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being single by choice

Source: Elke Meitzel / Getty

“Why are you single?” Where do you hear this question? Well, if you are single, the shorter answer would be to where you don’t hear this question. Because you get it from your parents, your siblings, your grandparents, your colleagues, your boss, your friends, every single man who DMs you on social media or a dating app, in-person dates, that nosy neighbor, and even the cashier at your convenience store. As a woman walking around in the world, there are a couple of things you are always trying to dodge, and those are 1) catcalls and 2) the question, “So, why are you single?” Just running an errand or going to a social occasion brings with it the risk of facing this question.


You can always tell that the person asking the question does not realize, in any way, that it could be upsetting. They’re just genuinely curious. Or shocked. Or disappointed. Or sympathetic. You look into their big, dumb, inquiring eyes, and it’s so obvious that they didn’t put much thought into it before asking the question. It just came flying out of their mouth like vomit after four churros and a roller coaster. It’s like this undeniable impulse people have when they find out that you’re single. They have no idea what position it puts you in.


Also, the question, “So, why are you single?” is one of those questions people think will be a simple, three-to-five-word answer, but really won’t be. It’s like when someone asks, “How are you?” and you think, “Well, do you really want to know? Do you really have the time for me to answer this in a genuine way while I’m just handing you cash and you’re handing me this coffee and there is this long line of other customers behind me?” Probably not. Argh. Here are all of the reasons the question, “Why are you single?” is infuriating. Though, I’m sure you can think of some more.


It’s not a simple answer

Honestly, has anybody who has ever asked this question of someone thought the person just had a ready-made, five-word answer to this question? It’s so shortsighted to ask this question in any setting other than, like, a therapist’s office or over what was meant to be a two-hour interaction.

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