The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

10 Things Not to Say to Single People

Most of my blogs recently have stemmed from articles I have read recently or in the past. A month or so ago, my friend e-mailed me an article that had a compilation of things not to say to single people. It made me laugh because I resonated with so many of them and found solace in the fact that there are several others who feel the same way.

I decided to take a few of my favorite comments and expand upon them. Though the past few blog entries have pointed to being single in some shape or form, please don't mistake this for bitterness. The point of "The Fabulous Familiar" is to laugh at the familiar--and let's face it-- this is my "familiar" right now.

So, with that introduction out of the way, here are a list of things you may have heard, or even said yourself at some point in your life.

1. It happens when you least expect it.

This one always makes me smile because it makes me picture myself as a dear, sweet gazelle minding my own business in the African safari. There I am, snagging some tasty grass and all of a sudden--out of nowhere--comes this monstrous lion coming to take a chunk out of my side. It's like people are saying this to you so you don't feel responsible for you poor love life. Like somehow by walking along blindly like a Dodo bird, you are going to bump into the man of your dreams. This also merits the tapping of the foot, followed by the plea to God, "I'm being patient, God. I'm not expecting it. I'm not even looking for someone right now."

2. You just haven't found the right person yet.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. I love this one especially after you have been dumped because it's like salt on an already open wound. "So you mean to tell me that this guy who just left me cold for no apparent reason wasn't the right person?" It's like watching your friend barely get a pair of pants to her knees and going, "I just don't think you've found the right size yet." Well, duh.

3. So, why are you single?

If I knew that, dear, do you think I would be single? I have always been tempted, when asked this question, to just lay everything on the line: "Well, thanks for asking. I smack when I eat my food, I snore really loud, I have a plethora of back hair and my hormones make me crazy."

4. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

Well, I know, but I wanted that fish. And he didn't want me. Saying this to single people is particularly not comforting because it is taking away the focus from their current heartache. If a child's puppy died, you wouldn't say, "Sorry, Bobby, there are plenty of dogs out there in this world." So why do we do it to single people?

5. You should consider yourself lucky. You are free; I have to do {insert boyfriend/husband's name}'s laundry and he only brushes his teeth when I make him.

This one cracks me up because they act like having a boyfriend is not a choice. Sweetheart, I'm pretty sure if you wanted to be single that bad, it could happen for ya. Actually, I could probably write out an instruction manual if you need one.

6. It was just bad timing.

This is one of the great lies of relationships. If a guy breaks up with you because of "bad timing," FLEE. All bad timing really means is that all the time in the world wouldn't make you right for each other. This phrase is used as a cop-out (I have even used it on myself). It is a way for us to blame outside circumstances for the lack of rightness.

7. The ambiguous, "He's out there."

Who's out there? I mean, I know there are men in China, Latin America and Iceland. How does this observation make me feel any better about my current situation? I am not putting down my tub of ice cream on the condition that there are men out there. Part of the reason I am sulking, honey, is because he is "out there" and not "over here."

8. The totally uncorrelated personal experience.

This is when the Homecoming Queen who is still happily married to the Quarterback decides she is going to be a source of consolation. "I remember when I tried to talk to Chris in the lunchroom in 10th grade, he just barely looked my way at first. I mean, being single is so hard." Okay, sister. Comparing an adolescent disappointment to being in your mid-twenties or thirties and being short on romance is kind of not helping me feel better.

9. When you find the right person, you'll know.

The reason I love this one is because I thought at first--with every failed relationship--that I "knew." I mean, are fireworks going to go off? Is he going to have a neon sign on his forehead? What is this "you'll just know" business?

10. You just need to put yourself out there more.

I'm sorry, miss. Does getting a account, going on mission trips, going to church functions and attending college for 6 years make me a hermit? I mean, what's a girl to do-- stand up on a billboard and scream at the top of her lungs? Just because a girl or guy hasn't found true love doesn't necessarily mean they are not putting forth effort.

There are, of course, many more where these came from. I think sometimes the best thing you can do for a single friend is just be their friend. Laugh when they want to laugh about it, listen when they want to whine about it. There is no rule of friendship that says a response is necessary. Even tearing down their former boyfriend or girlfriend doesn't help with the pain involved. Only time and a friend's compassion will truly open doors to a brighter outlook.


Blogger Aaron said...

Points 1 and 9 get a special laugh-laced-with-pain from me...

I gave up. I COMPLETELY gave up. For almost two years, I had friends who were girls, but not a girlfriend, and was completely OK with it. I went out on dates that were just for fun, just to hang out, just to go out with somebody that wasn't one of the dudes. I completely stopped looking, because everybody had told me that it was going to happen when I least expected it, and that when the right girl came into my life, I would just KNOW.

And so when SHE came into my life, I just KNEW that SHE was the one.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I haven't talked to her in 5 months. My heart was completely broken. It got me closer to God, so I'm not really complaining that much... But... I knew she was the one, and she came into my life when I didn't expect it at all. That's part of what made me so sure - EVERYBODY had told me it would be like this! Surely she was the girl!

I cried every night for seven weeks at the beginning of this year.

Thanks, vague dating advice!

May 19, 2010 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Cole said...

I apologize right now if I have ever used any of these lines on single people... and here's to laughing and listening when ya need it! :)

June 17, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

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