Friday, March 30, 2012

Single in the Suburbs: What NOT to say to a single person

A year ago I moved from Los Angeles to the suburbs of North Texas. A few months after relocating to the suburbs I learned that I have a debilitating disease. The disease is called "Single Over 25."

To help myself "cope" with this potentially life-long illness, I'm doing a short blog series called Single in the Suburbs.

To launch this series I'm going to take you through a series of comments I've received related to my singleness. Most of them stem from people automatically assuming I'm miserable.

Don't say:

"Are you dating anybody?"
Please don't start a conversation with this. If you're a really good friend, you'll know when I'm dating someone. (Or "courting" someone for my homeschool friends.) Until then, watch for my Facebook status to change or look for a slew of pictures with a recurring mysterious dude at my side. The only acceptable time to ask this is if the conversation naturally veers toward dating.

"It's okay to want marriage."
A recently married colleague told me this after I told them I was content with my singleness. They looked at me intently, as if they thought I was lying, and said sincerely, "It's okay to want to be married." I was like, "Thank you for your permission. I will stop being content and starting pining for what you have."

"Have you tried E-Harmony?"
No. I do have a standing account, however, on Farmers Only.

"Don't take these years for granted."
Trust me, I realize being able to sleep for 12 uninterrupted hours is a gift.

"Marriage is so hard."
This line is classic because usually people say it right after they tell me that they can't wait for me to get married.

"You must be worried that you'll never get married."
Yes. Because it means I will have to endure comments like this the rest of my life.

A few other pointers when approaching single people:

Don't assume I'm miserable.

Don't assume that just because I'm talking to another single person of the opposite sex (or "gender" for my homeschool friends) that I'm dating them, or even interested in them.

Don't assume you can't include me just because I'm single.

Don't assume that I'm less spiritually mature than you just because I lack a spouse. I may be, but don't assume so.

Don't assume I'm available to babysit.

Don't assume I'm not available to babysit.

To my single people: what have people said to you about your current unfortunate predicament?