Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year! The time when the weather cools and you can go ice skating with your significant other, holding hands and giggling as you almost fall down. You decorate together, laughing over family ornaments. There’s an exchange of presents and you love the heart necklace he purchased almost as much as he loves the [insert sports team] t-shirt you bought him.* Magic is all around.
*I don’t know how present buying works in relationships so I guessed
Unfortunately, those scenes pulled straight out of a snow globe aren’t applicable to all of us. For many, holidays equal time for relatives we barely see to ask why we’re still single. We already feel the cold, dark sadness of having to ice skate alone, picking ourselves up from the frozen surface when we inevitably fall again. We don’t need your salty questions in our wounds.
I’m going to take a moment and speak to these relatives: just stop. Nobody, no matter how content, likes being asked that. Even phrasing it “how are you still single?” sucks. Instead of focusing on what we’re ‘lacking,’ ask about how great our lives are. You’re on Facebook so you see we do more than mope about being alone. Instead of focusing on our relationship status, ask about our job or maybe our recent vacation. If you can’t think of anything to say except a comment about your relative’s singleness, maybe a simple ‘nice to see you’ will suffice.
Based on the demographic breakdown of the seven or so people who read my blog, I’m sure no one will read that who it applies to, so I’m going to focus on the singletons again. I would love if our well-meaning relatives learned to ask different questions, but it’s probably just a better plan to be prepared. Below are 10 reasons why you’re probably still single. Feel free to use and adapt for your situation.
- I’m really an alien sent on a reconnaissance mission and I’m not allowed to date
The key to this is selling it. Obviously they will think you’re kidding, especially because they probably knew you as a baby, but don’t give up. Try to convince them with vague details and then suddenly reach your hand to your ear, look concerned and say out loud ‘oh no, I’ve said too much,’ and quickly walk away. See, you have a reason for your family member and an excuse to get out of there. You’re welcome.
- I’m really focused on my career
This one could be true and is a little more boring, but you can always spice it up. Who knows what your ‘career’ actually is – for all they know you’re really a spy and adding people to your family is an incredible risk for everyone you love. I mean my family thought I did marketing, but could they prove it? Probably not.
- I’m still waiting for someone who fits my perfect breakdown so I can create the perfect nuclear family based on the expectations of society
This makes you sound like you have a plan and like you’re a sad robot who doesn’t believe in love. You’ll either confuse your relative or have them cheer for you because they think it’s good you have standards.
- I almost got married and thought nah, better not
This will make their mind spin as they wonder how they possibly missed your love on Facebook. Then they will spiral and wonder why you gave up the chance to be married. In their confusion, you can make your getaway and grab another cookie.
- Marriage is a social construct where the patriarchy enslaves women
This will make you look like a scary raging feminist which tbh sounds great. I’m assuming your family is similar to mine and thinks being a feminist is a bad thing, because equal rights is a ridiculous concept in 2016. At this point you can leave it at that or continue your rant, throwing in phrases like ‘stomp the patriarchy’ and ‘I hate men’ and ‘burn my bra’ to really freak them out.
- I can’t pick a winner from my harem
This will make you look like a biblical baller, just waiting for your Esther to appear. Start naming the men/women in your harem and listing their pros and cons and maybe ask for the input of your relative since they want to be involved in your life. Pro tip: Carry photos with you of these random people to really make this one convincing.
- My fiancé is still trying to get a visa
Here my suggestion is act demure, talk about how it’s a secret so they will feel included and talk about how you met online and fell in love. Bonus points if you mention all the money you’ve sent to them to help them get to you. Baller points: Ask for money to help speed along the process from your relative. Find a very obvious catfish profile and show it to them. Foolproof.
- Because I’m really a vampire and I can’t stop sucking the blood from all my suitors
This works if you’re pale and fond of black like me. It’s possible they already suspect you of witchcraft, so this isn’t too much of a stretch. You can even get realistic looking prosthetics that fit over your teeth and look like fangs. Don’t engage them again until dinner. In the middle of the meal, noticeably excuse yourself. When you return, after you’ve put a fake blood packet in your mouth, make eye contact with your relative, then smile and rub your belly.
Best case scenario they think you’re weird and avoid you. Win-win.
- I’m selective because there are more important things to me
This one might be harder to understand or win you praise you aren’t looking for. You will be met with ‘they will come when you least expect it’ or ‘there just isn’t anyone deserves you honey’ or something like that. False. I never expect anything at this point and I’m not going to rant about the concept of ‘deserving’ someone. Just try to break this one gently. Kudos if you brought your halo to add to the effect.
- Because I’m exactly where God wants me
Even if you struggle with this, you will get Christian points from your family. Kidding, kind of. Ultimately this is the answer to their questions. You’re single because you are right now and that is that. Some people may understand and respond similar to reason number 2, but others might think you’re strange and walk away.
You might be single because you don’t want it and say no to everyone, which is great, and you can say that too. It’s your life, your choice. But if you are interested and maybe looking, take heart! There’s nothing wrong with you. We all grow and meet people when we’re supposed to and God knows what He’s doing. Even when it’s frustrating.
Whether you use the truth or something a little more entertaining, I hope your family is manageable and not too depressing. I think I’m going to try the vampire or spy route myself.