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Thread: 10 Things Never to Say to Singles

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    10 Things Never to Say to Singles

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    A friend posted this article on facebook. It's interesting to me. Perhaps the "never" in the title of the article is a bit harsh, but for the most part this article is pretty spot on. What do you other singles think, and all you taken folk, have you said these things, what are your thoughts of what the singles think?

    Yahoo! Shine - Women's Lifestyle | Healthy Living and Fashion Blogs

    By Arricca Elin SanSone

    The next time you're tempted to advise single friends, bite your tongue. "You may believe you're empathizing, but intrusive comments may offend your friend," says Helen Friedman, PhD, a clinical psychologist in St. Louis who specializes in relationships. "Before you open your mouth, ask yourself what's more important: your opinion or your friendship?" Here's what to avoid saying to your single friends, what you can sometimes say or do instead and when to simply zip your lips. Photo by Getty Images


    1. "Why aren't you married?"
    This question almost universally pushes single people's buttons. "Perhaps the answer is 'none of your business,'" says *Grace from Detroit. In fact, it's rude to assume singles are looking for a relationship. "This question presumes that the single person is unhappily single," says Bella DePaulo, PhD, author of Singled Out and Singlism who blogs about singles. "Many unattached people live their best, most authentic lives as singles." So stay away from this question and its variations-"Don't you want to be married?" "Have you ever been married?"

    2. "Have you tried online dating?"
    True, people find relationships online. But this assumes your friend is clueless and hasn't thought of it herself. "I can't tell you how many people have suggested online dating like it's never been suggested before," says *Idora from Boston. "The truth is the ratio of disappointing dates is the same online as it is offline.'" Furthermore, avoid sharing details about people you know who've found someone online; it has zero bearing on your friend's life. Finally, remember that offering dating advice implies there's something wrong with being single, says Dr. Friedman.

    3. "Stop being so picky."
    "Avoid name-calling. This comment basically slaps your friend's wrists and accuses her of faulty judgment, as if she can't trust her own wants and needs," says Dr. Friedman. If she brings up being frustrated with the dating pool, a better approach is to respond with, "It's challenging to find the right person for you," which acknowledges the realities of dating without criticizing her. And while it's OK to ask about what qualities she's looking for in a mate, don't add what she should be seeking.

    4. "You'll find the perfect guy when you're not looking."
    This is a lose-lose comment. On one hand, this assumes your friend is on the hunt when she may be content with single life. On the other hand, "This comment is disempowering if your friend actually is seeking a relationship," says Dr. Friedman. "It's the equivalent of saying, 'Just sit and wait for someone.'" Instead, affirm how much you care for your friend by continuing to do things you both love together and inviting her to events because you enjoy her company-not because you feel sorry for her.

    5. "What ever happened with [insert ex's name here]?"
    This is one of the worst things you can say to your friend, according to experts. "When a relationship ends, there's usually some degree of sadness, even if your friend is the one who initiated the breakup," says Diana Kirschner, PhD, author of Find Your Soulmate Online in Six Simple Steps. "Dredging everything back up is hurtful." Skip this question; if she wants to talk about it, she'll bring it up on her own.

    6. "You're so lucky to be single!"
    Even if you're reminiscing about your own carefree days of singledom, no one wants to hear this. "Just because I've never experienced marriage doesn't mean I don't miss that experience or think of what it might mean to me," says Grace. "I'm sure people in a relationship think the independence of being single is preferable at times. Yet singles have all the responsibilities of life without someone to share them." How you can help: "Be cognizant of the fact that singles don't have a partner to do something with 24/7 and may need someone occasionally," says Idora. So offer her a ride to the airport, help moving and whatever else she could use.

    7. "If you'd get out there, you'd find someone."
    "This rubs me the wrong way because you have no idea what I've tried or how aggressive or passive I might be," says Grace. "Maybe I'm shy and it isn't my personality to be the pursuer. Or maybe my workplace doesn't put me in contact with many other singles." Still, there's no harm in seeing if she's open to meeting someone you know. "Just don't spring it on her," says Dr. Kirschner. "Say something like, 'So-and-so is coming to the party on Sunday and he's funny and nice. You might enjoy talking to him." And leave it at that.

