What to Say to People Who Ask Why You’re Single

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As Gretchen Weiners from Mean Girls would probably say: “Oh my god, you can’t just ask people why they’re single.” The question is intrusive, personal, and, above all, none of your damn business. But for some reason, so many people feel the need to ask anyway, in which case, you can simply answer with: “I choose to be.” I asked sexologist Dr. Nikki Goldstein, author of Single But Dating: A Field Guide to Dating in the Digital Age, what the best response to that question is, and she dished out those four words without skipping a beat.

Being single is a choice, plain and simple.

In fact, you don’t even need to give family, strangers, or any other priers the luxury of an explanation. “It’s one of those offensive questions,” Nikki said. “You don’t even have to answer that if you don’t want to; it’s like saying, ‘Why is the sky blue?'” As much as a woman’s independence is now celebrated and admired, there’s still some social stigma behind a single relationship status. Especially as a woman gets older, she can feel more pressure to settle down because god forbid you are 30 and want to work on yourself before taking on a marriage. Having a partner doesn’t validate who you are, and those who take the time to focus on personal growth often make better partners and are also happier when they are ready to get involved in a relationship.

If someone refuses to take that succinct response for an answer, and if you feel inclined to share, Nikki suggests hitting them back with, “This is where I am in my life, and I’m actually really happy.” If someone is so interested in your love life, they must care about you, right? And they can’t have much to say further if they know that, most importantly, you’re happy. Boom.