Being single is great. You get to make your own decisions without having to consult anyone. So, you get to decide whether tonight you will be dining out or lying in your pj’s watching NCIS on TV, devouring Big Al’s. No opinionated mother/ father-in-law. More cash to spend on charities, chocolate and whatever your sparkly heart chooses. No fights over the duvet, bed, pillow, remote or the way the toothpaste is squeezed, or the toilet roll is inserted, or how the shower/bath is wiped clean.
Yes, being single is great (for these reasons and more). But being in a relationship or married also has its perks. And as much as I cherish, relish and enjoy my “singledom” – I also would like to meet my sparkly better half and fight about whether the toilet seat should be left up or down and whether “I am fine” really means “I am fine”.
But this blog isn’t about singlehood vs. marriage or whatever; but rather some of what single people are GATVOL of hearing. Being single since my mid-twenties, I have had a good five years plus of hearing, from unsolicited advice to outright ridiculous statements and a few well-meant comments that aren’t always helpful. This blog isn’t a witch-hunt and certainly isn’t meant to offend anyone – it is just ten things single people are gatvol of hearing from well-meaning strangers, to that offensive aunt/uncle that calls you a glorified spinster or male-spinster (sorry bachelor sounds too cool and “acceptable”).
1) You are too picky
Ummm yeah – I don’t want to date a fraudulent bum that thinks a romantic date is hanging with his guy friends playing poker. Or the delusional dude that says: “I love you” within a week or says: “I have decided you will be my girlfriend; I am over the flings I have had…” – before the starters have arrived, during date one or date 0.5. Or hates cats/animals/people/your views etc, calls you fat, dumb or an “absolute muse” – no jokes these are legitimate scenarios.
So yes, then I guess – I am too picky that I prefer my own company in these cases.
Rather say: Keep an open-mind; love doesn’t always come in the package you expect.
2) I have this cousin …
This one goes hand-in-hand with “I have this friend, brother, co-worker, dentist, vet, associate, Facebook friend” etc. Now, I understand plenty of people have met their sparkly better halves like this. But in general, the reason the cousin/friend/boss/acquaintance etc is single is that – and I am sorry for saying this – there is something wrong with them.
And usually when the single person hints at the fact… the person with the cousin says: “you are too picky” or “what do you want a knight in shining armour?” or if you are a dude: “what do you want a supermodel?”
Rather: If you have a nice friend or cousin etc. heads up from a single person – invite both people around to your house – but don’t say anything to either and just see if they naturally get along. Because if there is truly nothing wrong with your “cousin” you wouldn’t mind having them around. And don’t wink, raise your eyebrows or do anything silly that makes the single people feel awkward; for, sparkle sake!
3) Maybe you weren’t meant for marriage
Oh yes – I forget you must be “CHOSEN” for marriage. Not everyone makes the cut. This is usually said by people who are married and believe that you must reach a certain maturity, spirituality or level in your walk of life before you get to be “selected” for marriage. And all single people just want to say: “Sweetie you aren’t any more special than ALL THE SINGLE LADIES ALL THE SINGLE LADIES; you aren’t the chosen one or more blessed because you are married”.
Yes, marriage is a blessing and you are blessed to be married. And yes, some people prefer never to get married; but using the phrase “you weren’t meant for marriage” implies that the single person didn’t make the cut somehow.
Rather: Follow your mamma’s advice – if you have nothing nice to say; say nothing at all.
4) You’ll understand once you are …
There seems to be a hierarchy at work in society. If you are single you need to be in a relationship, if you in a relationship you need to be engaged, engaged – married, married – married with a kid and then married with multiple kids.
Often in social situations when issues, relationships and often people are discussed – a married person’s opinion carries more weight than a single person, a married parent with one child, more than just a plain married person and the cream of the crop – a married person with multiple kids. Does this sound insane to you? Well, I promise you the number of times I have heard “It’s because you are single that you say that – it’s different when you are in a relationship/engaged/married” etc.
