What not to say to a single friend

The party season is upon us. With this comes meeting new people or old friends. Usually these conversations will start with standard and harmless chit chat and pleasantries. Then, before you know it, the interrogation starts. We have all been single at some stage, whether we like it or not. So how do we handle intrusions wanting to pry into our personal lives?

For those of you non single people out there, here are some things you should not say to a single person. For the single ones, here are some ideas on how to handle potential awkward questions.

What’s new?
This often means you are waiting for the person to tell you about their love life. If the person says something along the lines of “not much” take it at face value and leave it at that. If there is something worthwhile that they want to share, they will.

Are you still single?
A simple yes should end this conversation, unfortunately, it is usually followed by…

Why are you single?
This is my personal favourite (if disfavourite was a word I would be using it instead!). There is just no adequate answer to that question as it seems so ridiculous. If you have found a good way to handle this one, please do share.

You will meet someone when you’re not looking.
This is just patronising. Single people are always looking. “Those who search never find” doesn’t necessarily stand true. Some people meet someone when they’re looking, some don’t. If you are the single one, just nod and bite your tongue.

Person x, y and z is nice. What about them?
Again, patronising. This implies you know best and to the single person all they hear is “nice”, which isn’t exactly the most enthusiastic or glowing report. A polite “yes they are nice, just not for me” should give the other person the hint to back off.

You are too picky.
This one is a real gem. If you are coupled up it may suggest that the only reason for this is that you are not as demanding so have settled. Not ideal. Maybe answer by saying that you are holding out for someone who is worth waiting for.

When you meet the right one you’ll know.
Another nugget. Exes are exes for a reason, whatever it may be and hence weren’t right. Truism at its best. Yet what does the right one really mean anyway? Do you hear alarm bells? Get a letter in the post? A gracious smile should suffice on this one.

So, if you have been an offender and asked a single friend any of these questions you may want to remind yourself that you too were single at some point. If you are single and find yourself having these conversations the best thing to do is just smile. See it as a test of your patience and show your kind and tolerant self. You will be rewarded for your compassion…

Have you had similar conversations? How have you handled it?

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Written by Ana Antunes da Silva.

Image by Flickr user Ingermaaike2.

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