Singled Out

Dear Married and/or Coupled Friends and Family Members,

It has come to my attention you are confused by my ongoing singleness. Though I appreciate your genuine concern, I do want to clarify that though finding a partner in life is something I look forward to, I’m truly doing okay on my own. To make things easier for our next encounter, I’ve created guidelines to consider before advising me on my love life.

1.       When trying to convince me of the legitimate gift that singleness is, it’s best to describe it in a way that doesn’t sound like a life threatening affliction. “Singleness can be caused by heart disease, heart attack, and/or lack of the cardiac organ, often known as THE heart. Treatment for singleness includes doctor-prescribed exercise, regular visits to dating websites, routine salon work, and a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.”

2.       The integrity of your advice is put in question when you talk about the gift of singleness and in the next breath mention an eligible bachelor you’re acquainted with.

3.       Better yet, avoid talking about the gift of singleness altogether. I know it’s meant to be encouraging, but anxiety bubbles when I realize that due to my lack of contentment, this “gift” must surely be broken and in need of receipt and fool proof return policy.

4.       Please refrain from making crazy cat lady jokes. It’s not only insulting because it makes me feel like not having an active love life destines me for social awkwardness, but also, it’s insulting because if anything I’d be a crazy dog lady.

5.       Understand that just because I’m single doesn’t mean any and all attention from a man is welcomed. A girl still has standards.

6.       On that note, do not tell me it must feel good to have men honk and cat call while I’m running around town. There’s nothing alluring about a stranger shouting out the window of his car or slamming on his horn like I’m some sort of wildlife that stumbled onto the pavement. I dare you to ask me if I’m interested in dating you after that stunt.

7.       There really are days when a glass of wine at home is better than a mediocre date at my favorite restaurant.

8.       When at a wedding don’t look to me like it’s my obligation to stand in a group of young women and wait for flowers to be thrown in my face. One, if I’m gonna get on the dance floor when “All the Single Ladies” starts playing, that’s entirely between me and BeyoncĂ©. Two, if I wanted to compete with other women for trivial material possessions, I’d participate in the dreaded Black Friday each fall. So grabby.

9.       I don’t want to hear about your success stories or your friend’s success stories or your friend of a friend’s success stories with online dating. I’m telling you the man’s a creep with a girlfriend on the side, trust my independent investigative skills and let it go.

10.   It’s confusing when during one conversation you tell me to maintain my standards, but by the next you suggest I broaden my horizons because I may be too picky.

11.   This is an easy one. If you don’t find him attractive or interesting, there’s a good chance I won’t. Take a deep breath and admit your error.

12.   When I’m talking about my desire to be in a relationship I’m just looking for a listening ear. It’s advised you don’t provide advice unless it’s requested.

13.   Suggesting to hold off on buying that great new kitchen appliance I’ve been eyeing up because I could simply register for one when I get engaged is not a valid suggestion.  If I followed that line of reasoning my house would be empty and my shelves bare.

14.   Please don’t try to make marriage and long-term relationships sound like court appointed life sentences.  If it was really that terrible, my guess is we’d be starring in the next generation of Golden Girls together.  I call Rose

15. If there's a man in my life worth talking about, I'll tell you. You don't need to ask me if I'm dating someone new each time we meet.

16. There's nothing wrong with me. My identity is not defined by romantic relationships. My identity is defined by my faith, my family, and my passions. When the right person comes along, I'll welcome him gladly, but until then, I maintain that I'm exactly who I'm supposed to be in this moment in time.

I hope these guidelines will provide some basic framework for future conversation.  Wondering what’s left to talk about? Ask me about my job, my hobbies, even my dog.  I’m confident our next chat will be rich and inviting.


Your Single Loved One