though I know how exasperating it can be to be on the receiving end.

So, how to handle those awkward inquisitions that are sure to come your way?

Turn the question around
Ask the person about his or her significant other. Be nice–it can be tempting if you know the friend is kind of miserable in his/her relationship to lash out for their insensitivity, but be the bigger person and leave out any sardonic undertones. And if they’re happy, be happy for them. People love talking about themselves, so it can be quite easy to bury the question!

Be honest
“I just haven’t met someone yet” or “Things just haven’t worked out” or “I haven’t thought about it lately, I’m pretty busy with [school, work, other commitments]” are perfectly fine answers. Don’t make up a false significant other just to shut them up. 😀

…But be interesting
By the same token, the honest answer might be kind of trite. Melodrama that turns into a good narrative is always a better option (“I just ended it with the craziest person I’ve ever met. Funny story…”) Because there’s always a juicy twist, and even the politest friends will love to hear it! Just be sure you can actually quip about it, but hey, nothing like tears to make sure the other person NEVER asks you that question again…

And finally—

Just be flattered!
If your relationship status puzzles someone, it probably means they think you deserve the next logical step (relationship if you’re single, engagement if you’re dating, kids if you’re married…etc). So swallow your irritation, pick one of the methods above, and take the compliment!

How do YOU handle The Question?

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3 comments
  1. Lily said:

    haha. great post! i definitely agree with your point about being flattered. being single in college isn’t really a big deal, but i definitely get the question a lot from my parents about why i don’t have a boyfriend. and my answers have typically been either “i’m focusing on my studies” or “i’m not bothered by it, so you shouldn’t be either.” and they’ve worked pretty well!

  2. Pam said:

    You’re right, in college it’s not that big a deal, but still annoying!! And ugh, parents are the worst about it–but they mean ever so well!! I like your answers…especially the second one. Give ’em some sass and they’ll think twice about asking again! (Friends at least…parents no!)

  3. Kyle said:

    Those questions are often thrown around this time of year aren’t they?

    My friends have been the biggest inquisitive crowd to ask and I tell them the same everytime, I just can’t be bothered to think about a relationship right now when I want to take care of me and my own first, especially with how I want my career to take off.

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