More than two billion of us around the world are single, so it’s hardly a rarity.
But that doesn’t stop some people from asking you why you’re still single, as if it’s something strange rather than something mundane.
Let’s face it, it’s pretty rude. I mean, you wouldn’t ask someone why they choose to be in a relationship.
Unfortunately, it is a question that is still asked far too often. So how can you respond in a polite, yet firm manner?
1) “Because I want to”
Sometimes less is more.
Rather than thinking about it or explaining, this simple answer should hopefully end the conversation fairly quickly.
If you let them know that being single is a choice, what else is there to say?!
2) “That’s a strange question, why do you ask that?”
Being assertive is something that many of us find difficult.
It’s the reason we let people get away with awkward questions like “Why are you single” in the first place.
But you can still be well-mannered AND straightforward.
As I missed in the intro, it’s just as strange to ask someone why they’re not in a relationship as it is to ask why they are. So you can make that clear in your answer.
Let them know it’s strange to ask this.
3) “I’m prioritizing other things right now”
Steer the conversation away from your love life and toward something that interests you and that you enjoy talking about.
For example, I’m currently building my career or focusing on friendships.
Maybe you tell them you’re investing in a certain hobby or new skill that takes up a lot of your time.
We all have a lot of priorities in life, and it’s completely acceptable for romance to be lower on your list.
4) “I am happy with my life as it is”
She says this in no uncertain terms:
“You know what, I have a fulfilling life that doesn’t necessarily require a romantic partner.”
We find meaning, joy and interest in so many things in life.
That makes you an all-round person.
Until 2022 study Some of the highlights of flying solo include having more time to yourself, being able to focus on your goals, and not having anyone else dictate your actions.
The reality is that being single has many benefits that they may not know about.
5) “I’m just not looking for a relationship right now”
This is similar to the answer above, but it also makes it clear that you haven’t closed the door on a relationship yet.
Being single now doesn’t mean you plan to stay single forever.
For whatever reason you don’t go into, it’s just not something you want right now
6) “I want to find the right person, not the first one that comes along”
For some people, being single is a lifestyle choice that they consciously make. For others, they simply haven’t met the right person.
It can be difficult to answer why you’re single if you don’t even know.
This response emphasizes your commitment to finding a meaningful connection and not settling for less.
You have standards and this shows that you are single because you value yourself.
7) “I have a lot of fun exploring my options”
This is a playful yet powerful response.
I think the reason why many of us hate being confronted with the question “Why are you still single” is because of the inference.
While that may not be the intention, it seems to imply that this is the inferior option. So it can be fraught with pity.
This answer reminds people that one life offers choices and countless opportunities.
8) “I enjoy being in a relationship with myself”
Self-care, self-exploration, self-love, that’s what it’s all about.
A few years ago there was a craze to marry yourself. Nicknamed Sologamy, the idea is to bond with number one: you!
Brittany Rist explained it CNN why she made the decision to do exactly that:
“I thought: why don’t I just buy myself a ring? Why don’t I just love myself completely during this time and have a little ceremony?’ It felt powerful to sit in front of the mirror and feel that I love myself and my scars and everything that makes me feel unloved.
Okay, so you might want to go that far now, but the sentiment still applies.
We can proudly say that we work on ourselves and that we let romantic relationships take a back seat.
9) “I’d rather not talk about my love life, but what’s going on with you?”
If you tell someone you don’t want to talk about it, he or she should always respect that.
It sets a limit.
Any further attempt to cross the border would be disrespectful.
I’ve told people enough times that I don’t bother talking about it. If you say it very casually, it still sounds polite.
By turning the spotlight back on them, it can help to change the subject. After all, if they’re curious enough to ask about you, you can do the same.
10) “Love is not Uber Eats, you can’t have it delivered straight to your door”
Okay, so you’re joking about it, but there’s still a serious point to it.
Who said relationships and romance are something you can just conjure up whenever it suits you?
Modern online dating can give the illusion that we can find love in a flash, but in reality it doesn’t work that way.
By asking why someone is single, an attempt is made to reduce a very complex picture to a simple answer.
11) “I think life is so unpredictable, so I just go with the flow”
This answer shows that you are easy-going and relaxed about your relationship status – and she should be too.
It’s like saying, “If it happens, it happens.” But anyway, it’s all good.
It refuses to make a drama out of it – just like the next answer on our list.
12) “I’ve never really thought about it because I don’t think it’s that big of a deal”
And here’s the thing:
This is not the case in this day and age.
Sometimes older generations don’t always understand how attitudes have changed.
We live a more independent life these days. We have more choices.
Their outdated beliefs don’t have to be your problem.
So let them know that it’s not even something you sweated.
13) “That’s a story for another time”
There aren’t many people among us who don’t carry emotional baggage.
Love and relationships can get messy.
Maybe you’re dealing with a past heartbreak or maybe you’re battling some internal demons.
You don’t have to put on a brave face, but you don’t have to reveal something you don’t want to talk about either.
This is a good delaying tactic to politely but firmly say that it is not up for discussion at this time.
14) “Do you think being single is a bad thing?”
This is another one that depends on how you deliver it.
Of course, if you snap back and say it in a moody tone, it will come across as irritated.
But if you ask sincerely, it is a very valid question.
Again, it turns things around and puts the responsibility away from them and away from you.
15) “I know, it’s hard to believe because I’m so awesome, but so far I’ve managed to beat them”
Sometimes masking our emotions with humor isn’t the right choice. But other times it’s too tempting not to!
You can make a lighthearted joke to deflect the discomfort you feel about being put on the spot.
16) “Being single is great, you have to try it”
If you’re tired of someone feeling sorry for you because you’re single, let them know what they’re missing.
Flip the script and show that you are proud of your independence and freedom.
17) “Last time I checked, relationships are a lot of work”
This one does have a bit of sass, but it also depends on how you deliver it. Because when you think about it, it’s a very fair point.
Relationships take time, energy and effort.
Ace marked by relationship expert Susan Winter, There’s a Price for Love:
“Believe it or not, relationships are ‘mentally’ expensive. Intimacy and partnership take up a lot of space in our heads. Even though much of this happens unconsciously, there is simply a reduced capacity for individually focused thinking. Emotional disagreement can be all-consuming because it distances us from the present moment and situation.”
Maybe that’s a price you’re not willing to pay right now!
18) That’s a rather personal question
You may want to keep it civil, but that doesn’t mean you can’t respectfully let someone know that he or she is curious.
I once did something similar when a man asked me why I didn’t have children.
I told him that while I didn’t take offense, he should be very careful about throwing around questions like this.
You don’t know someone’s circumstances or personal history, and you risk upsetting people.
You can use the question of why you’re still single as an opportunity to gently tell others why this might be a tactless or inappropriate question.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation
I know firsthand that it is difficult to avoid questions about your intimate life.
It may feel invasive, but the people-lover in us might not want to make a fuss about it.
It is important to remember that no one is entitled to an answer you are not willing to give.
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