This one goes out to everyone with single girlfriends – which is probably all of you. If not, your life is not complete, because we’re pretty awesome. I know that I bring as much value to my married friends as they do to me as an unmarried woman. If you are the single lady, then I’ll probably get a few “AMEN!”s from this! Please repost and pass this one along because, girlfriend, you deserve to be understood.
Below are 12 things to STOP saying in interacting with your single friends – particularly the girls. I interviewed quite a few friends of mine and asked 2 questions:
- “What are things that people say that you wish they wouldn’t?”
- “What do you wish people would do for you?” (I’ll convey the answers to this in Part II in two weeks.)
What is so fascinating is that each of the answers to this first question came back multiple times so those were the ones I picked. The first three were said by almost every girl I asked.
12 Things to Stop Saying to Your Single Girlfriends
1. “I met him when I stopped looking. / He’ll come when you least expect it.”
She’s heard it. Got it. Let’s be honest – she always has one eye open – and you probably did, too. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of “I stopped looking, and a week later I met him” or some variation. Barf. I “stopped looking” 8 years ago. I don’t think that’s the secret.
2. “How/Why are you single?”
Don’t ever ask why they’re single. Ever. Just don’t. I know you mean it as a compliment and all, meaning why hasn’t someone scooped her up, but she may be wondering the same thing and she hears the question as something that needs diagnosed or psychoanalyzed. Don’t make singleness out to be a disease. Maybe it’s a choice. They’re choosing single over their current options.
3. “You need to be content in your singleness.”
She thought she was content until you said that. Now, because she doesn’t have a guy, it makes her question whether or not she is actually content. So – does that then mean that she needs to keep striving in her level of spirituality to find ultimate contentment? If in a moment she’s feeling discontent – is that why she’s single? It also implies that being content entitles you to blessings and God doesn’t work that way.
4. “Are you dating someone? / Is there anyone special?”
It isn’t always necessary to ask her if she’s dating someone – trust me, she’ll tell you if she is. Plus, if her answer is no, refer to item 2 above. That’s how she now feels.
5. “I want to set you up with someone.”
Regarding set ups, just because you know two single people of the opposite sex doesn’t mean they should be put together. While sometimes set ups work, give it some thought please. Find out what she wants in someone and, make sure she’s actually open to a blind date. If she’s not, don’t force it. It’s irritating after awhile and chances are, you’re certainly not the only one offering.
6. “Let me give you some [unsolicited] advice.”
Don’t give them dating or relationship advice unless they ask. So many people have so many different opinions and mixed advice creates a very frustrating confusion. Please don’t take offense to this, but she’s going to want advice from people who have the type of relationship she wants at the time she needs it, and everyone else’s advice is noise. Let her seek the advice and she’ll appreciate it more.
7. “You’re being too picky.”
This implies that you think she is looking for the “perfect” guy. False, we do understand that relationships take work and she is not looking for someone who is perfect but she is looking for someone who fits. As singles, we plan to be married only once and are willing to wait to know it’s right. Read my non-negotiables post and realize that we know what we can and cannot handle. It’s not being picky. It’s having standards.
8. “He’s out there.”
She knows that. She’s pretty much counting on that to be true. You pointing it out sheds light on the fact that he’s “out there” and not “right here” – which she is glaringly aware of.
9. “You just need to put yourself out there.”
What does that mean?? Walk the street corners? Seriously. Unless your friend is keeping herself pent up in her apartment, she’s out there.
10. “So when are you getting married [asked at a wedding]?”
If we knew the answer to this awesome question, we’d have a date right there with us at this wedding, now wouldn’t we. So, we probably don’t know. Thank you for drawing attention to this fact in this already couple-absorbed, love-oriented environment.
11. “You deserve someone.”
Please, for the love, do not pity her. That is the last thing she needs. There is a chance that she is pitying herself at times and self pity is a horrible distracting lie and it doesn’t need to be fed. While we all agree that she deserves someone, I’ve come to realize that just because she deserves it doesn’t bring it and that can be a frustrating realization if she doesn’t have the proper perspective of God’s timing.
… and just one last thing:
12. Just because she’s single doesn’t mean she wants to date your man.
It’s not always easy being single. For many, contentment in this season is a cyclical thing so while we know that these above comments do not usually come from a place of malice and you didn’t mean it the way she heard it – most singles just want a little bit of sensitivity/compassion in their situation. Remember what it was like for you when you got married and were asked instantly when you were having kids?
There definitely seems to be a perception that marriage is a ‘goal’ and singleness can be viewed, at times, as missing the mark. The truth is that it is a season, just like marriage is, and it can and should be completely satisfying, wholesome, and complete in itself. Singles who do desire marriage sometimes struggle to understand that God loves them just as they are, and He has a plan that is perfect for them, and the plan is worth waiting for. Many of these things listed, when said to her, can tempt her into taking into her own hands what she really doesn’t have the utmost control over. Her control is over her own attitude towards it. That’s where she needs the encouragement.
Stay tuned (subscribe so you get notification) for my follow-up post where I’ll give some insight into what she does want you to do for her, because I’m thinking that now, if you’ve said these things, you may need some encouragement!