I’m Single By Choice And More Than Happy About It

Have you ever thought about hiring security detail to attend a family holiday? I have. And a press agent who shouts “No comment!” while a security guard body-checks the first elderly woman before she can finish asking “How’s your love life, dear?”

It’s been a fantasy of mine for years. Why am I having violent daydreams of yeeting nosy yentas into a wall? Because I am single by choice and will probably remain that way for the rest of my life, and I don’t want to field these questions. While I am more than okay with this, other people in my life and, to my surprise, complete strangers, are not okay with my choice. 

At any family or friend gathering, I’m bombarded with questions about my love life. To me, it feels like an interrogation and an invasion of my privacy. I’ve always resented it, even when I was actively dating or in a relationship — what I would have given to have the courage to say “It’s really none of your business.”

I’ve been screaming this into the void for years — and I have the receipts. Look at the date on this tweet. 

That tweet was made into a card and cocktail napkins and are best-sellers on Sapling Press. Obviously, a lot of women (and maybe some men) feel the same way. 

The reason it resonates with so many people is simple: questioning someone about their love life is intrusive. 

Maybe I was raised differently or gifted with boundaries — I’ve never asked about anyone’s romantic life unless they bring it up and want to talk about it. 

It’s called manners and people should get some!

The Questioning

Here’s a sample of one of these unwelcome and intrusive Q&A sessions — they’re mostly the same with a few small variations. 

Q: How’s your love life? (this is usually asked in a sing-songy cadence that makes it so much worse)

A: I’m not dating at the moment.

Q: Why not?

A: I’m busy, it’s hard to meet someone, I’m not over my ex (you get the idea).

Q: But you’re so pretty and charming. It’s such a waste! Why don’t you put yourself out there more? You need to find a partner. You don’t want to be alone forever, do you? 

Plot twist: I, very much, do want to be alone at this point in my life. I like my “me” time more than most, I’m selfish and want to watch what I want, go to bed when I want, eat when I want, and not share my space with anyone. 

The insinuation seems to be that I am defective in some way and can’t find a partner; that I’m damaged from past relationships (who isn’t?); that it’s sad and pathetic to be alone. Just because others find it strange that I’m not doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing, that doesn’t mean it actually is strange. 

If my being alone makes you uncomfortable, that’s your issue — but it becomes mine when I’m looked upon with pity. I detest being pitied. I’m not alone in feeling this way, either. According to Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., there are valid reasons why people often stay single. 


“Most people have been hurt in interpersonal relationships. With time and painful experiences, we all risk building up varying degrees of bitterness and becoming defended. This process begins long before we start dating, in our childhoods, when hurtful interactions and dynamics lead us to put up walls or perceive the world through a filter that can negatively impact us as adults. These adaptations can cause us to become increasingly self-protective and closed off. In our adult relationships, we may resist being too vulnerable or write people off too easily,” says Firestone

Unhealthy Attractions

“When we act on our defenses, we tend to choose less-than-ideal relationship partners. We may establish an unsatisfying relationship by selecting a person who isn’t emotionally available. Because this process is largely unconscious, we often blame our partner for the relationship’s failed outcome. We tend to feel devastated or hurt by the repeated rejections without recognizing that we are actually seeking out this pattern.

“Why do we do this? The reasons are complex and often based on our own embedded fears of intimacy. Many people have an unconscious motivation to seek out relationships that reinforce critical thoughts they have long had toward themselves and replay negative aspects of their childhoods. These may be unpleasant, but breaking with old patterns can cause us a great deal of anxiety and discomfort and make us feel, strangely, alien and alone in a more loving environment.”


“Our own defenses often leave us feeling pickier and more judgmental. This is particularly true after we’ve had bad experiences where we were deceived or rejected by a person for whom we had strong feelings. Many women start to have thoughts like, ‘There are no decent men out there’ or ‘All the good ones are taken.’”

“We may have unrealistic expectations for a partner or pinpoint weaknesses from the moment we meet someone. When viewing the world from critical or distrusting eyes, we tend to write off a range of potential partners before even giving them a chance,” explains Firestone. “We think of dating certain people as “settling” without ever seeing how that person could make us happy in the long-term.”

Isolation and Routine

With age, people tend to retreat further into their comfort zones. 

“Modern women are more and more successful, accomplished and self-sufficient, which are all extremely positive developments. Yet, as both men and women get more comfortable, be it financially or practically, it is also easier for them to form a bubble from which it is difficult to emerge. It can feel harder to take risks or put themselves out there. After a long day’s work, many of us may feel more like putting on pajamas and crawling into bed than going out into the uncertain and anxiety-provoking world of meeting people.”

Yes! And what is wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. We are not defective for being content with or wanting to remain single. The silver lining to the pandemic was no family gatherings or holidays for two years, and I haven’t been made to feel “less than” for my nonexistent love life. 

Some Nosy Yentas Do Care

When all is said and done, there are people who genuinely care about me and the question comes from a good place. They aren’t met with hostility because I know they mean well and aren’t prying or making small talk. 

For instance, my mom once said, “Before I leave this earth, I just want to know that someone loves you as much as I do.” I cried for hours after that — not because I was sad about being single, mind you, but because my being alone breaks my mom’s heart. But I cannot date someone just to put my mom’s fears at ease — that’s not fair to me. That doesn’t mean I’m not conflicted at 3 a.m. some mornings thinking about being alone forever.

In those moments, I am scared of being alone, but those thoughts don’t outweigh my desire to remain unattached. Will I change my mind at some point? Maybe! If someone (Tom Hardy, Jamie Dornan) comes into my life, I’m open to the possibility. 

For now, I’m ok. And I’m betting that a lot of the people you assume are sad about their single status are ok as well.  

The point of this is that someone’s dating life should not be small talk. You can be alone and not be lonely — remember this the next time you feel the urge to ask someone about their relationship status. Then, take that urge and do something else — literally, anything else. My suggestion is to tend to your own garden and keep your nose out of someone else’s backyard. 


Are you single by choice? Do other people harass you about your decision? Sound off in the comments!

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