7 THINGS NOT TO SAY TO YOUR SINGLE FRIENDS
Whether you’ve been married for years or recently found yourself in a relationship, there’s something you’re probably doing more than you realize: putting your foot in your mouth when talking to your single friends about dating. Sure, your intentions are probably in the right place and you may not even realize you’re doing it—but before you drive your single friends (more) insane, check out this roundup of a few things to avoid saying. Because it wasn’t too long ago that you yourself were rolling your eyes at other’s tired relationship advice, right?
- “Seeing anyone lately?”
This is one of those “I’m just trying to show that I care!” habits, but implies that the most interesting thing about their life is with whom they are or are not romantically involved. One of the great things about being single is all of the time you have for you—so chances are there are trips or hobbies or career topics that they’d love to gush about instead. This doesn’t mean it’s the subject is totally off limits, but don’t always lead with it.
- “Dating is so fun! I’m jealous”
Often spoken by married people who have been in relationships for so long they forgot how much work and anxiety comes with the dating game. It may sound like a compliment to tell your single buddies that you envy their life stage, but all they’re thinking about is the person who didn’t text them back, or the hopelessness they sometimes feel while swiping through dating apps, or the exhausting blind dates they’re going on.
- “Maybe you’re being too picky.”
Yes, sometimes this can be true, but coming from you—a person sitting pretty in a relationship who likely doesn’t know the extent of their dating history or relationship deal-breakers—it can feel like really hollow advice. There are just some pieces of dating advice that single people have to hear from other single people.
- “I’m SURE he/she’s out there.”
“Um, no you’re not,” is what your single friend is thinking every time you throw this consolation his or her way. Again, it’s not that your friends will think you’re a monster for trying to encourage them, it’s just that in a world where getting into a relationship can be drilled into our heads as the ultimate “achievement,” they’re likely sick of hearing it.
- “You’re next!”
This little zinger is uttered at bachelorette parties and showers a lot. It is usually intended to be a nice, peppy affirmation, but to a single person, it can often sound like you’re implying that they’re anxiously waiting for their life to “begin” and/or look exactly like yours. It’s sort of like, “Don’t worry, you too may soon stumble upon this glorious thing that I have found, and then you’ll FINALLY be complete.”
- “How are you still single?!”
Now this one sounds so much like a compliment that it’s a hard habit to break. It’s a way of trying to tell you how great they think you are. There’s just one problem: it assumes that your greatness is measured by your relationship status. The tricky word here is “still,” because it implies that their current life stage is flawed in some way or needs improvement.
- Questions about a biological clock or freezing eggs.
A safe way handle this one is to let your single friend bring this topic up if they wish to discuss it. Anything else feels presumptuous and invasive, even if you mean well.
Ultimately, you don’t have to walk on eggshells—just don’t view someone else’s life through an overly simplistic lens. Which, of course, goes both ways. There are tons of misconceptions or assumptions that single people make about couples. So, rule number one? A little sensitivity goes a long way, and assumptions…well…you know what they make out of everyone.