‘Why are you still single?’ How to cope with awkward questions

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Why are you still single?

Why are you still single? It’s the question all single people dread but how do you deal with it gracefully? Charly Lester shares her experience of answering those awkward questions

If you’re not in a relationship then this is probably a question you’ve heard far too often. As if there’s a simple answer, and it isn’t a question you’ve asked yourself a hundred times already!

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you just shrug it off but at other times, this kind of question affects you more than you’d like. And sometimes you just want to reply with a snarky comment and get the other person to leave you alone immediately!

We all know that there could be myriad reasons why you’re single, from not being over your ex yet, to work commitments, to simply not having met the right person yet. And frankly, those reasons are no one’s business but your own. So, next time someone asks you that dreaded question, rather than biting your lip, rolling your eyes or punching a wall, remember this:

Inappropriate questions like these will continue to be asked at every stage in your life.

When you’re surrounded by married couples, and you feel like the only single person left in your friendship group, it’s easy to feel singled out, and like the world is ganging up on you. But the frank reality is that people are tactless, whatever stage of life you’re at!

Take a second to think about some of your friends. If a couple has been together for more than a few years, how often do they get asked when they’re going to get married? If a couple is married and don’t yet have kids, how often do they get asked when they plan to start a family? And even when a couple does have kids, how often do they get asked when they plan to have more?

The reality is that all these questions can potentially lead to painful, awkward answers, ranging from ‘I was widowed’ or ‘I had my heart broken’ to ‘I don’t think he wants to marry me’ or ‘we can’t have children.’ Yet people still go ahead and ask them all the time!

Unfortunately, not everyone we know is tactful. People may mean well, but sometimes their questions can be rude, nosey or even hurtful. And while you might not be able to control the questions that people ask you, you can control the way you respond to them.

Being single is not a failure and it’s not something to ashamed of, it’s simply a state – a time of your life – which won’t be permanent. And rather than letting people make you feel bad about your single status, now’s your chance to embrace that single status.

I started writing my 30 Dates blog back in 2013, and when it went viral, one of the coolest things I noticed was that at weddings, the blog would be the very first thing people would ask me about. They didn’t care any more if I had a boyfriend or not, they just wanted to hear about my adventures.

People are nosey, so give them something else to talk about – and more specifically, ask questions about! On bad days being single can feel like a punishment, but what you do have is a great deal more freedom than your friends in relationships and with kids – embrace that. Make the most of your single status, because you really won’t be single forever. And the more great things you do, the next time you see those nosey relatives or friends, you’ll have lots of great stuff to talk about other than your relationship status!


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