Things Not To Say To Single People

The single life has many benefits. In addition to living life on your own terms, you embark on an incomparable journey of self discovery and enlightenment. However, it can also come with major drawbacks too, which aren’t as discussed as they should be. I am sure most of us can relate to being told many destructive things during this period. There are certain things that a single person just shouldn’t be told and here are my thoughts on why the following statements are so discouraging:

Lower your expectations/ You’re too picky

It’s always people with high expectations and standards who are usually the ones who tell others to lower their own. If someone knows what it is they are looking for in a partner, this is commendable. Do you know how many people are walking around, breaking heart after heart and messing with mind after mind? It’s all because they don’t know what it is they want. Expectations, standards and boundaries are what will protect you, especially if you choose to foray into the world of dating. Relationships and marriages are not a competition. People choose to be with the person they want to be with. Adopting a mentality where you simply ‘take what you are given’ shouldn’t be encouraged by anyone, let alone people who are close to you. Don’t tell single women they are picky because they are reluctant to settle. We all have choices, and although we may not understand the choices that people make, respecting them is imperative.

Focus on you

This is one of the most patronizing things any single person can hear. The word single has many definitions: one of which is ‘an individual person or thing rather than part of a pair or a group’. If you are single, your only priority is yourself. Telling a single person to focus on themselves is a subtle way of reminding someone that they are alone. Nobody wants to be reminded that they are alone. The same thing goes for telling single people to love themselves. It’s about time we stop feeding this narrative that single women need to be fixed because there is something wrong with them. There are a lot of women out there who value themselves and have fruitful relationships with friends and family. Let’s not forget that not every woman desires to be in a relationship.

Don’t leave it too late (regarding marriage and children)

This figure of speech will have a woman internally visualizing her reproductive system over and over again. It’s interesting how this statement is always reserved for women who are either approaching 30 or will into their 30’s. Society can be held accountable for putting timelines on when a woman should start a family. It’s refreshing to read articles and hear stories about women who have put motherhood on hold. As with the decision to be in a relationship, having a baby is a huge commitment. It’s better to have a child with someone who you love and share core values with than to jump into parenthood with an individual you cannot stand! There’s nothing sadder than a woman (or a man) rushing into a situation that they later end up regretting. Take your time, embrace discernment and what is for you will never pass you by.

Men/women are trash

You’ll be surprised at how many women who are in relationships are out there telling other women not to even bother being in one! When someone takes it upon themselves to tell me how hopeless men are, believe that I’m laughing on the inside. Over the past few years, I’ve learnt to be very selective with who I talk to about my single status. Remember that only you know what’s best for you.

It’s actually a contradiction to say that men are trash while you are in a loving relationship or even married. It’s an indirect way of telling someone that there’s nothing out there for them, so they shouldn’t don’t keep their hopes up. Everyone has been single at some point in their life, and I can’t even imagine how some people would feel if they were told to give up on love. These are the kinds of statements that can brainwash you into despising men if you aren’t careful. Yes, men’s antics have been highlighted across an array of platforms, but we are all imperfect in our own way. If you have a healthy perception of men, don’t allow anyone to change or have an influence on that. Protect your peace.

Keep putting yourself out there

Telling someone to put themselves out there is like the equivalent of telling someone to jump off a cliff and hope someone catches them. As extreme as this may sound, no good has ever come from telling someone to make themselves available. Of course there is a difference between actively dating and dating anyone that shows an interest in you and the latter is usually what most women tend to do. The term ‘putting yourself out there’ has a negative connotation – that in order to be seen, you need to go above and beyond. Fair enough – there are people who have actively searched for love and have found it, but the reality is that this will not happen for many of us. The best thing anyone can do in a dating situation is just be themselves – so don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. A large problem in our society is romanticisation of other people’s relationships. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by a wonderful love story but everyone’s path is different. Anybody can find love: you don’t need to look a certain way or behave a certain way so don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

How are you still single?

The majority of being who are single know exactly why. We do not need to hear this question, particularly with added effect. People think they are being complimentary because as far as they are concerned, they can’t believe nobody has snapped you up yet. A single person can interpret this to mean ‘it’s crazy that you’re alone’ rather than it being due to a series of events that have occurred in your life meaning that you just haven’t prioritized finding a mate. Not every person who is single is miserable. Let’s stop conjoining the two. Being alone does not equate to misery. I watched a very interesting sermon on YouTube and the pastor was saying that the majority of people in relationships haven’t learned how to be single – and this is so true. Remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation regarding your single status – you don’t need to apologise for it.

When will you marry?

I’m confident that every 20-30 something millennial has probably had enough of this question. ‘when will you marry?’ is one of those questions no single person should be asked. This question leaves women doubting their worth and wondering if they will ever get married. The conventional view that a woman is not complete without a man is outdated. Women already face enough societal pressure so the last thing we need is for people who we barely even know to be interrogating our personal lives. On the other hand, most of these people do mean well but nobody should have to feel like they have a deadline on a timeline. Things will happen when they are meant to. There are single people who would like to get married and have children but it is not by force. We should all work to stop making women feel bad about themselves because of their marital status.

