We singles and marrieds with no kids (or not enough kids for your taste) are tired of the questions about why we’re still single or still childless. We’re tired of the assumptions. We’re tired of the unsolicited “advice." Actually, let’s rewind. Let me not speak for anyone but myself. Let me explain to you why I’m tired of it.
1. You’re not being genuine; you’re being judgmental
There is a difference between making conversation and judging. There is a difference between questions like, “Are you single?” and “Why are you still single?” Questions like, “Are you dating?”… “Looking to date?”… “Interested in getting married?” in my mind can be fairly benign if not asked in rapid succession. And they are definitely different from, “What are you doing to put yourself out there more [since you’re not married]?” With this question, you’re being presumptive and accusatory. And rude. You’re insinuating that there must be something wrong with me. Why do I have to put myself “out there” more? Am I doing something wrong by choosing to live my life the way I choose to live it? I’m not doing anything to put myself out there more. Absolutely nothing. And that’s fine with me…why can’t it be fine with you? Can I live?!
2. You’re being pushy
Some people ignore clues. For example, if you’re asking questions and folks respond with one-word answers, back off! “Are you dating anyone?” “No.” “Why not?” “Because.” “Because what?” You’re skatin’ on thin ice, slim. Stop being nosy! Maybe I just got out of a relationship and I’m still raw. Maybe I’m in a relationship but just don’t want to talk to you about it. Maybe I’m too busy for your inquisition and don’t have time to engage you. Also, and here’s the most likely circumstance, maybe it’s none of your business.
3. You’re assuming that because Person X is single, they’d automatically be interested in Person Y who is also single
The assumption that all single people want to not be single and are willing to be set up blindly with someone they haven’t screened is an incorrect assumption. True story: A friend once told me (not asked me, told me) she’d planned to hook me up with one of her husband’s friends, but opted not to because her husband wasn’t on board with the plan. He was concerned that if there was a break-up later, they would be caught in the middle. The problem with her plan is that she never considered whether those who were to be hooked up (particularly me) actually wanted to be hooked up. Don’t I get a say in the matter?
4. You’re assuming there is something enviable about your own marriage or relationship…and to me, there isn’t
You may think you have a good marriage, but I’ve observed the relationship you have with your husband/wife…and maybe I don’t want that. I’ve also seen the relationship you have with your kids…don’t really want that, either. If you’d be offended by my unsolicited thoughts on your marriage, relationship, or parenting skills, then put yourself in my shoes. If I didn’t come to you and ask you for assistance, take heed.
5. You’re diminishing my overall worth when you place so much value on me being single
True story: I have a “friend” who reaches out about once a quarter to catch up. “How have you been doing?” he always asks. “Great! Life is really good,” I usually say. “Oh? So you found a man?” For real…this is how our conversation goes every time we talk. And one would deduce that the last conversation we had was about relationships. Nope. We mostly talk about our careers. Life is good because I’m happy, healthy, my family is doing well, I just got back from a great vacation, I’m excited about my new project at work, I just got certified to teach yoga/typing/underwater basket weaving/whatever, I successfully baked my first cake without burnt edges, I successfully gave myself my first relaxer without burnt edges, etc. But none of that matters to you. All you care about is whether or not I’ve “found” a man. I might need to stop taking your calls.
Maybe I’m still childless because I like taking real vacations rather than just trips, because that’s what happens when you take kids. You’re not vacating your everyday life…you’re taking your life with you to a new location. Maybe I’m still childless because I’ve run the numbers and learned that I can retire a lot sooner if I don’t have kids. Maybe I’m still childless because I like to sleep until noon on Saturdays. Or maybe I’m still childless because I’m still single. And I’m still single because I’m not married…yet. And that’s it. Not always single, just single right now. Get a grip. And mind your business.
Sonya lives and works IN the DMV, not AT the DMV — which means she has no advice for how to renew your driver's license. She does have plenty of advice on how to live your best foolish life. She blogs at Magnet for Foolishness (magnetforfoolishness.com).