    8. "You should smile more/flirt more/wear your hair differently/wear more makeup."
    It's hard to imagine anyone finding these useful, but singles say they frequently hear these rude suggestions. "It's smug to think that because I'm single, I clearly am doing something wrong," says Idora. Most of all, "This assumes that you're the all-knowing superior person who can diagnose the 'problem' and dole out advice about how to fix it," says Dr. DePaulo. "Plenty of single people don't think they need to be fixed. And they're right. Even singles who want to be coupled don't always welcome unsolicited advice." Refrain from all attempts to teach your friend how to act or look, and respect and love her for her unique self.

    9. "You're still young. You'll find someone."
    You're probably trying to make her feel good about herself, but this kind of remark usually backfires. "She may think: 'I must look old. Why else would she feel the need to reassure me?'" says Dr. Kirschner. Besides, age has no bearing on one's ability to love or be loved, so don't spout platitudes that only perpetuate this myth.

    10. "Maybe you're meant to be single."
    You don't have a crystal ball any more than your friend does. "I want to share my life with someone; I don't need to," says *Nicola in New York City. "But I'm not giving up on lasting love simply because it hasn't happened yet-same as I wouldn't tell someone to give up on her dream at any age to go to college or start her own business or see the world. How dare anyone tell me to?" With that bit of common sense, this is one thought that should never be said aloud.

    *Names have been changed
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    I hate shit like this. I get that people can be insensitive, but there's lists out there of things not to say to singles, married people, parents, people without kids, people trying to have kids, people adopting, people looking for work, people with jobs they don't like, people with jobs they do like, people who don't go to college, people who do go to college, and people in pretty much any conceivable situation.

    Being sensitive to those around you is important, but at the same time, it is impossible for someone to know what you are sensitive about. If someone asks me something that raises my hackles, I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are inquiring about my life and trying to get to know me. If someone asks if you've tried online dating, maybe they just want to know if you've done it because they think it's interesting and would love to hear about it, just like they might as if you seen a certain movie or read a certain book.

    There's so damn many rules about what you cant say to People Who X, that having a conversation is nearly impossible to do without accidentally violating a list. Everyone wants their every sensitivity to be catered to, and it is out of control. Yes, I get frustrated when people say to me some of the things on some of the lists. But I give them the benefit if the doubt and don't make myself a victim of cruelty if someone says something bone-headed because they don't understand my choices or don't know that something might be a little offensive.

    I don't understand why the onus is always on the other person to know what not to say and to never offend or say the wrong thing.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I hate shit like this. I get that people can be insensitive, but there's lists out there of things not to say to singles, married people, parents, people without kids, people trying to have kids, people adopting, people looking for work, people with jobs they don't like, people with jobs they do like, people who don't go to college, people who do go to college, and people in pretty much any conceivable situation.

    Being sensitive to those around you is important, but at the same time, it is impossible for someone to know what you are sensitive about. If someone asks me something that raises my hackles, I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are inquiring about my life and trying to get to know me. If someone asks if you've tried online dating, maybe they just want to know if you've done it because they think it's interesting and would love to hear about it, just like they might as if you seen a certain movie or read a certain book.

    There's so damn many rules about what you cant say to People Who X, that having a conversation is nearly impossible to do without accidentally violating a list. Everyone wants their every sensitivity to be catered to, and it is out of control. Yes, I get frustrated when people say to me some of the things on some of the lists. But I give them the benefit if the doubt and don't make myself a victim of cruelty if someone says something bone-headed because they don't understand my choices or don't know that something might be a little offensive.

    I don't understand why the onus is always on the other person to know what not to say and to never offend or say the wrong thing.


    I read through those questions and some of them I don't understand. They definitely didn't bother me when I was single.

    And the whole "do this differently one", sometimes people do need to do things differently if the way they're dating now isn't currently working.