Come, sparkle on! It’s a cheap shot to win an argument. I am not saying your perspective doesn’t change or that you don’t learn more when you are married or a mother; but you are not the leading expert in every field either. But now I must flip on the people that are single or don’t have kids – stop giving marriage/parenting advice or judging moms – seriously unsolicited advice is annoying no matter who is dispensing it.
But like I said there is a hierarchy – I have heard married people complain that married parents do the same to them. So, my question is – what happens when you are the cream of the crop?
Rather: Follow this advice – NOBODY likes a know-it-all; so, whether you are single, married or on the top tier in society, remember nobody is impressed with “walking-Googles”. It is no one’s cup of bubbles.
5) What about that friend of yours
I have lost count how many times people have asked me why I don’t hook up with one of my single guy friends or point and ask about any male acquaintance. Well firstly – either one of us is in the friend-zone or there is a good reason for us being unhitched. Or we have sized each other up and realised our views, lifestyles or futures are worlds apart. Trust me, everyone has “considered” that friend.
Rather: Ask how are you doing?
6) You have your cats/hobby/career
This is always a weird statement for me. So, because you have one awesome thing going for you, you should be grateful and not want more out of life? Isn’t fries perfect with a burger, or pineapple perfect on pizza or three types of chocolate perfect in brownies?
Of course, you should be grateful and focus on all the amazing things in your life. But, I wouldn’t say to a married mom struggling to have kids – you should be grateful you have a good marriage. Or someone that’s being vulnerable with their struggle with weight-loss – at least you have something to eat.
Rather: Start with – I admire this about you… or if someone is being vulnerable – just listen.
7) He/she is single (any single gent or lady)
When friends, co-workers or the cat-sitter points out any person from the opposite sex out to you and says he/she is single. Do you think I am single because I haven’t found someone single yet?
I always laugh how people try to matchmake single people – mostly with the best of intentions. “My grandfather is single… he is a bit deaf and blind, but he made good investments – I will set you up in heartbeat.” Or “That person fixing my toilet/laptop/car/jet is single…”
Rather: Take point 2’s advice or if it is a close friend carry on doing this; at least the single person will laugh or smack your head.
8) It will happen when you stop obsessing about it
Sometimes it feels like the non-single people are more obsessed about my singlehood than I am. But if I talk about being single or express sadness, regret or hopes that I may meet someone – try not to say this line: “It will happen when you stop thinking about it”. Why when someone is being vulnerable and sharing their feelings do you negate their feelings? I don’t say to someone desperately craving a chocolate brownie or an Oh, My Sparkle Ball – “Pipe down prince/princess; if you stop thinking about it, it will come your way…”
Rather say: I hear you or let’s make Oh, My Sparkle Balls together.
9) You need to go out more (followed by, you won’t meet the right person at a bar)
I totally understand that hiding in your house isn’t the best way to meet someone, but neither is indulging in a lifestyle that I have no interest in or think is appropriate after my singlehood. A friend of a friend told me that her friend was divorcing her husband because he is using drugs – fair enough. But guess how the two met? Taking drugs together. But then she got over it and he didn’t. This may be an extreme example. But why would I go looking for my better half in a bar? If I don’t like going to bars? Why would try to meet my better half running a marathon, if I have no intention of running a marathon once we are married?
And then you get people that like going to bars or running a marathon and people say – you won’t meet your better half in a bar… I haven’t really heard the marathon in this scenario. But who knows!
Rather: Would you like to come to a braai at our house or a few friends are coming for dinner – join us (and invite potential suitors)!
10) Have you met someone yet?
All single people are tired of being pestered by questions. When we meet someone and know that this will last more than three dates – we’ll post it everywhere – trust me. We’ll even hashtag it … #myperson, #mybetterhalf, #mydreamcometrue, #blessed, #inarelationship, #nolongersinglebishes etc. We’ll pop more bottles of bubbly than on New Year’s Eve and we’ll bring it up in every conversation. Until then …
Rather ask: How are you? You are looking great by-the-by…
And this gem is for all the Christian singles out there…