By Chiara Atik, for HowAboutWe.com
The good thing about being single is that people are usually pretty willing to talk about your romantic life, because, let's face it, it's probably more entertaining than that of your seriously coupled-up friends.
The bad news? Sometimes, people will want to talk about your love life regardless of whether or not you're in the mood to talk about it. And they will have opinions. And questions. And if you're single for long enough, a lot of these are gonna start sounding the same...
1. "Are you seeing someone? Why not?"
Amazingly, I get this question at least once a week. At least once a week! It's fun to turn the question around to the asker. "Why are you in a relationship?" "Because I'm in love!" "Right, well, I'm not." End of discussion!
2. "Have you tried online dating?"
Online dating? What is this new fangled thing you speak of?
(Of course we're online dating!)
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3. "It'll happen when you least expect it."
The problem is, if you're single and actively looking, then you're always kind of expecting it.
4. "Oh my god, can I wing for you? I am such a good wingman."
If you're single for long enough, you become sort of a toy, a pet project for your coupled up friends. They like to parade you out to bars and insist on winging for you, which is really just a way for them to vicariously experience the "thrill" of picking someone up at a bar. The problem is that for them, it's all about the hunt, and not at all about finding someone with whom you would actually be compatible in the long term (or even just in daylight). This means they start indiscriminately flirting with anyone in sight, ignoring the fact that you're wildly gesticulating for them to stop, drawing your finger across your throat and making gagging noises. The end result is usually a huffy ride home ("But I set it up perfectly for you! He was so into you! He was not that bad!") followed by the inevitable conclusion that you are single because you're picky and obviously impervious to even the most nuanced and skillful winging.
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5. "You need to put yourself out there more!"
Out where, exactly? [Whenever some helpful soul suggests this to me, I immediately picture myself in the middle of some crowded piazza, waving my arms around, saying "yooo-hoooo!"]
6. "Why don't you join a group?"
It's a common misconception for people to think you're single because you just don't have enough hobbies.
7. "You just need to ______."
Flirt. Make eye-contact. Go out. Wear brighter colors. Tone it down. Talk more. Talk less. Dress sluttier. Act more grown up. Meet more people. Shave your beard. Stop talking about comic books. Stop talking about your cat. Be less self-deprecating. Be less intimidating. Let them see how awesome you are. Drink more. Don't get so drunk. Make the move. Don't shy away. Don't be so forward. Don't seem so desperate. Stand up straighter. Cut your hair. Grow out your hair. Be less picky. Be more discerning. Figure out exactly what you want. Make your profile funnier. Make your profile less goofy. Change your profile picture. Smile more. Go to bookstores. Go to coffee shops. Stop bringing up your ex. Stop talking to your ex. Stop thinking about your ex. Stop looking so hard. Stop trying so hard. Put a little more effort into it. Stop being so passive. Stop waiting for it to just happen. Be more confident. Go to grad school. Lower your expectations. Just have fun and date more. Get the rest of your life in order. Move to a smaller city. Move to a bigger city. Move to a different country. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Start making this a priority.
For some reason, people will be alarmingly frank about what they think is wrong with you as long as they say it within the context of dating.
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8. "It's better to be single than to be in the wrong relationship."
Well, yesssssssss...but it's best to be in the right relationship, no?
9. "Wow, I am so glad I never have to be single again."
Yes. Fabulous. I am so happy for your good fortune.
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By Chiara Atik, for HowAboutWe.com