What To Say When People Ask Why You’re Still Single


Oh, no — another lament on the single life.

This could very well be me, rolling around in my bed late at night, trying to put the crackers down so I don’t have a really sad moment with Ritz in my cleavage. Or it could be you, scanning the Internet and wondering why writers are straight up tripping about this dating stuff all the time. Blame the relationship statuses on Facebook! As always, blame The Zuck!

Well, wait! I do not stare out my window longingly, begging for the soft! What light through yonder window breaks? I only really need to brag about my Shakespeare knowledge to sustain myself, because I certainly don’t need to be in a relationship. “Unless the right person comes along,” which is the single person equivalent to saying “the day Joe Black got hit by a cab in Meet Joe Black is the day he found love!”

I am with my feet firmly planted on the grass that is already greener than the other side. I have no problem with being single, just as I would potentially have no problem being in a relationship, as long as he brings me sandwiches faster than the Pita place I have on speed dial. The current delivery boy makes me uneasy, always offering my $6.50 falafel with another solemn shake of his head. “She’s in her pajama pants? Again?” he wonders, he being the constant projection of judgment in my head. No matter, I like being single. I’ll reference the pajama pants again — I get to wear these red bad boys every day if I want to. Little dogs on ‘em, which I think is real cute. Sure, there might be a guy out there who loves me in spite of or because of these pants. I could get into that. However, right now the daunting task of telling every guy I meet on OKCupid “let me change into something more comfortable” and emerging with these pants seems like too much expelled energy at the moment. I’m a sloth in desperate need of a time machine — I want the relationship without all the should I go dutch should I go up to his place or will he stab me dating hassles.

Plus, I have crushes! That’s kind of the Fig Newton of relationship, huh? Gross but okay, I’ll have just one? Six?

Anyway, one of the biggest and only hurdles of single life (besides the void, the VOID, THE VOID) is people asking me why exactly I am single. As if the crusty layers and the mascara-drenched despair couldn’t say enough! Oh, don’t you worry, my face is like a well-made macaron, smooth and peaky and filled with jam! All is well!

Either way, I’ve come up with a couple answers for this question — for the relatives, for the inquisitive friends, for the dogs you imagine are asking the very same question. See if it helps you from going mad:

  1. Don’t answer, just clutch your large copy of Pride and Prejudice and begin wailing. I find wailing always works quite well.
  2. Let everybody know how much sex you are having at bars, inside the bathrooms covered in Dial soap and the body scent of somebody who has lost their way.
  3. Tell them how terrible your personality is, you even use the word ‘irregardless’ and have no idea the difference between then and than.
  4. Distract them by causing physical pain, I heard a pinch to the armpit while singing “Your Song” is something I’ve done.
  5. Go on an extremely long diatribe about ‘how impossible it is that single people actually find dates at all, you can’t imagine a night in the last year you’ve spent not bolted to your couch, praying for the renewal of Community.
  6. I’m happy, who’s asking? Kind of like a mob boss in something where mob bosses have cigars in their mouths and a bit threatening.

Or just be matter-of-fact about the whole thing. For me, I am just waiting for somebody who doesn’t make me claw my own eyes out. I want to claw my own eyes out everyday — just today the couple in the café I’m writing in was having a ‘hearty discussion about Brett Ratner.’ That makes me want to Oedipus Rex my big brown ones to a hearty degree! And a lot of people are this infuriating, every day and everywhere! It’s almost exactly like how people say ‘there is beauty in all things’ but replace beauty with steam pouring out of my ears. All I can do is hope that one day, one day, I will meet the kind of person who will make me want to walk this Earth sharing stories about the kinds of things they bought at Pier One Imports, or other terrible couple-y things that couples do. Talk about bedroom candles? NPR? How many cuddles can you fit into one’s mouth? Wanna watch Fear Factor? Either way, until that day, I will remain happy to be single, happy to lament on these things to the barrages of eye-rollings or fist-pumpings I may receive. It’s my one life!

Might as well live it in my pajamas.

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image – Eje Gustafsson