As a single, she-writer for the internet, I get a lot of messages from readers. One reoccurring one I receive pretty often is," How are you still single?"
And I cannot stand it.
I know the general perception about this comment is that it's a compliment. I suppose if you look at it a certain way, it is.
But if you look at it in another way — the way in which I'm looking at it — it's mostly just insulting.
It implies that being single is a bad state to be in, a state worth changing, a state that makes women feel insecure about the direction of their lives.
Most of the time, a woman is single by choice. Or, if she isn't, she hasn't found someone yet, which means your comment is just rubbing salt in her wound.
Either way, it's a pointless remark. So, here are all the non-offensive compliments you should be giving a girl instead of, "How are you still single?"
1. "You're great at what you do."
Single me tends to throw myself into my work. A little pat on the back every now and then would be nice. A simple, "You're killin' it!" or "You kick ass at that thing you do" is incredibly appreciated.
Workaholics for the win!
2. "You have beautiful eyes."
This one holds way more weight than "You're beautiful." The more specific you can get, the more it shows that you're actually paying attention to what's unique to me as a person.
Seriously, I remember every person who's ever told me I have beautiful eyes or hair. But I can't tell you the names of the people who've just told me I'm beautiful.
3. "...And killer arms."
If we've spent time in the gym working on our fitness, it's a huge compliment that you've actually noticed our efforts.
By telling us we have killer arms, you're not just complimenting our physical appearance. You're telling us we spend our time — and, by extension, our single lives — wisely, and that being single doesn't have to be such a bad thing, after all.
4. "You were too smart for him."
A lot of times, I hear my girlfriends tell their newly single friends "you were too good for him!" The sentiment behind that compliment is sweet, but it doesn't really help us single folk know exactly what it was about us that our ex didn't appreciate.
If you tell us we were too smart for our exes, for example, it sounds less generic and more genuine.
Also, "too smart" is so much more of an ego boost to hear than "too nice" or even "too beautiful." "Too smart" compliments hard work, and that never goes unnoticed.
'Too smart' compliments hard work, and that never goes unnoticed.
5. "I wish I had your confidence."
Hell yes, we're confident. Inner confidence is what keeps us going.
We don't necessarily rely on outer praise, but if you are going to feed us a compliment, it may as well be one congratulating us on how we're able to maintain that inner assertiveness.
6. "You're an awesome role model."
Thank you! We're role models because we can get through life just fine on our own, even when we feel like we can't.
Again, we know this, but if you remind us, it pushes us to continue doing righteous things that much more.
7. "You'll find the right guy someday, but don't stop doing you until then."
The second half of this sentence is the crucial part. Lots of people are misguided and believe life doesn't begin until they're in a relationship or that a relationship will save them. (Those people have it wrong. You guys, life can be more fun when you're single, you just have to be open to it.)
But sometimes, we look around at our coupled-up friends and think we're living life wrong (hey, haven't you ever heard of peer mentality?)
If you confirm to us that it's OK to fight all of life's battles on our own and that it's OK to just be ourselves, we won't fall victim to said peer mentality.
8. "I admire how you stay true to yourself."
Perpetually single people are pros at being selfish. We stand our ground and refuse to compromise for anyone, unless that person is extra special.
Simply put, we know how to stay true to ourselves. It's one of the traits we admire most about ourselves.
When you can recognize that it's a trait worth admiring, it makes us want to be around you, because it probably means you stay true to yourself, too.