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How to Answer When Relatives Ask Why You're Single

5 Perfect Responses to the "Why Are You Still Single?" Question

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and celebrating — and, of course, for family overload and awkward questions about your life.

At family gatherings over the next few months, you're bound to field questions about your love life, especially if you're showing up solo. You can't avoid them, so make like a Boy Scout and be prepared. If you're hit with the dreaded "How is it that you're still single?" question this year, here are a few (semiserious) suggestions for how to handle it.

  1. Kill 'em with sarcasm: Take a page from Bridget Jones's playbook and respond with, "I suppose it doesn't help that underneath my clothes, my entire body is covered in scales."
  2. Turn the tables: Even if you don't necessarily want your Aunt Diane's dating advice, asking her for tips will take the focus off of you and might actually be useful (though we can't promise anything).
  3. Use TMI to your advantage: If you're brave enough, getting into the gory details of your last messy breakup will definitely make the offender wish he'd never asked, and chances are, you won't get that question again this year.
  4. Play the sympathy card: Sigh wistfully, misting up if you're able, adding, "I was just wondering that exact. Same. Thing."
  5. If all else fails, be honest: If you don't have the energy for a snappy response this time around, try just being honest — you're focusing on work, you're enjoying being single and going out with friends, you haven't found the right person — whatever the case may be.

Anything to add?

Image Source: Everett Collection
Join The Conversation
anntorr anntorr 6 years
so my uncle asked me "when are you going to get married" - my response - well seeing as everyone in this family is now divorced except for my parents I feel like I value marriage too much to make a mockery out of it - he shurgged his shoulders and turn away and I have never been asked that question since :)
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 6 years
Sorry - these are horrible tips! You should never play the pity card - b/c that relative is going to then spread the word about how miserable you are - and that means getting the world's worst blind dates, reminders about your second cousin being single etc. And TMI? Really? How could that possibly not end badly for all involved?
RobinSavage RobinSavage 6 years
I wish there was a happy and single day set aside kind of like Valentine's Day. Restaurants could get in on it and offer deals for those who like being by themselves. I have a boyfriend but when I was single I saw it as a growing experience so I could take time and correct the flaws that brought me to the wrong relationships in the first place. Being single can give you time to really learn to love yourself and then the right people will come into your life.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
I don't ask that stupid question because I was one of the gals in the family who got married 'late.' I remembered being bombarded with 'When are you getting married?' questions during one family function after another by the married snobs. I usually turned it around to those childless to 'When are you having kids?' Or said 'Never.' Or 'Are you paying for the wedding?' Then walk away..but darn, I did get married. :)
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
"Because I'm in love with Tom Selleck but he never writes me back."
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
My family doesn't ask, they're just happy I'm not with my ex (never married). I have one aunt who does but she didn't get married until her late 30s and I know she's just asking because she cares and wants me to know I have someone to talk to if I'm having men problems.
redchick152 redchick152 6 years
i HATE this question. i usually just say "oh, just playing the field" or that i'm dating around. usually no one wants me to elaborate on my "player-ness", so i'm left alone! i like angelica's response! they either loved or hated being single, so either way that should stop anymore questions.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
I'm baffled that people still even ask this question. It's incredibly rude.
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
^^^ I like that, lickety. From 27 Dresses: Jane's Aunt: Must be so hard to watch your younger sister get married before you. Jane: Yes. Then I remember that I still get to have hot hate sex with random strangers and I feel SO much better! The line (slightly modified) could totally be used regarding being single :)
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
"Just lucky i guess" :)
kea718 kea718 6 years
I usually say "because I want to be" or "relationships are too much stress and drama and I'm not interested in that." I'm happy and proud of being single and I have no problem letting people know that.
Angelica Angelica 6 years
I like to say, "Oh, you remember what it's like!" It seems to make everyone regretful for asking and jealous. Or, so I like to think.
dexaholic dexaholic 6 years
Why does being single have to be a bad thing? Like something to be ashamed of? Embrace it and tell everyone all the wonderful things you're able to do because you're not tied down with a husband and/or kids!
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