Why are you still single and other awkward holiday questions

dating advice
Woman looking frustrated at being asked the question why are you still single?

As the holiday season looms, in addition to buying Christmas gifts and decorating the Christmas tree, the lucky single gal can count on a steady stream of questions about her relationship status from well-meaning but intrusive relatives. For single women, it's the most wonderful time of awkward questions. Loving grandparents, great aunts, and distant cousins are magically transformed into informed advisors and backseat drivers of your love life.

While these questions are annoying, they can also be painful and hard to answer, especially when the reason that you are single is more circumstance than choice. And, while it may be frustrating and painful to confront the same questions year after year, it must be acknowledged that it is also a rich opportunity to practice setting boundaries.

Set Boundaries

Remember that it is always appropriate to say, “I prefer not to talk about it.” And, if the person persists, arguing that they only ask because they care, you can always say, “I know you care, that is how I know you will respect my wishes.”

Clever comebacks

However, this year, if you want to head home with some clever comeback to that much-asked question, why are you still single here are some responses that should help:

For relatives who care but are clueless:

  • "Because my goal isn't to be in a relationship, it's to be in the right relationship."
  • "Why do you know someone?"
  • "I've seen the damage that rushing into things and settling can do, so while I’m open, it would have to be the right person."
  • "Better alone than in bad company."
  • "I see too many people in bad relationships because they're scared to be alone."

For relatives who haven’t earned the right to ask

  • "What makes you think that’s an appropriate question to ask someone?"
  • "I’m flattered by your curiosity about but I’m uncomfortable with the question, so let’s find something else to talk about."

When you prefer that a relative never ask (or speak) to you again

  • "Because I want a relationship and the men I meet online just want sex."
  • "I’d rather be single than pretend to be happy in a bad relationship."
  • "Why are you married?"

Whether you choose to practice setting boundaries or opt for a more pointed response, remember to be kind to yourself. Amid the tinsel and twinkling lights, the holidays can be a stressful time for the single or newly single gal. Take it at your own pace, and plan to take some breaks from the festive chaos. Good luck!


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