It's Unmarried and Single Americans Week! I had no idea this was a thing that exists — or that it runs from September 18 to 24 — until today (go figure).
Started by The Buckeye Singles Council in Ohio in 1980, this national acknowledgment pays homage to all of my fellow fabulous, single people. And for very good reason.
According to new data collected by the US Census Bureau, there were 109 million Americans over age 18 who were single or unmarried in 2015 (that's 45 percent of the adult population, people!). Plus, the majority of adult women in America (53 percent) are SINGLE AF, and 63 percent have never been married.
Riding solo seems to be the latest trend to follow. In my opinion, it's because there are a ton of amazing women kicking ass at their careers and hobbies who may be dating, but may also be leaning in to the freedoms of hookup culture.
And yet, any unattached woman in 2016 is STILL asked the same, dreadful question: "Why are you still single?"
Instead of responding to this query with eye rolls, long sighs, or outlandish statements, like, "The guy I loved was hit by a comet," we should start to do something else entirely. We should start telling the truth.
I've realized there's nothing wrong with the truth. The truth sounds just fine to me, and it should to whoever's asking the question, too.
So, in honor of celebrating, not lamenting, your solo status this week, here are eight honest and positive responses to give to that nosy family member or newly engaged friend who keeps asking you why you're still single:
1. "I'm really focused on my career right now."
Did you know that single people, especially, excel in their careers because they have the free time and energy they otherwise would be investing in a partner?
It makes perfect sense: We don't have romantic arguments or disappointments that are affecting our performance or focus on the job.
And, we can throw ourselves into our work without feeling guilty about how we're spending our time. Personally, it makes me feel good to excel at something, and subsequently, being good at my job makes me proud to be on this earth.
Be proud of your workaholic status. It wasn't easy to get where you are.
2. "There are too many amazing people in the world. I have trouble choosing just one."
I like this one a lot. Not only is it true for me, but it's also pretty valid.
My city is swimming with singles because they're just too damn overwhelmed by all the greatness walking amongst them.
Every corner brings a hotter, smarter person than the last, and you almost can't help but empathize with those noncommittal men who are too paralyzed to make a decision.
Hell, you might even empathize with the men who won't commit to you. There are endless options. It's OK to acknowledge that.
3. "I enjoy doing whatever I want in my free time."
Gym rats, you all understand my affinity for the weight room.
It's nearly impossible.
But when you don't have an SO, your schedule gets a little roomier — allowing you to do whatever you want when you aren't bound by the opinions, desires, or schedule of someone else. You can shop, read, park-hop, craft (the list goes on...) to your heart's content.
You give yourself the time to pursue your own interests, and there's no freer feeling.
4. "I cherish my space."
I love my bed. I love its big, inviting corners and its silky, soft sheets.
I love that some dude's snoring or comforter-hogging isn't waking me up in the middle of the night.
I love that I can do my secret single girl habits in bed, like eat spoonfuls of peanut butter until I'm too full to do anything but fall asleep, without shame.
Don't be ashamed of your low-key appreciation for your space. Ever.
5. "I love the thrill of a weekend romance."
Weekend romances are all the rage.
Seriously. I love to meet people at bars, at parties, through friends, etc. and have these action-packed, whirlwind romances with them.
There's something thrilling about going through your weekday routine, then unwinding with and getting to know some dude you meet on Friday night, only to let him go in 48 hours.
It gives me the best of both worlds: I get to cuddle, and then I get my space.
This doesn't make me a bad person. Maybe a little selfish, sure. But there's nothing wrong with being selfish, especially when you're still trying to navigate yourself and what you want.
6. "I like to try new things on my own."
I've hired a male escort and passed him off as my fake boyfriend before. I've also traveled alone to a foreign country where I didn't know a single soul. These are just a few examples of the crazy things I like to do on my own.
Regardless of whether or not you're as wacky as I am, you will still love the liberty of being alone.
I find I learn so much about myself, like my affection trying out new recipes. You're not standing there watching someone else cook for you. You're forced to do it all on your own, and you feel super rewarded when you've successfully made a dish.
So, tell your family and friends that you're learning a lot as a single person, thank you very much.
7. "I haven't found him yet, but I'm having a hell of a fun time looking!"
This one alludes to being on the hunt, but also not hating the process, either.
It's fun to hook up with that guy you told yourself you never would. It's fun to have a story for the morning after that crazy night you'll always remember.
It's fun to make mistakes, learn from them, and actually feel yourself growing, even if you're growing at a rate of a centimeter-per-fuckup.
Admit this, because it's the truth. And if/when you're ready to not be on the hunt anymore, admit that, too.
8. "I enjoy being single."
If the thought of swiping through dating apps, going on blind dates, or being set up by your friends gives you the chills (and not the good kind), you have every right to say you're enjoying your status exactly how it is.
Give yourself a pat on the back for milking the shiz out of that single life. You can't see me right now, but I'm air-fiving you.