I appreciate getting advice from my friends who are in relationships.
Seriously, I’m thankful for anyone who takes the time to invest in me. I’ve learned a lot of useful stuff from my married friends about compromise, problem resolution, and how much divorce lawyers cost.
That being said, it’s not always helpful. You can save these well-intentioned clichés, because us singles have heard them all before.
(1) “You need higher standards.”
Believe me, my bank account wishes I could blanket reject everyone who makes less than six figures and doesn’t own a house. But the older I get, the more I realize genuine connection is way more important than a list of checkboxes.
(2) “Well, then be more realistic with expectations.”
Isn’t the bar already low enough? I could say I want someone with no felonies and a married friend would be like, “But their vehicular manslaughter charge was technically a misdemeanor. Don’t be so shallow.”
(3) “Come out with us tonight. You won’t be a third wheel.”
Can’t wait to quietly sit at the table while you guys have a conversation about some couple friend I’ve never met.
(4) “Have you tried meeting someone at church?”
It’s tempting to peek during prayer time to see everyone in their Sunday’s best, but dating in church isn’t realistic unless you’re looking to get married soon. What if it doesn’t work out? You can’t just slide down the pew like a collection plate.
(5) “Try meeting people in the gym.”
Being sweaty and out of breath is not the way I want to approach singles.
(6) “What happened to that person you were seeing last month?”
I forgot to respond to one of her texts for like 12 hours, so she waited to respond to my text for a full day. By then she’d slipped so far down in my messages I kind of forgot she was there.
(7) “But you literally said you could see yourself marrying them.”
That was a whole month ago. This month I never want to get married. It’s called character development.
(8) “Why are you afraid of commitment?”
*gestures vaguely toward the 50% of marriages that end in divorce*
(9) “You’re not getting any younger.”
Rushing into a committed relationship because I’m worried about securing your 5-year plan sounds like a bad idea. I’d rather be late to the party than stuck at one that makes me miserable.
(10) “You would be perfect for my friend/coworker!”
Not until you can name two other things we have in common besides us both being black.
(11) “You would be perfect for my sister/brother.”
Am I the only one who finds it a little disconcerting when people try to set them up with siblings? I know there’s nothing wrong with it, but you do know how a good date ends, right?
(12) “But you’re so good looking!”
(13) “You just need to be more ladylike/manly.”
You know what’s a major turn off? Gender roles. I’m not interested in posing with a dead animal.
(14) “Why do you have Tinder? It’s just a hookup app.”
Any app can be a hookup app if you use it for hookups. LinkedIn could be a hookup app. Tinder, like all dating apps, can be used however you want to use it.
(15) “So you’re not using Tinder as a hookup app?”
I didn’t say that.
[Agenda related story: More and more single Charlotteans turning to Hinge and flirting on Instagram]
(16) “You need to take time to work on yourself.”
My singleness isn’t the result of a personality flaw. I don’t understand why being in the midst of personal development means I can’t grab a drink on a Friday night. I’m not going to be celibate while I wait for self-actualization.