Stop Asking Women Why They’re Single
Should I change the title to "Stop Asking People Why They're Single?" Probably, but since I am not a man I cannot speak on that since that is not my experience. However, as a woman who has been asked "why," when I answer the previous question, "any guys in your life?" I think I have the experience to speak about this.
If you are a woman in your mid to late twenties or thirties you may find this conversation very familiar. Someone you don't see all too often starts the conversation with the normal pleasantries asking about your job and life in general. You answer the list of questions pleasantly enough, no one actually likes small talk. Then the dreaded question is asked in a variety of forms, but the root of the question is, "Any man in your life?" If you answer no, the next question that follows is one simple word, "Why?"
I am not one to hide my emotions or hide what I'm thinking, which can sometimes get me into trouble. There is no way the person who asked that question can't tell exactly what I'm thinking in that moment. I HATE that question. Every single time I get asked I cringe and sometimes I think maybe I should lie, but that may open up even worse questions.
The answer I want to give is that it's none of their business why I don't have a "man" in my life. Well, all in a few expletives in between their and business. Seriously, why someone is or is not in a relationship is nobody's business, but their own.
However, the answer I always give is that men are too much work. I usually try to come up with a somewhat funny answer to get out of a situation that I don't want to be in. That's how I deal with a lot of life situations, humor. This response is usually scoffed at. Which baffles me.
Relationships are a lot of work, that is a fact. Relationships take a lot of time and effort from both people involved. Is it selfish to not want a relationship for those reasons? Maybe, but at least I am self-aware enough to realize that I want something different for my life at the moment. I enjoy my job, I enjoy working a lot and putting all of my focus into that.
To ask someone why they are not in a relationship is not only an extremely personal question to ask someone during small talk, but can also be triggering. I hate using that word, but hear me out. Let's say you just went through a really nasty breakup and someone asked you why you are single. Maybe it wasn't your decision to break up. That would be extremely upsetting.
Relationships are not and should not be a part of small talk, they are extremely personal. In the social media age we live in, as a society, we have made a subconscious decision that people's lives are for the world to see. We see carefully curated lives projected on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter and think that if people choose to do that then nothing is sacred and nothing is personal.
If you have already chosen to ask someone if they are in a relationship and they respond with no, leave it at that. I can almost guarantee you that they would prefer not diving into why they are not. Like I said before, it is honestly none of your business.