What’s a nice girl like you doing single?

“It’s a pity someone hasn’t snatched you up already.”

“When are you going to settle down and find a boyfriend?”

Though generally well-intended, these seemingly innocent comments can be annoying and even hurtful, especially when you’re already hard on yourself about being single. It makes me want to respond with something like “It’s a pity a pretty woman like you thinks that moron you call a boyfriend is something worth envying”.

How do you deal with these comments tactfully? It depends on the situation.

If it’s just an acquaintance or a co-worker that you don’t talk to that often, a short, vague response will probably do the trick. My personal favorite is: “Just lucky, I guess.” Check out these articles for ideas and pick one that works for you:

Best responses to ‘Why are you still single?’ from:

However, if it’s someone close to you who brings it up regularly, and it really bothers you, an honest, heart-felt response may be in order. If you’re anything like me, just the phrase ‘talking about my feelings’ is nauseating, but if it’s a relationship you value, it’s worth the effort. The following format has worked for me in the past. Feel free to use it too.

  1. Lead in with something nice.
  2. Explain how what they say makes you feel, being careful not to sound accusatory. Choose your words carefully to not put them on the defensive.
  3. Ask them politely to stop doing what you dislike. Be specific about what it is that you’d like them to do differently.
  4. End with a ‘thank you’.


         name        , I know you don’t mean anything by it, but it bothers me when you make comments like that about me being single. I feel like you think I can’t be happy if I’m not in a relationship. Could you please stop bringing it up?

Of course, this would be an awkward conversation if you quoted this verbatim, but you get the idea. I’m hardly the most eloquent person, but you can tailor the conversation so that it flows well and is true to you.

They might fire back with a defensive response, but don’t take the bait and argue. Most people can appreciate an honest conversation, but might need some time to think it over. This little chat might take 5 minutes, but it could save you a lot of resentment in the long run.

What’s the most annoying comment someone has made about your relationship status? How did you deal with it?

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