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Yay! More Reader Comments! (You’re great–so why are you single?) August 8, 2008

Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, Dating, Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, Singled Out.
Tags: , , , ,

Thanks, friendly readers, for your very interesting comments! In fact, there are a couple that we want to get back to, but first, the most recent one, posted by Cynthia in response to this post written by Christina (I’ve cut to the final portion of the comment, btw, because it seemed the most relevant):

It’s not too clear to me though which one bothers you more? Being judged or being asked why still single?

Indeed, this is a good question. Christina’s original post referred to being asked, “You’re so [complimentary adjective here], why are you still single?” I think many people who are single get confronted with this question — not only by prospective dates (which is the specific context for C’s post), but by everyone we know – friends, acquaintances, colleagues, family (UGH, for me the worst is when GRANDPARENTS ask it).  

See, the problem — and what I believe Christina is trying to get at in her post — is the underyling assumption behind the question: because an individual has [insert complimented-upon superb qualities here], they must be 1) seeking a relationship and 2) happy when in a relationship because of impressive personal attributes. It’s a case of faulty logic, really, to assume that a person’s personal qualities can adequately suggest whether they should be in a relationship, will be successful/happy in one, and/or even want to be in a relationship.

I suppose, Cynthia, it might also make sense to answer your question by saying, it’s not either being judged on one’s personal attributes or being asked why one is “still single,” but rather, it’s both.

— L

Thanks, Lisa. Exactly. Also, another reason the question bothers me is the inherent judgment of singledom as pathological, as less-than-ideal. It’s saying, “You are in this less-than-ideal state, but you have the ability to extract yourself from this state, so why haven’t you done so?”   It ignores the fact that I don’t think my single state is less than ideal.  There are things I would change about my life, sure, but nothing to do with my relationship status. 



1. Popping The Question: So, Why Are You Still Single? « Onely: Single and Happy - September 5, 2011

[…] appeared in the book Singlism, by Bella DePaulo. It reprises earlier posts–here and here and here–where Onely and our Copious Readers discussed awkward questions about relationship status and […]

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