I was single for four years. Despite the fact I'm now engaged (ladies, there's hope!), there are one or two things I learned during my long nights alone that still bother me about the stigma of being single.
My point is, being single bites, but I think it's even worse because society says some pretty fucked up things about the subject. These five are particularly bad.
1. "You'll find someone eventually."
This is the cliche line we've all heard and probably told our best friend at some point while she's sitting on the couch stuffing Girl Scout cookies down her throat.
Reason this is bad: Aside from the whole insinuating she *wants*to settle down one day thing, saying this often comes with more heartbreak than hope. Typical follow up-response: "Yeah, well when will that be?"
This kind of thing, while meant to be comforting, does nothing but make people wonder when love is going to find them. It stops them from being OK on their own. Their incentive now isn't to take time to heal, it's to see who else is out there.
2. "When are you going to settle down?"
Switching gears from a heartbreak to just plain old singledom, I haaaaaated hearing this. Like if I wanted to settle down, I would. It's not that easy. I'm still heartbroken. I'm focusing on my career. Every man I meet is an asshole.
Whatever it is, saying this to people basically eliminates what's happening in their lives. Like for me, it was, "Hey, I'm putting myself through college and am a published author, but sure let's define me by my empty left hand finger." COOL.
Reason this is bad: It overlooks every other element in that person's life. You can make someone feel as if his or her accomplishments aren't as important as a relationship.
3. "When you get into a relationship, we can double date!"
Well, sure, there's no way I can have fun with you and your SO and not have someone to post selfies with in a pumpkin patch alongside your couple shots. HOW DO I DEAL?
Reason this is bad: It just is. Hang out with your friend goddamnit!
4. "I don't want to upset you, but (insert generic boyfriend/girlfriend's name here) has a new SO."
A frenemy of mine one time told me this and followed it up by saying, "Well a good friend will tell you stuff like this!" GIRL PLEASE.
I'm all for telling your bestie his or her SO was found smooching on some other lips. Friend code. But, honestly, why has this EVER been a decent thing to say to someone?
Reason this is bad: It's hurtful and selfish. Are you saying this for their benefit or yours? Why do they need to know? Will this make them suddenly move on and forget they're heartbroken? Will this make them second guess their single status and say, "Well maybe it's time for me to get out there, too!"
No! An ex is an ex for a reason, and there's no need to bring it up. It only does more harm than anything else.
5. "Eh, you're not missing much."
No? Only love, friendship, companionship, someone to tell about my day, make out with and attend cute Halloween parties together 'cause it's cuffing season.
Reason this is bad: Your friend knows it's a downright lie, and even if he or she doesn't want a relationship, there's no reason to diminish how someone else feels. Friends should be happy for their friends who find love. If you're in a relationship, you don't need to downplay it.