The Most Annoying Question

yea, yea I know she’s not single, but I had to do it

“All the single ladies, All the single ladies”

Maybe its just me but as a single, oops sometimes I forget divorced woman over 30, the question that irks me the most* is “WHY ARE YOU SINGLE?”

Has this ever happened to you? You are out at a happy hour, get together, football game, house party, etc…you strike up a conversation with a guy, y’all are hitting it off and here it comes…he asks, “Why are you single?”. What about on the first “date”, things are going well, you find you have mutual interests, likes and backgrounds,etc… then BAM he hits you with “WOW you’re a great lady, why are you single?”.

Well it has happened to me…married men, men I just met, older men and men I’m “dating” have asked me this question. It usually comes up in the initial getting to know you stage, when we’re just sharing our likes, interests, beliefs, life story. At some point he’ll say “Wow Tip! You’re a nice girl, you’re cute, you’re smart, you’re funny. Why are you still single?” My mind retorts, “Well since you aren’t trying to take me off the market, Why don’t you tell me?”, but my mouth usually replies ” I don’t know”.

I know some of you are asking, “What the big deal? It seems like an innocent question or sly compliment to me”. Confession: I hate being asked a question repetitively, even if it’s by different people, so that’s part of the problem. Read on:

In honor of questions, here are my 5 W’s on the question “WHY ARE YOU SINGLE?”:

1. WHO understands what this means?

What is the guy trying to say? I’ve asked my girls and none of them know. Is it a genuine question? A sincere indirect compliment? A backhanded compliment? Or just a line used to make women think they’re thinking marriage? At best I think it’s a backhanded compliment and therefore I usually feel offended. I mean on one hand the guy is sort of saying “You’re attractive, smart, funny, sexy…I can’t believe someone hasn’t snatched you up yet.” And on the other hand, he’s also saying “You’re attractive, smart, funny, sexy…there’s gotta be something REALLY wrong with you that over shadows your good qualities.” It’s like he’s waiting for the shoe to drop except patience is not a virtue that he possesses

2. WHAT am I supposed to say?

However the guy meant it, I can’t possibly provide a legit answer. It’s a rhetorical question and I hate rhetorical questions! Sure, I have all kinds of sarcastic answers “I’m picky”, “I’m crazy”,”because I choose to be” or “because you haven’t taken me off the market” that one usually shuts em up. The only legitimate reason I can come up with for asking this question is to gauge whether or not the person is “on the market”, but this could be asked more directly and is mostly like assumed if asked after the initial meeting. Also, if I’m a controlling b!tch, a terrible cook, a lousy lay, or certifiably crazy, do you really think I would tell you? No!

3. WHEN is this appropriate? (a stretch, I know but I needed a when)

NEVER that’s when, it’s just stupid! Let’s say I am a single and desire to be in a relationship. If I had taken the time for self reflection to identify my flaws that have been preventing me from my goal of “snagging a man” instead of sharing my shortcomings with you, don’t you think I would’ve fixed them? DUH!

4. WHERE did this question come from?

Am I showing my age? I really don’t remember being asked this in my twenties, then again I was married. I guess 20 year old young women can be single to mingle, but once you hit 30 you’re supposed to be attached to someone and if you’re not you’ve got to be flawed in some way. Never mind the fact that the man asking you is likely in the same boat.

5. WHY don’t men don’t get this question?

My other question is that men don’t get the question. The reverse of my statement above are is true for me. If they aren’t booed up it’s definitely by choice (focusing on his career, hasn’t met the right one, he’s a permanent bachelor), because certainly he could be half of a couple if he so desired. I’m actually not doubting this but I want to know why it’s assumed that all single women are seeking a relationship (yes I’m sure most are but imjussaying)

6(bonus). HOW do you feel about the question?

Ladies: Do you get this question? Does it bother you? Do you take it as a compliment? Or an insult? How do you answer?
Men: Am I wrong, do you get this question? If you ask it ,why? Do you really want an answer?
If a person is 30+ and single, do you assume he/she is flawed?
What questions annoy you the most?

*aside from “when are you going to have some kids?”

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8 comments on “The Most Annoying Question

  1. As a male, I get this a lot also. I don’t think the reverse is true of males. Women could also be in a relationship if they choose to. It goes foe both genders in my opinion.. When I get asked I just say Tip ain’t acting right.. 🙂

    • Well of course you do B! You’re Mr. Wright 🙂

      Nah, really you’re a great guy, but we’re gonna disagree here. I believe you have more options than I do. Or at least equal due to where u live. But my male friends say it’s hard out here for a pimp. So while it’s hard to believe, maybe it really is.

      Oh and stop lying to the people!!! Lol

  2. Yes ma’am. We have had SEVERAL conversations on this very topic. I have no answers, only more questions. What answer are guys looking for when they ask this question? Like you said, is this a back-handed compliment or what? Why do you care WHY I’m single? Just be concerned with the fact that I AM single and available for you (or anybody else for that matter) to “take off of the market”. I usually hate answering a question with a question but the next time you get “Why are you single?” ask it right back and see what happens. I’d love to know.

    • I have no idea what answer they want to hear!!! I really believe its rhetorical or a space filler or something. But seriously I’ve had once guy ask me like 5 times with in 2-3 convos. I finally said because I choose to be.

      Oh and I have asked it back (to the guy mentioned above) I really don’t remember his answer though.

  3. I hate hate HATE this question, and I’m in my 20s .. There is no correct, right or wrong answer. Hell what if I’m not single and I’m just auditioning you as my sidepiece? The truth hurts doesn’t it! I also always throw the “eh, I don’t know response,” because I find defensive doesn’t work well on dates lol

    • Thank you for posting.
      I’m happy to see someone has the same level of frustration as I do about this question. I swear 1 out of every two guys I meet ask me this. I tend to stick with “I dunno” as well…simply because its the easiest answer.

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