“So why are you single?” (Arrgh!)

Why are you single?

For the record, this is my least favorite question in the world.

A Bouginista reached out to me yesterday to tell me she enjoyed the blog and bought my book, officially making her my favorite person in the world yesterday. I noticed that she listed her blog address at the bottom of the well-penned note. I popped over to check it out and found a great post: Before I self-destruct. I was particularly intrigued when she said the reason she is single is all her fault. Now I'm a little older, I don't assign blame or point fingers about singlehood; but I do like the idea of everybody owning their own relationship status and not casting about for lists of reasons large or small, individual or societal, internal or external.

Someone in a movie (I think it was The Wedding Date) said every woman has exactly the love life she wants. I haven't decided if I 100% agree with that or not. What I will agree to is that getting asked why you're still single (especially by an equally single person) is not the hotness. Peep my latest BougieTale of good times…

Confession: I met a man while watching Just Wright the other day. I went to see the movie alone. I got a small popcorn and a medium Cherry-Coke ICEE. I sat about ten rows from the front with 3 open seats on one side and 5 on the other. Movie McCutie came in said hello and sat 2 seats down to my left. SistaGirl with the full meal deal came in and sat 3 seats to my right. When SistaGirl pulled out her picnic; he shot me the "are you seeing this shiggity" look. I responded with the head nod and "what's wrong with folks" look. He smiled, I smiled back. We turned our attention back to the movie. There was a particular scene where I could not help myself; I said out loud, "That doesn't happen in real life." He looked over and said, "No it really doesn't." We exchanged smiles again. When the movie ended, he waited until I got up and then followed me to the aisle. He made some small talk, I reciprocated and we exchanged phone numbers before parting ways in the parking lot.

Yesterday was our first opportunity to chat. The conversation was going well until he said: "So I don't get it! Why is a smart, accomplished beautiful woman like you still single?" I. Hate. This. Question. Because what the person is REALLY asking is, "What is wrong with you? Just tell me now so I can run the other direction." I have developed a set answer: "Wrong men at the wrong time, I guess. Why are you single?"

"I don't know, haven't found the right woman I guess." Uh-huh. We sat in silence. To his credit, he jumped in and said, "You're right, we don't have to do the whole history thing." And then we went on with the conversation.

That question is such a landmine. As irritating as it is being asked by a single man, it's just as bad when others roll up on you. One of my Mom's friends never misses an opportunity to exclaim (loudly), "Baby, you ain't married yet? You modern girls just don't need nobody." Le Sigh with gritted teeth. It's almost as irritating as when someone asks (in shocked voice), "You ain't got no kids? At your age?!" Laser beam side eye. Would it be better if I was married and divorced three times over with five kids? I somehow think not.

I remember I once asked one guy why he was still single only to have him say, "Oh I'm not." ______________ <~~ Flatline. There nothing to be revived after that. I remember one guy asking me The Question on a day when I just wasn't feeling it. I over shared in the hopes that he would hear my many BougieTales of Woe and run in the opposite direction. He didn't but he should have. Remind me to tell ya'll the story of Bradley & Buppie Bougie Backlash one day. Moving on…

Here's the dilemma to answering this question:

  1. Haven't found the right man yet leads to "Well what are you looking for?"
  2. Been concentrating on my career leads to "So you put your job ahead of a man?"
  3. Just had a lot going on leads to "Do you even have time in your life for a man right now?"
  4. Just got out of a long-term relationship leads to "So what happened?"
  5. I don't know why I'm single, if I knew I wouldn't be leads to **crickets**
  6. Because I killed the last guy who asked me that question and he's buried in my backyard by the rose bushes… well that just leads to jail time.

I wonder – is there a good answer to this question? (I know there's a bad one or two) How much history do you need to share in the answer of that question? Why even ask? Once you confirm the single status… how much more do you need to know? I'm just curious as to how others handle this question… the floor is yours.