If You’re Tired Of Hearing You Need To “Put Yourself Out There,” Here’s What To Say
You know what’s just the worst? Being happily single, yet having all your friends insist you need to “put yourself out there.” Being single has tons of perks, so it’s totally possible to be a content single person. (Shocking, I know). But for some reason, people tend to assume that if you’re not in a relationship, you’re looking for one. They then follow up with unsolicited advice about how you, Single Person, should “put yourself out there” and find someone “so great!” So, what do you say when you’re tired of hearing you need to put yourself out there? What do you tell your seemingly well-intentioned loved ones that you’re fine, thanks, and you don’t need to put yourself anywhere?
It’s tough to confront people in general, but confronting someone you care about when you know they mostly mean well can be even tougher. When someone gives you advice (even the unsolicited kind), it can make you feel like you don’t need anyone’s input, thank you very much, you’ve got it under control. Also, what do you, Advice Giver, know about what I, Single Person, want/need? It’s easy to get hung up on what you think someone’s intentions are, especially when you don’t particularly like that person. But when it’s someone you love — like a parent, sibling, or best friend — it might be safe to assume that all they really want is for you to be happy. That’s probably why they’re giving you advice when you didn’t ask for it.
What they often don’t realize is that happiness looks different for everyone. Being in a relationship might be what happiness looks like for them, but if your happiness looks like flirting freely and casual hookups, that’s also valid! You may also just be, oh, IDK, waiting to meet someone who you actually like enough to date! Who knew?! Not them, apparently. Consider what your advice giver’s intentions are before confronting them, and use that as a way to guide the conversation in a more positive direction. This doesn’t need to be a fight, but rather, a clarification that you don’t need anyone but your bad self.
1"You know what? I’m really happy being single right now, but thank you for your input!"
This one is short, simple, and gets straight to the point. It’s especially useful if you really just don’t want to get into it right now. You’re still being respectful, but you’re not giving away too much information, because honestly? You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone.
2"I don’t need to put myself anywhere, actually! I’m dating just fine on my own."
Yes, sass! This tells your advice giver that you don’t need their help or their advice, because you’ve got the dating game down on your own terms.
3"You know, I’ve actually been told that a few times, and I disagree. Here’s why..."
Only pull this one out when you’re in the mood to talk about it. Don’t invite a conversation if you’re not willing to have it, but if you are, this is a great way to really make the other person understand why the advice bothers you, and a surefire way to guarantee they won’t tell you again.
4"I so appreciate your concern, but you don’t need to worry about me. I’m happy with where my life is right now."
This is a great way to tell a parent or family member that you’re happy being single, all while being respectful and appreciative of their concern. Remember: They’re probably just nagging you because they love you and they want you to be happy. If a conversation arises from this response, don’t be afraid to let them in a little more. Explain that your life feels just as complete without a partner as with one, and that you really don’t need the added pressure of finding someone before you’re ready.
5"I’m not ready to date right now/I don’t want to date right now. Please quit telling me that I should be."
If you’re dealing with an advice giver that just won’t stop meddling into your life, this response is direct, honest, and firm, while still being civil and non-aggressive. It’s a great way to make them understand the place you’re in while cutting to the chase: Quit bugging me!
Just like happiness looks different for everyone, so does “putting yourself out there.” While your loved ones might think it means speed dating, or going on blind dates, you might consider it to mean swiping on a dating app or connecting through Facebook. Maybe you have been putting yourself out there this whole time, just not in the way they expect. Either way, the key is to just talk about it and stay true to yourself. There is no real pressure to find someone unless you put it on yourself, so if you’re happy with where you are, make sure to communicate that! It’ll save you lots of eye rolls and awkward conversations from here on out.
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