I was weirdly condescending and intrusive with my opinions about relationships, singleness and the desirability of one over the other. Now that I'm a happily divorced and a single woman, however, I realize just how wrong I was to make assumptions or offer any advice at all.
Consider this list of obnoxious statements as both my personal penance for being so damn annoying, and my guide for relationship-y people who want to avoid my same sins.
1. "Maybe if you did your hair more often?" Maybe I'd find love if I was less unattractive? Is that what you're saying?
2. "Have you tried going places where men are? Like the library or something?" I didn't know the library was such a single man hotspot. That's sarcasm. I spend most of my time in my car and bed, avoiding men entirely. That's sarcasm, too.
3. "I miss being single." Yes, singleness is great sometimes. But do you really miss Green Giant's microwaveable meals for one? Both relationships and singleness require trade-offs.
4. "Oh, man. If I was single I wouldn't even know what to do." Moot point, since you're not single. Also, I don't actually know what I'm doing either.
5. "I need to set you up with my husband's co-worker, he'd be perfect for you!" This might be OK if you were interested in actually setting us up instead of just mentioning it because you feel awkward right now.
6. "I don't know how you're still single." And yet, I am. And it's more than a little by my own choice.
7. "He's out there for you, maybe he's just still married right now." OK, I don't actually think many people say this one. I have heard it, though, and it remains one of my personal favorites. And any variation of "Mr. Right is out there somewhere" should be off limits.
8. "Just stop trying. It will happen." It doesn't appear to actually work that way.
9. "You really have to put yourself out there if you want a relationship." Also, it doesn't appear to actually work that way. Because dating is really that complicated.
10. "Have you tried those online dating apps yet?" Yes. All of them.
11. "Modern dating sounds scary to me." It's occasionally the stuff of nightmares, but it can also be pretty damn fun.
12. "Maybe you should try thinking outside the box." I didn't know it was time to feel desperate yet.
13. "By the time I was your age, I was married with three kids." Yes, that is true. Thanks?
14. "Use this time to work on you." Here's the thing: My responsibility for the entire length of my life is to work on myself, enjoy myself and love myself. Please don't make "attention to self" an activity for singleness alone. It does all of us a disservice.
15. "It's better for your little girl to get a stepdad sooner rather than later." It's also better that her mother selects an excellent man for such an important role, rather than a space-filler.
What do you think, singles? Did we miss any super-annoying comments?
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