You’ll meet someone when you least expect it

Telling someone to stop thinking about love is a no. What does you’ll meet someone ‘when you least expect it’ even mean? Whenever I hear these words, it just feels like the person doesn’t know what to say to me. It’s not helpful at all and can actually be quite destructive. This statement can also imply that a person hasn’t really worked on themselves yet. Believe me, a single person is also working on themselves. For the first six months, you are navigating, trying to get used to your new status but once you’ve passed the six month mark, the path to self discovery is yours. We all know that love is not effortless – it does take a lot of work to build and maintain a genuine connection, so ‘meeting someone when you least expect it’, falls into the whole idea of love being instant, when it isn’t.

This list isn’t exhaustive. I’m sure a lot of you can think of many more things single people shouldn’t be told. I have heard every singleness cliche under the sun, hence my decision to write this post. Although some of these comments are well intentioned, all they do is make single people feel the opposite of encouraged. If you want to say something helpful, stop focusing on when your friends or family will find someone and direct your attention to what they already have going for them.

What singleness cliches have you been told? If you are single, how does it make you feel when people make statements or comments about your single status?

As always, I love to hear from you all so please feel free to leave a comment below and don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Kel xo


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  • Lindsey
    May 29, 2019

    Oh my gosh, yes, yes and yes! I’m 27 and have never actually been in a serious relationship. My mother is obsessed: everything I talk about she relates it to how that’s going to help me “find a man”, like it’s not on that I’m still single. It drives me insane!! I agree whole-heartedly with this entire list and it should just be pinned everyone for everyone to see! Thank you!!

    • itskellesspace
      May 30, 2019

      Hi Lindsey,
      I can completely relate to how you feel.
      There are some family members who think that being single is the worst thing in the world when it’s not!
      I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post!

  • Nwaohammuor
    May 31, 2019

    Nice read. Single women are not alone in this though, men go through similar situations but put across in slightly different forms. My mom will always call me and say; “I’m getting old, I want to see and carry my grand kids before I die, I don’t know what you’re waiting for!” As if that’s not on my mind as well, and when you try to explain that you’re trying not to make mistakes with choosing a partner, she’d give a sermon on how no one’s perfect and I agree, but I only disagree with the fact that one should settle for less, just like you reiterated here, simply because of human imperfection. As a matter of fact, in due time, one must suffer the consequences of such hasty decisions alone, as some of those putting all these pressure and offering unsolicited advice will be nowhere to be found then!

    • itskellesspace
      June 9, 2019

      Thank you! It’s nice to hear a man’s perspective on the matter.
      Your last point reminded me of a podcast I listened to about people who give bad or unsolicited advice.
      You are right.
      When things go pear shaped, they will completely forget what they said, which is why it’s so important to put your happiness first.
      No matter what anyone says, your decision should always be the most important one.
      Thanks for reading this post!

  • Mashibaby
    June 2, 2019

    Honestly, the freedom of being single is actual really refreshing…

    • itskellesspace
      June 9, 2019

      I agree

  • Beth
    June 4, 2019

    Oh my gosh yes! I love how you used GIFs throughout too! Great post!

    • itskellesspace
      June 9, 2019

      Thank you Beth!
      I’m glad you liked the post!

  • Jenna
    June 5, 2019

    You got this post right Kelle, like you literally hit the nail on its head!

    If I got paid for everytime any of the above occured I would be well paid. I think people shouldn’t be concerned as to why others are single. It really is none of their business!

    Great post hun!

    Jenna |xo

    • itskellesspace
      June 9, 2019

      Hi Jenna,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I totally agree with you – people shouldn’t be bothered about things that don’t concern them.
      I blame this social media age we live in to be honest x

  • Cee Arr
    June 16, 2019

    Mother of an old friend: Hi Cee! So… are you with anyone yet?
    Me: *internally screaming*

    I run my own business, you just heard that my grandfather just died, and you have a pretty dog I can play with – why the hell does my relationship status matter?! And what’s with the ‘yet’ – like, last I checked, there was no deadline, and I didn’t have to be with anyone just to tick a goddamn ‘romantic partner? Y/N’ box!

    *clears throat*
    …I’ve never actually been in a relationship. Sometimes I think that’s because there’s something wrong with me.

    Then I remember that my value as a person is not dependent on romance. If and when the right person comes along, I’ll see where it goes. It hasn’t happened yet – it’s just that simple.

    So yeah, the kinds of things people say to single women – especially apparently terminally single women (hi!) – are really annoying!

    • itskellesspace
      June 17, 2019

      Hi Cee,
      Your comment is definitely one of the reasons why I felt I had to write this post.
      Single women are being criticized now more than ever, especially when they haven’t been in a relationship for a while. You’re not alone with the ‘feeling like there’s something wrong with you’. I understand how challenging it can be at times, but as you said, it’s important to value yourself. Things happen when they are meant to happen.
      Thanks for reading the post!

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