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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I hate shit like this. I get that people can be insensitive, but there's lists out there of things not to say to singles, married people, parents, people without kids, people trying to have kids, people adopting, people looking for work, people with jobs they don't like, people with jobs they do like, people who don't go to college, people who do go to college, and people in pretty much any conceivable situation.

    Being sensitive to those around you is important, but at the same time, it is impossible for someone to know what you are sensitive about. If someone asks me something that raises my hackles, I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are inquiring about my life and trying to get to know me. If someone asks if you've tried online dating, maybe they just want to know if you've done it because they think it's interesting and would love to hear about it, just like they might as if you seen a certain movie or read a certain book.

    There's so damn many rules about what you cant say to People Who X, that having a conversation is nearly impossible to do without accidentally violating a list. Everyone wants their every sensitivity to be catered to, and it is out of control. Yes, I get frustrated when people say to me some of the things on some of the lists. But I give them the benefit if the doubt and don't make myself a victim of cruelty if someone says something bone-headed because they don't understand my choices or don't know that something might be a little offensive.

    I don't understand why the onus is always on the other person to know what not to say and to never offend or say the wrong thing.


    I was single for a very long time before I met DB and I had some of these things said to me and honestly I didn't take offense. It was never meant in a condescending, bad, etc way. People were honestly just curious or trying to help. I didn't necessarily want to hear every thing that people chose to say, but once they were not saying it from a malicious place, why read more into it? While I think we should all try to be polite and conscious of how what we say to each other comes across, I just find these types of articles frustrating. One- they do not relate to all people and Two- if you follow all these lists out there you'd be afraid to say anything to anyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I hate shit like this. I get that people can be insensitive, but there's lists out there of things not to say to singles, married people, parents, people without kids, people trying to have kids, people adopting, people looking for work, people with jobs they don't like, people with jobs they do like, people who don't go to college, people who do go to college, and people in pretty much any conceivable situation.

    Being sensitive to those around you is important, but at the same time, it is impossible for someone to know what you are sensitive about. If someone asks me something that raises my hackles, I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are inquiring about my life and trying to get to know me. If someone asks if you've tried online dating, maybe they just want to know if you've done it because they think it's interesting and would love to hear about it, just like they might as if you seen a certain movie or read a certain book.

    There's so damn many rules about what you cant say to People Who X, that having a conversation is nearly impossible to do without accidentally violating a list. Everyone wants their every sensitivity to be catered to, and it is out of control. Yes, I get frustrated when people say to me some of the things on some of the lists. But I give them the benefit if the doubt and don't make myself a victim of cruelty if someone says something bone-headed because they don't understand my choices or don't know that something might be a little offensive.

    I don't understand why the onus is always on the other person to know what not to say and to never offend or say the wrong thing.
    Oh my goodness, thank you. All of this.
    ​​​

    “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -- Carl Sagan

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    I get asked these all the time at work and the only time I was offended was when a old man said "what's wrong with you?" Otherwise it's really not a big deal for me to answer these questions.
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    I wouldn't say any of those things to anyone. I've had people say pretty offensive things to me (i.e. you're fat, you'll never find love), some of whom used phrases similar to those in the article.

    These lists communicate a lack of empathy, . There are some things that you just shouldn't say. It's a shame that some people need "education" to avoid them.
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    #8
    I don't think that half of those would come from somebody intentionally trying to be rude. I think if someone told me 'you will find someone when you aren't looking' or 'have you tried online dating', I would just think they are trying to be helpful or encouraging.

    However, I don't get offended very easily.
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    i was all hackles raised, ready to soapbox, and then read that villanelle said everything i wanted to first so yeah, that.

    and frankly, if i said something to a friend like "have you tried online dating" and they freaked out about it, i'd be like "welp... that explains that."
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    What Villanelle said is exactly what I was going to say.

    Also, it IS true that if you stop looking, someone can possibly walk into your life. I honestly feel like people can just SENSE if you're desperate (for lack of better words) for a relationship. I know I was OMGOMGINEEDABOYFRIENDNOWWHEREISHEEEEEE before I said eff this and did my own thing. As soon as I did that, I had quite a few date prospects. Then I met DF (but that was from an online dating site so I don't know if that even counts).
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