As you already may know, we (the Problems 31 women) have our own share of daily life struggles. Some are deeper, life-long battles, and others are minor day-to-day challenges, like how K.G. left her windows cracked in her car overnight during our retreat. There may have been a petite lightning storm. Or, there is the perpetual spiritual journey that is being a single Christian woman. Even from Googling “Problems 31 Women”, you can get an idea of what we’re talking about.
With that being said, we’ve come up with a no means comprehensive list of things you shouldn’t say to your single friends. If you’re in our camp, hopefully you feel seen and heard. If you’ve committed one or more of these crimes, well… might as well repent now.
- “Your time will come.” Am I expiring? Is this a threat? I guess I’ll sit in a corner gathering dust in the meantime. Can you give me the Scripture reference where God says that? I believe it is Canyounot 1:1.
- “How are you still single?” AKA, “What’s wrong with you?”
- “You’ll meet them when you least expect it.” Okay, cool, I’ll just stop thinking about it so my not thinking about it allows the thing I’ve been thinking about to happen. I haven’t been waiting for him to parachute out of plane onto my doorstep with chocolate and flowers. Also, are you implying that by thinking about it I’m doing something wrong and that’s why I’m still single?
- “You’ve got time.” Yes, putting a time limit on love makes me feel so much better. Where do you think my ticking fertility clock is at? Should I start counting down from ten? How many years until I’m considered a geriatric pregnancy? Omw to donate my eggs.
- “I wish I were still single. Enjoy it while it lasts.” First of all—you ok sis? Second, I’ve spent most of my life being single so I think it’s okay to not be. Let me introduce you to my counselor.
- “You’re just too picky.” Well maybe I should be pickier with my friends, too. Glad your wife wasn’t picky with you. Clearly the answer to a happy marriage is to lower your standards. I’d rather be too picky than end up with someone who makes me wish I was single again. Also nothing sounds better than, “Yeah I wasn’t into him until someone told me to be less picky. Then he was kinda cute.”
- “You’re so strong.” My existence is a supreme struggle, constantly waiting for the ideal person to show. Because finding your entire sense of purpose in life in another person is the goal, how have I even survived this far? I am a wonder.
- “Why don’t you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” You tell me. I’ve overanalyzed my entire being to find that answer with limited results.
- “You just need to put yourself out there more.” I was under the impression that social media, dating apps, being active in my community, and having a social life made me fairly accessible. I guess I could start putting up posters with my face and strips of my phone number stapled to telephone poles, or maybe a t-shirt with my phone number written across my boobs.
- “Have you tried ________?” No, actually, I’m supposed to not expect it so I haven’t. Also what avenue of dating could you possibly think of that I haven’t already? Change everything about myself (seems to defeat the purpose of being loved for who I am)? Check. Actively develop myself into someone ready for marriage (is anyone ever really “ready”)? Check. Try different ways of meeting people (Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Match, eHarmony, my face on a Goodyear blimp with my bio)? Check.
- “You need to love yourself first.” Heavy sigh. Yes, it’s important to have positive self-esteem. But this implies that you think I have terrible self-esteem and need to “fix” myself before I can be in a relationship. News flash: we all have areas we need to grow in (single or not) and no one is going to be perfectly put together when they get married. Growth is a continual process throughout everyone’s lives, even after marriage.
The bottom line is, if your single friend is not feeling inspired or appreciated by what you’ve said to them… you should probably not have said it at all. Singleness is a gift in so many ways, but that doesn’t mean single people are unappreciative. We are appreciative of consistent affirmation of who we are regardless of our relationship status. Because our character has not defined our singleness, and our singleness does not define our character.
With lots of love and sarcasm,
K.G. & Sarah