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What not to say to a longstanding single person… (In a real, but also sarcastic, cheeky kind of way)

Updated: May 23, 2023

worst single cliches, annoyed, mad girl

· “It will happen when it happens.” (well duh…..)

· “Singleness is a gift.” (Ugh maybe at times or for a bit, but not decades of singleness. I’d like to exchange ‘this gift’ now.”)

· “It will happen when you aren’t looking.” (Well, I haven’t been on a date in years, so don’t think that’s true.)

· “It will happen when you least expect it.” (Again, I couldn’t expect it less.)

· “Have you tried online dating?” (Ugh I think 99% percent of the population has tried online dating at some point…)

· “Maybe your standards are too high.” (Maybe your standards are too low Sally and that’s how you ended up with Jim. Eeek! Kidding aside, I’m just looking for basics now: has a decent, good paying job, IS SINGLE and available (that’s the toughest part), ready for a serious relationship, is into women (the rate of gay men is skyrocketing these days), Christian, likes dogs, has teeth, is a nice human, can laugh every once in awhile…… And if he has some hair, and likes country music and golf then added bonuses. Literally like finding the smallest needle in the biggest haystack ever.

· “Maybe it’s God’s plan.” (I truly believe we do not serve a God to put such a pure desire on my heart since I was a young girl, to not provide that. He made me and knows. Otherwise, that’s just cruel and we don’t serve a cruel and mean God. It just might look different than I had imagined and it is in His timing and not mine, unfortunately.)

· “Oh you want to be a mom? Have you tried freezing your eggs?” (No Donna because it’s a million dollars and not a penny is covered by insurance. So that’s not an option for the majority. I’m just over here trying to pay my regular bills on my single income.)

I’m just poking fun at culture and these phrases we say to eachother that really are just space fillers, kind of like when you play the dance of “Hi, how are you?” “I’m good. How are you?” “Good.” It’s silly because no one is really going to share about their depressive thoughts, baby blowout they just gaged cleaning up, the fight they just had with a loved one, or the ‘Maskne’ they are still trying to kill off. So, we say these cliché phrases and responses to go along with what you are supposed to say. But, maybe we need to dig deeper and try to get to know one another better, so we can offer more heartfelt and genuine responses. I found most people want to share their story and don’t mind questions. Maybe are even delightfully surprised that someone cared enough to ask more about them. And if not, they will politely know they are done talking about the subject, or least should. I’d rather risk that, than not having REAL connections with people.

I also found that topics like divorce or miscarriage tend to get more empathy, whereas if a single person is sharing that they want to be married, it’s often patronized or not taken as seriously. We’re still grieving people. It’s not the loss of a person or baby, but it’s still the loss of your dream. Your life. The life you thought you would live and the opportunity to love and be loved. You would never say to a woman who miscarried, “Well, maybe your standards are too high”, or “maybe it’s God’s plan.” So, why do we say these things to singles who desire a relationship?

I don’t need people to feel sorry for me, like I’m an orphan or less than, but just a heartfelt response of, “I’m sorry you really desire a family and it hasn’t happened yet.” That would mean the world to me! That I’m seen and as an individual and my heart and my desires are taken seriously. Or “It must be really hard doing life alone for so long.” Or “I’ll be praying for your future spouse and that you meet soon.” I’m sure other single people can attest to all of this. And my hope and prayer is that we are more real, delicate, and heartfelt with these conversations, as people are now single for longer in today’s society. ”But, you know it will happen, when it happens….”

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Alyssa Miller
Alyssa Miller

People can see anything as a gift, right? Life is about perspective and how you use what life throws at you. How many times have we heard someone tell us that their accident/cancer/major life tragedy was a gift because it brought them closer to God or where they were supposed to be/who they were supposed to be with? But you are right! For the church to keep saying that singleness is a gift EVERY February romance series year after year means the church is simply not listening.

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