You don't owe anyone an explanation, but should you change your mind, we've done the work for you.
As someone who's habitually single, trust me when I say I've been given the fifth degree on my relationship status by "well-meaning" family and friends more times than I can count. And while these people usually mean to be helpful and hopeful with their line questioning, sometimes they just come off downright rude. But fear not, single folk, I'm here to help. If you follow this advice, you’ll have the perfect answer to every uncomfortable question at the ready and (hopefully) avoid any and all follow-up questions. And remember the golden rule: it’s your love life and you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Ever.
1. QUESTION: Do you have a boyfriend yet?
ANSWER: "No, I’m not really focusing on a relationship. My career and other responsibilities are taking center stage right now. In due time it’ll work out, though."
Before you jump down someone's throat for this one, realize that many people consider this question a conversation-starter and mean no harm. So by answering this way, you instantly state where you are in life, what you’re doing and that you’re not leaving finding a man up to to chance, otherwise you risk family members educating you on the lifespan of your eggs. If you’re direct enough, this should end ALL questions about your love life for the evening.
2. QUESTION: What happened to your ex?
ANSWER: "I wouldn't know. He's an ex and I assume he's moved on just as I have."
You're bound to get this question, unless your relationship was super-rocky and is the type of stuff Lifetime movies are made of. Take note: This question is actually less about your ex and more about the potential that your friend/family member may have to spend another holiday with this person. This answer shows confidence, finality and that moving on is a state of mind, not a new person. Don’t be surprised after you answer that a family member or friend will go on to explain why they weren’t right for you in the first place! This has happened to me more times than I count count and I always laugh it off; why didn't you tell me earlier?!
3. QUESTION: Have you gone on any dates lately?
ANSWER: "I’ve been out a couple of times, but nothing catches my eye."
If you followed my advice on the initial question, then you shouldn’t even get to this question. But if for some strange reason this is the first question you're asked, it implies that the person inquiring is fairly familiar with your dating status. (And boo on them for asking you publicly!) If you're feeling a little bit bitchy, follow-up by returning the question if they’re single or choose a jab like, 'So, did you ever find a job?’ (OH YES I DID and it was the best Mean Girls moment of my life.)
4. QUESTION: Can I set you up?
ANSWER: "No, Aunt Shelly! Trust me, I’ve got quite a few prospects, and honestly, having family set me up can be so awkward. It’s never gone well."
ARGH, single ladies hate this one. You hear me?! We. Hate. It! While many couples have been born of blind dates, most people view the fact that you're both single as the common denominator that will most definitely result in true love. Take it from someone who’s been set-up at least three or four times by family members and friends; when things don't work out, it results in major awkwardness between you and the person who set you up. Especially when you can’t think of a politically correct way to tell them why it didn’t work out with the person they swore was your soulmate (i.e. your son may be gay; he’s an entitled douche, etc.)
5. QUESTION: Have you tried online dating?
ANSWER: "Well, who hasn't?"
It's a funny, true response. But make sure you ensure them that you meet guys in real life, too. You don’t need to hide behind a screen and Instagram filters in order to get a date; you just see online dating as another feeder into your busy life. That’s that.
6. QUESTION: You’ve never brought home a guy for the holidays? Are you interested in them at all?
ANSWER: "Oh, I'm interested. But I want the guy to be interesting enough to meet those who matter to me the most. But eventually, it'll happen."
True story: A friend of mine was asked by her parents if she was a lesbian because she’d never brought home a guy in the first few years of her twenties. PSA: People these days aren’t rushing to introduce the guy they’re casually dating to their parentals. Assure your family that just because they haven’t met anyone doesn’t mean you aren’t vetting some good guys. You just don’t want to pull the trigger too quickly.
7. QUESTION: Have you thought about changing your mindset? Your hair? Losing weight?
ANSWER: "Oh, I spruce things up to keep it fresh. But I know the man who’s meant for me will love me as is. No extra frills needed, but I’m not the type to get stale anyway (wink)."
Don’t you just hate the zen person who basically floats out of their yoga pose to feng shui your thoughts? GAH. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with making subtle improvements to yourself to feel more confident and beautiful but if you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ve already gotten your seasonal highlights and a brand new pair of shoes this month. So this answer should suffice.
8. QUESTION: Have you thought about going to (insert location) or moving?
ANSWER: "I don’t think it’s worth moving or going out of my way to get a man. What’s meant for me will happen. And I think the places I frequent on the weekends are the types of places where the type of guy I’m interested in meeting would be. I don’t think I should go to a nightclub if that isn’t typical of me, because it may be typical of him.”
It really drives me up the wall when people ask this question. If you believe in religion or the universe having any kind of order, you know that you couldn’t miss the man meant for you if you found yourself stuck on a farmhouse in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
Again, remember: your business is your business. And there are many nice-nasty ways to put your family in their place if they impose on that. Bottom line: The only person you have to answer to is you.