When you’re in love, you want the world to be as happy as you are. You may find it surprising, however, that your concern is the exact reason why your son avoids your phone calls, or why your sister dreads coming home from college for Thanksgiving.
It can be very trying for single people to be around their married relatives and friends. Everyone’s eagerness to see a loved one pair up, settle down and find happiness can sometimes be overbearing. Here are some things you should avoid saying to singles.
1. “So, are you seeing anyone?”
It seems an innocent enough question, but it’s really a bad idea because it opens a can of worms.
She may not be seeing anyone—she may not be happy about not seeing anyone. Hearing this question is the emotional equivalent to being poked with a sharp stick. Having to answer it is like poking yourself again.
Give your friend or family member a break. Let her/him come to you if he wants to discuss his love life, loneliness or heart’s desires.
Alternately, she might have something stewing and is just not ready to share it. You’ve just put her in a position in which she has to lie to you, or in which she has to come forth with something she’s just not ready to talk about.
If and when she is seeing someone, and she’s excited about it, she’ll let you know.
2. “Maybe you’re being too picky…”
The problem here is that you’re adding insult to what may be injury. If your loved one is feeling depressed over a string of bad dates, or because he’s been dumped or had to break up with someone he knew in his heart wasn’t right for him, he may be having a hard time with it.
Not only are you reminding him of his single status when he’s trying to have a good time with you, but you’re also making out his single status to be a character flaw.
Not to mention, people should be picky when looking for a life partner, shouldn’t they?
3. “This is what you need to do…”
Warning: you are on thin ice here. It’s just not a good idea to give someone advice when you are not in the same situation. Everyone’s life is different—what landed you a husband might not land your friend the kind of guy she wants. When you feel the urge to play relationship coach, unless you have a degree in relationship coaching, bite your tongue.
4. “Oh, you’re so lucky you’re single, you don’t have to…”
You don’t have to what? Fight for the remote? Sleep with a blanket hog? Stay home and watch kids on Saturday nights?
There is just no good way to finish that sentence, especially if your friend wishes he did have someone to come home to watch TV with, to cuddle up with in bed, or wished he could start a family.
5. “Don’t worry; the right person will come along…”
Anything along these lines, including, “It will happen for you when you least expect it,” or, “You’ll find the right girl when you’re not even looking,” can just make your loved one feel pathetic.
It downplays and undermines just about everything else they may have going for them—they might be doing well at school, or successful in business, have great friends or happiness on their own. You’re reducing their life to nothing but a big waiting game, as if it’s all meaningless in comparison to becoming part of a couple.
Give your friend or family member a break. Let her/him come to you if he wants to discuss her/his love life, loneliness or heart’s desires. Until then, concentrate not on his relationship status, but on all the other things he has going for him.