“Why are you still single?..” and other things not to say to single women (or men?).



Single women, especially in church circles, are like foxes in London. Throw a stone, and you’ll hit at least two. Unlike foxes, they aren’t a nuisance that the local council needs to clamp down on, they are valuable, productive, and, believe it or not, often happy members of society.

Unfortunately, being a single woman, you’re inevitably subjected to the endless drone of unwanted advice, unwanted, albeit well meaning sympathy, and unwanted analysis of why you are single. Your friends try and discreetly hook you up with indiscriminate male friends of their boyfriend or husband, but generally end up being obvious in their attempts. People at church offer to pray for you in your hour (more like years) of need (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing just patronising if not requested). Baby cousins ask you what happened to that nonsense ex-boyfriend of yours who used to play football with them. Colleagues at work try and drag you along to some pride forsaken speed dating event, where you spend half an hour with a computer technician called Tim, because none of the other men showed up.

You might be fine with being single, but everyone else isn’t. You might not be fine with being single, but it doesn’t mean you want to be alerted of the fact on the hour, every hour, like your life is the Westminster Chime. 

Things not to say to single women:

1) “Jesus is your husband”.

Single women might jokingly say this to themselves, but the fact is Jesus is most definitely NOT mine or anyone else’s husband, and there are several things husbands do that Jesus cannot do, nor does He purport to be able to do. It might sound comforting to some people, but to a lot of people, it’s a reminder that the actual prospect of a husband is, like Jesus, presently invisible.

2) “Why are you single?”

Maybe because Will Smith is taken. Maybe because they currently have athletes foot and its summer and they don’t want men to look at their feet. Maybe because their last boyfriend dumped them outside Aldi and they’re still in the healing process. Maybe because they want to be. Maybe because their Dad has a machete and scares off any man that dares to hover over the threshold. Maybe because they  want to be. Maybe because all men are ants. Maybe they don’t know. There are a myriad of reasons which a single person may not want to disclose to you.

If you are a parent, other family member, or good friend, then this is possibly appropriate, but if you are a casual acquaintance, then please, don’t ask this. 

3) “You need to stop being so picky”.

This IS true for some people. But really and truly, it’s quite cheeky to say this to someone other than your close friends, and ultimately everyone’s entitled to their own standard – we all have things that are ‘picky’ to someone else. My friend won’t date men who use ketchup at reputable eateries and call the waiters ‘boss man’. To some this is a minor misdemeanour. To her it marks the difference between 2.4 kids and a house in Dulwich Village, or visions of starring in a Boyz in the Hood remake. Might not make sense to you, but it does to her.

4) “Is this your boyfriend? Who’s this then?” *wink*

Every man seen with a single woman is NOT a potential boyfriend. It can be extremely awkward to stand next to your male friend as a family friend relays to them what a catch you are, your degree classification, the fact that they have verifiable evidence that your womb is intact and you are genetically predisposed to not gaining weight after childbirth, the fact that even your nappies didn’t smell – evidence of how angelic you are, the interesting thing you did last week. I really hope I never do this to anyone.

5)” When you’re married, you wish you were single”.

With the deepest regards, please excuse yourself from this terrestrial ball before you come close to making this statement.

Single person: “I’m lonely, it’s really hard out here to find someone I’m compatible with, I spent Valentines day eating the meal for two from Marks and Spencer…”

Married person: “You’ll find somebody soon, when you’re married you’ll wish you were single..”

Single person: *blank face*

Any other things for the list? Love to all y’all, single or mingled.



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