[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to welcome author Melissa Croce to the site today. She’s sharing ten hilarious responses you can use when asked “why are you single?” Take it away, Melissa!]
Picture this (and I’m sure you can, all too well): you’re at an event/Zoom party/phone call with your mom, and the dreaded, cringe-inducing question is asked: “Why are you single?” As anyone who’s ever been single can attest, there can be a variety of answers to this question, all ranging from the seemingly-facetious to the we-don’t-have-time-to-unpack-all-of-that brand of seriousness. But honestly, no matter what kind of answer you have (“I’m focusing on my career” to “I haven’t met anyone I like” to “I’m just not interested in dating!”) it’s rarely deemed ‘good enough’ by the well-meaning person who asked it. Because being asked why you’re single is like being told you “look tired”: rarely is any harm meant, but it’s an insensitive at best and invasive at worst question all the same.
Usually, you have to be the bigger person and stay polite and calm, answering the question with a smile (or a grimace that you’re trying to turn into a smile). But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that up is down, left is right, and why not re-make society the way you want it to be? Why bother giving a reasonable, thoughtful answer to an unreasonable, thoughtless question? Don’t! I’m here to give you permission to go wild with your answers. You can’t please everybody, anyway, so why not, at the very least, please yourself? If you don’t know where to start, here are some answers that will hopefully amuse you, and befuddle your questioner:
1. “Because, quite frankly, the potential tax benefits of matrimony do not outweigh having to constantly argue about whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher.”
2. Paraphrasing what the President of Taiwan once said when asked why she never married: “Why buy the whole pig when you can get the sausage for free?”
3. “Because I never want to see the anxiety-inducing words ‘we need to talk’ show up on my phone ever again.” (Or as the Brits call it, ‘having a chat’. Either way, I’m getting a cold sweat just thinking about it!)
4. “Do you normally go around asking about people’s sex lives?” will definitely get your more conservative relatives and acquaintances off your back, at least.
5. “Because I’m saving myself for a (pick one): dashing monarch of an unheard of European country/rugged lumberjack with a tragic story from a small town/hot, brooding immortal paranormal creature/[insert common romance hero here].”
6. To quote the character Angelica Pickles from the iconic Nickelodeon show Rugrats: “If you have to ask, you’ll never know.”
7. “Because finding a man with an actual personality is like finding a needle in a haystack.” (A tumblr post I think about constantly once said that most, if not all, men have the personality of “an actual Adidas sandal” and you know what? They’re right, and I’m glad they said it.)
8. “If being single is good enough for Chris Evans [or insert any of your favorite single celebrities here] then it’s good enough for me!”
9. “Because I want to live as long as I can, and, according to a 109-year-old woman, the key to doing so is staying away from men and never getting married.”
10. And lastly, an extremely mature, but honestly reasonable, response: “Why are you married?”
About the Author:
Melissa Croce is a Pacific Northwest native who left her beloved rainy region behind to work in publishing in New York, where she markets books to librarians. When she’s not working, she can be found sleeping, reading tarot cards, watching hockey games, and spending way too much time on the internet, which is how Single and Forced to Mingle initially came to be. You can find her on Twitter @MelissaCroce.
Single and Forced to Mingle by Melissa Croce, out now!
So, you’re single. Whether existing sans partner is a new state of being or you’ve been on this solo journey for a while, the fact of the matter is this: being single is actually awesome.
You can do whatever you want, travel wherever you want, and be your truest, most free self. But there are a lot of people out there—your mom, your married best friend, the wedding industry, society—who see things differently. To them, singledom is something to avoid at all cost, no matter how many times you tell them you love your life the way it is. The limit does not exist when it comes to telling Aunt Carol you still don’t want to be set up with her neighbor’s ex-stepson.
Now, Melissa Croce gives you the tips, tricks, and sage advice you need to graciously endure all of the cringe-worthy scenarios your single self may dread, from awkward small talk with an ex to navigating well-meaning but insensitive relatives. And it helps you truly flourish in your singledom, offering activities like quizzes aimed at helping you find a new hobby and tarot spreads for that cozy Saturday night in. Part real-world guide, part commiseration, and part celebration, Single and Forced to Mingle will steer you through the ups and downs of being single, reminding you just how good it feels to be free.