Single People aren't necessarily unhappy with their situation. Just because a friend or family member is single doesn't mean you should harp on them about when they're going to “settle down” or “find the one” or “get married and start having babies.” When I was single, I dealt with that constantly, and as much as I love the Better Half, becoming part of a couple made me realize just how differently single people are treated. Some folks act like they're carrying the plague, that their singleness is contagious! So here's a word to the wise: here are a few things you shouldn't say to single people if you don't want to get the smack down!
1. “You'll Meet Someone when You Aren't Looking.”
Single people aren't necessarily looking. In and of itself, this really isn't offensive, just annoying. The thing is, it's different for everyone. The implication that you can just sit back, stop trying to meet anyone new, and some great partner will fall into your lap is just weird. I mean, this doesn't even work for me when I lose my keys. For that matter, would you say that to someone who lost their keys?
2. “There Are Plenty of Fish in the Sea.”
Really? Because I thought there were plenty of lions, tigers, and bears in the sea. Singles, whether they want to be in a relationship or not, have heard every cliché approximately a million times. This one stops making sense around the sixth time you hear it.
3. “Maybe You're Too Picky.”
This is so not the right thing to say to single people, even if it's true. Pickiness is a matter of perception, unless you're Jason Alexander's creepy character in Shallow Hal. If your single friends aren't dumping potential mates because of long second toes, then they may just have standards – and no, they shouldn't necessarily get rid of them.
4. “Have You Tried [online Dating Site of Your Choice]?”
Yes? No? Maybe? Online dating can be creepy – but the odds are that your single friend probably has, all the same. This is kind of a “duh” question. I know it comes from a place of helpfulness, but if this question gets asked once, it gets asked a thousand times.
5. “Let Me Be Your Wingman/woman!”
The only problem with this is that the person offering it is generally horrible with relationships, lacks charisma, or doesn't really understand the art of winging. Single people don't need to be helped by someone who thinks insulting girls is a great way to get them interested in you. (It's not. Most of us don't really like insulting buttholes.)
6. “All You Need to do is [obvious Verb].”
All you need to do is flirt. Wear more makeup. Wear less makeup. Wear high heels, these clothes, that coat, do this with your hair – argh! So many people have so many tidbits of advice, and they're perfectly happy to tell you that you have to do it, even if it totally isn't you! Do you ever just want to respond with, “And all YOU need to do is es-tee-you-eff!”
7. “I'm so Glad I'm Not Single Anymore!”
Why would you say this to single people? So they know what they're missing? As someone on both sides of the fence, I can never say this to someone else. This is partly because I just know that they're mumbling under their breath how they'd totally rather be single than watching Jersey Shore with me and my partner. Oops!
Single people aren't contagious. It's just that not all of them want to change their circumstances. They're just happy being single people! So while trying to fix them up or finding out what's wrong is nice, just don't go overboard. Why do you think couples sometimes treat single people differently?
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