Toronto Star Tuesday: The Worst Question You Can Ask Your Single Friends

Maybe you intended for it to be a compliment. Maybe you’re fishing for gossip. Or maybe you believe the only acceptable route in life is the one that closely follows the marriage-mortgage-babies road map.

And so you ask: “Why are you still single?”

Please understand this is not a benign query.

It is as intrusive and judgmental a question as “Why are you still married?” The implication being that something is broken.

If you’re wondering why someone is still single, wonder no more! I’ve chatted with well over a thousand singles over the past four years in both a professional and personal capacity and they’ve laid it all out for me.

If you’re single, I’ve done the work for you! Simply clip this article out and hand it to the next person who asks the offending question before skipping away and living your best life.

I am dealing with some personal issues and am not in a good place right now.

When dealing with illness, grief, ailing parents, a challenging child, addiction and mental health issues, alone or in combination, some people deprioritize dating.

I’m not ready to date after the end of my last relationship.

Whether their last relationship ended three months ago or three decades ago, it’s entirely up to each individual person to decide when they’re ready to move on and make themselves emotionally vulnerable to someone new. Don’t pressure anyone to “get back in the saddle” before they’re ready. That’s a recipe for broken hearts and bad decisions.

I don’t want to settle. . .

. . . But if you’d rather I get married as soon as possible to the first person who will have me and don’t mind one bit that we have nothing in common, that they never contribute to the household chores or ask me about my day and I am desperately unhappy and cry into my pillow while they’re out carousing at all hours with God-knows-who and we get divorced after the kids come along, then by all means keep telling me I’m too picky and to just latch onto some warm body already because tick-tock! The external pressure will wear me down eventually. See you at the wedding!

Read the rest of Sofi's column here