As an older single who has never married, I have heard all kinds of advice from well-intentioned friends. Sometimes, their words make me laugh; other times, they hurt. So here are six things I would recommend to avoid saying to a single.
1. You must be too picky.
I admit I do have high standards. But I’m not looking for perfection. I know there is no perfect person in the world, including myself. But, I do have certain standards that I know God desires for me, and I don’t want to compromise my values just for the sake of being married.
2. Oh, I’m so sorry…
When someone said that to me, I responded with, “Oh, don’t feel sorry for me. Let me share with you all the benefits of my singleness and things I can do as a single that I wouldn’t be able to do if I were married.” There can be hardship and pain and loneliness in any state of life – married or single.
3. I know just the perfect guy for you. Let me set you up!
I’ve been open when someone asks me if I’d be willing to meet someone, but, to be honest, most of the time, I wish I hadn’t agreed to it. I have come to the place where I would rather just meet someone naturally as God brings them across my path. When people set me up, it can be awkward for both parties if it’s not working.
4. You’re just not ready for marriage yet. When you’re ready, God will bring your husband into your life.
Nope. I don’t agree with that one. I know way too many people who were not ready for marriage when God brought them their husbands. And to be honest, are any of us really ready for marriage? I’ve heard many of my married friends say, “I had no idea marriage was going to be this hard.”
5. What’s wrong with you?
Actually, no one ever says that to my face, but their expressions communicate those words. And sometimes I am tempted to ask myself that question. Being single doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. (Actually, we all have things “wrong” with us, married or single. None of us have it all together.) God has called some of us to singleness. That’s not a curse, but a blessing, as it allows us to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to Him.
6. Have you ever been married?
That’s the normal follow-up question after, “Are you married?” It almost feels like they would look at you more favorably if you had once been married.
I have always had a desire to be married, but the older I get, I love my singleness. It would take a true Prince Charming to get me to give up my singleness now. And after all, I have the best Husband in the world!
What would you add to this list of things not to say to a single?