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I Can’t Believe You Said That! Confessions of Singledom

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If you’re like me, living life without a metal band encircling your left ring finger, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of strange encounters with family, friends, and even perfect strangers trying to remedy the situation.

What gets me is that they often feel justified in blurting out the most insane, inappropriate and downright rude or offensive bits of advice, trying to pass it off as loving support.  And all I want to say is, “I can’t believe you said that!

I’ve been around the block a time or two and know that someone will take offense to what I’m about to say.  And though the snarky part of me wants to say, “Suck it up!” I feel it’s best to provide the following statement in my defense:

This post is not directed to any one person or persons.  This post is not to demean or ostracize those who are in relationships.  This post is simply to show that common courtesy to others, no matter their relationship status, is warranted and appreciated.

Okay, enough of that.  Onto what you really came here to read about, but first a little back history…

So I’ve been single for the last 4.5 years.  Yes, single.  Not one date, or a single kiss.  If you’re pitying me right now, stop it because I did enough of that on my own for the first three years of this unattached journey of mine.

I was lonely and desperate and idolized boys like it was part of my job. And to make matters worse, society made me believe that I should be feeling that way about my naked ring finger.

From television and movies, to the bright colors of magazines wallpapering the checkout aisles.  And then there’s this stand that people feel they must make to do away with singleness, as though it’s suddenly become one of the deadliest sins or diseases.

So instead of telling you that singledom is awesome and a great time for growth and change (like I’ve done in the past), I’m here to share with you the confessions of my heart and just how ruthless some people can be when encountering someone who is not bound by a romantic relationship.

When introduced to a group of people at a local gathering by a mutual friend…

What they said…
“Guys, this is Bree.  She’s great.  She’s single too, so hook her up!”

My reaction…
(Internal struggle) Excuse me.  Did I say that I wanted my marital status blabbed to these strangers?  No.  And I know that I didn’t say that I wanted to be set up with some random person’s buddy who is unattached.  What qualifies them for becoming my matchmaker?

My response…
(Whilst trying to hide my burning red cheeks) “Hi, nice to meet you.  I’m just here to get to know some new folks.”

What they should have said…
“Guys, this is Bree.  She’s a great, get to know her!”  This approach allow me to make the decision whether or not to announce my relationship status and it also shows that I have worth in my current state, not just once I find someone to settle down with.

When a saleswoman overhears me talking with a friend about when my last date was….

What they said…
“Oh honey, it’s okay.  Being single means you can masturbate all you want.  Anyways, it’s usually better than sex.”

My reaction…
(Internal struggle)  Uh, what?  Did I ask for your advice on my sex life?  Mind your own business!  And seriously, do you really think I’m going to compare notes with you about any of your escapades?

My response…
(With my head hanging in embarrassment) “Uh, thanks?”

What they should have said…
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!  Just because you overhear something, does not mean that you are welcome to throw in your two cents worth, especially when it involves talking about masturbation in public!  ::shakes head::

If you, a complete stranger, really feel compelled to approach me to share advice about singleness, then consider doing so with a tender, supportive response that lets me know that I’m not alone, rather than feel even more alienated.  It will be much better received and appreciated.

A friend texts Thursday evening….

What they said…
I know you’re probably looking for something to do on Friday night, so would you be willing to watch my kids?

My reaction…
(Internal struggle) No.  I’m not looking for something to do on Friday night because I actually do have a life, and I’m not as lonely and pathetic as you think I am just because I haven’t settled.

My response…
I’m sorry, I’m going out to dinner with “so-n-so”.  Wish I could help.

What they should have said…
If you said, “Hey, hubby wants to take me out for dinner on Friday.  If you’re not busy, would you be willing to watch the kids?”  then I might be willing to change that flat out NO to at least a maybe.

First and foremost, don’t assume that my life is full of free time because I don’t have a date set up for Friday night.  And second off, be sure that you intersperse your conversations with invitations to spend time together doing things that you used to do before you tied the knot and started your family, or call to check up and see how life is going.

Us singles don’t stop having feelings just because your life is on a different track.  We often times miss you but don’t initiate the approach because we’re afraid we’ll be turned down since you’re busy with your family’s responsibilities.

Of course it would be nice if someone knew a really great guy with common interests, that loves Jesus and was looking for a long-term relationship.  And it would be super if others, especially complete strangers, did not immediately judge me and feel that their bits of often-times inappropriate advice need to be shared.  And HECK YEA it would be wonderful if long-time friendships could be restored to a level where I didn’t feel like a drive-thru babysitting service.

But guess what, life is just not that fair.  And while we singles don’t always make our lives any easier (especially when we begin to believe that our worth is wrapped up in our marital status), we can’t fault those on the outside for wanting to help us find happiness, just as they have.

However, those on the outside also need to take a grain of humility and consider their approach when offering advice to singles.  Stop to think if your single friend or acquaintance is really looking to be set up.  If you’re not sure, ask us how we feel about being single.  That’s a much better lead in than offering to sign us up for another round of Match.com.

I Can't Believe You Said That! {Confessions of Singledom} www.imperfectvessel.com

And if we appear lonely, don’t assume it’s because we are desperate for a romantic relationship.  It might just be that we feel alienated from friendships or other relationships since we’ve found ourselves suddenly walking the journey alone.

What is the craziest thing someone 
has said to you about your singleness?


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  1. I knew this post would have some doozies!! So glad you wrote this!
    In my church, we have this new tradition of couples who have begun their courtship to walk down the sanctuary isle. It’s to show that while it may not lead to marriage, it is still a serious decision and not to be taken lightly.
    More often then not, I’ve been asked “When’s it going to be your turn?” Uh, how would I know?! lol I know they mean it good-naturedly but it still gets under my skin sometimes…okay most times!!
    I’ve also had a guy want to apply to be my boyfriend as though I’m a business lol. Let’s just say he didn’t even get asked for letters of recommendation.

  2. Man, I would’ve reported that salesperson to management for cross sooo many inappropriate lines!
    While I don’t have the singledom experience, I feel I can still empathize with you. For me, it the “baby” questions. Married 8 years, nearing the dreaded 35yr old mark that so many see as the “magic” age when reproduction stops, and tons of my friends and cousins popping out kids. Because of my belly, I get the “when are you due” question multiple times a year. I no longer let it make me uncomfortable and “blame” it on the hubs…when he decides to quit playing Sailor and come home, we’ll move on. Of course, that leads to other questions and the answer usually ends with, “Yes, we’ve been married 8 yrs, together for nearly 15, and have never lived together”. It’s the choices that we’ve made, that feel right for us, and these supposed “well-meaning” (aka nosy) people need to butt out!

  3. Preach on! I’m so blessed to have some great single girl friends to kvetch with about this stuff. I just wish that my family, the blogsphere and the church (at least, the evangelical protestant world I’m a proud member of) would be more understanding. It’s nice to hear a voice like my own out in blog land!

  4. Back in college, I ran into a guy friend I hadn’t seen for quite awhile. The topic turned to relationships and he asked if I was currently dating anyone. I said no. He told me, “I think you’re better when you’re single.” Good grief!

  5. YES!!! Thank you for this!!! I’m not single now, I’ve been with my boyfriend 6 months. However… I got a lot of awful comments before hand. and when I see stuff happen like this to friends/family it makes me cringe!! At a recent family party my uncle requested Beyonce’s single ladies for my older sister!!! How is that ok???
    Also.. I DIED at your sales consultation quote. Whattttt?? when would that ever be ok?

    1. Haha, geez your uncle! I think I missed the comments on singleness, instead it was ‘no, don’t do it, don’t get married, you’re way too young. What about all the things you’ve not experienced yet?’. I think people are just very unintelligent at times! x

  6. Oh my…some of them made me chuckle a little just at the nerve but I know it wouldn’t have been funny. I spent 9 years in infertility and had some doozies said to me–like explaining in great detail the undergarments my husband should wear. I was young–and mortified! ~Pamela

  7. I’ve been chained to a ball…or a pair of them if you will…for 10 years. I think that a lot of my family members compare my younger sister to myself which is wrong. She recently broke up with her boyfriend and had to move back home. If that wasn’t hard enough for her, my parents scrambled to make it “right” by hooking her up with anything that smelled like a human.
    What they don’t see is that she is happy. Girlfriend has a life and is happy. She tells me that there is nothing wrong with being single at her age. She’s got plenty of time and it is her time.
    I still say that she’s going to marry a hundred cats though…we can joke about that.
    I’m forwarding this to her. She will love it.

  8. I feel like no matter what you do in life–people will always talk. Be single, be married, have kids, don’t have kids…people like to say stupid things, it’s their nature. Those comments you listed really made me cringe. But I’m pretty opposite…I got married when I was in my teens…and people had plenty to comment on about that. Most of my single friends are guys, some of whom haven’t been on a date or had a girlfriend in the 5 years or more I’ve known them…it’s so funny because it seems like there’s single Christian guys and women everywhere, looking for serious relationships, but they never seem to be in the same spots.

  9. I love this post, at my office, once a colleague brings a wedding invitation, the next comment from my senior colleagues is when are you bringing yours……very funny, like I know when’ I just smile and say, sooner than you can imagine. it is always embarrassing though. my father and few members of the family are aware that there are something’s beyond you, and just decide to pray about it and leave it there.

  10. What! People actually say that stuff?!? Ooh, if I were you I’m pretty sure I’d have some not so nice words to retort back. It sounds like you are a much nicer person than I am!

  11. HAHA. I was pestered about being single and now I am pestered about having kids. It is a weird thing about people – we seem to always push people to the next thing, always looking forward and never content in the now.
    I usually respond politely and make notes in my mind to never say that to someone else ever.

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