People in relationships can be annoying, unbelievably, obliviously, and profoundly annoying. The worst part? They often have no idea. There are obviously plenty of awesome couples, but everyone knows what it is like to have a few friends who jumped into relationships and adopted obnoxious partner personalities. Where you once had a decent buddy, you now have a friend who might as well be sewn to her “other half” and thinks it’s totally adorbz that you’re “still” single.
(Related: 13 Signs You’re That Couple Everyone Hates)
Though I am currently seeing somebody, I have been single for the past year since a particularly awful breakup. I did a lot of healing, successfully binge dated, and kissed plenty of frogs (plus a few humans!), and overall came out with a healthier, happier attitude towards relationships.
However, I also came out with a new appreciation for all the annoying crap couples say to single people. Here are but a few.
1. “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone.”
Lady Gaga recently said something like this to Taylor Swift, and it really rubbed me the wrong way. It’s as if you are supposed to be terrified to be single. I would understand if this were a response to you saying, “Do you think I’ll ever find somebody I actually want to date?” But other than that, it seems presumptuous.
2. “I’m living vicariously through your single life.”
Singles don’t realize that your relationship friends can take up residence in your body like some Lovely Bones shit.
3. “Oh my god, I have this other single friend who’s perfect for you!”
First of all, they probably don’t have a friend who’s “perfect” for them–they have a friend who’s single.
They might have something shallow in common, like an affinity for piercings, a hiking habit, or a love for the band Phish (in which case you deserve each other forever, stay away from the rest of us), but chances are that’s as deep as it goes.
Also, while this certainly happens to straight people, it happens to those in the LGBT community so much more. Most of the time, this comes from straight friends who think that two gay people together make a perfect couple.
4. “You just need to put yourself out there more.”
Please, allow me to stand in the street and wave my hands until I can flag down somebody to love me.
5. “I don’t understand how you’re still single.”
Every time a friend of yours says this to you, whisper, “I’ll show you why,” and then unleash the baby alien inside your chest that is the only logical reason you could possibly still be single.
6. “We would have loved to come out with you, but we hate that bar/restaurant/movie.”
When people in relationships use the royal “we” to refer to one another, it’s not so bad. It is silly, but not bad. It gets close to being intolerable when they use the royal “we” in their stupid excuses for not going anywhere without each other. Couples undoubtedly share experiences and preferences, but unlike in the Spice Girls’ song, two do not become one.
7. “I wish I were still single!”
When people say this, I get so confused. Does that mean they want to break up with their partner? Run away? Be polyamorous? However, it’s actually the tonal equivalent of saying, “Gosh, I have this box of doughnuts, but I wish I were on a diet like you.”
8. “Oh, hey, I hope you don’t mind; I invited [your partner] to come.”
Everyone has a friend who does this. She either tells you after she’s already invited her partner to come, or she faux-asks your permission, but the inquiry really translates to, “If you say I can’t bring my partner, I’ll probably leave within the next 10 minutes.” It’s almost like they were hanging out with you until their partner was free, which is cool and doesn’t make you feel terrible about your friendship. Rad!
9. “Your standards are too high.”
No, the rent is too damn high. My standards are just fine.
This statement directly translates to, “You do not deserve what you think you deserve.” Unless you’re conventionally unrealistic—i.e., you expect to find a 6’3″ pediatrician who moonlights as a model with the smile of Paul Rudd and the hair of Blake Lively—you are probably not aiming too high. One of the worst things you can do to yourself is settle for somebody who doesn’t attract you, stimulate you intellectually, or treat you properly.
10. “Oh my god, I’m SO glad I never had to turn to online dating.”
I heard this so much from my friends in relationships when I was using Tinder and OK Cupid on a regular basis. It was as if they felt sorry for me for “having” to “turn to” a newer, nontraditional platform for meeting people when it simply made it easier to filter out people I didn’t want to be with.
I had been on quite a few dates with people who seemed great at the bar or party where I met them but were awful in a one-on-one situation.
Message someone ahead of time to save time going out with people you later find out are racist or have a serious problem with being ignored. Plus, I know more than one person who’s gotten married after going on OK Cupid. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, couples!
11. “You can have what we have someday, too.”
The idea that every single person desperately wants a relationship is like the idea that every woman wants children someday: it’s outdated and incorrect. Just as people who don’t want their children often do not make great parents, people who do not want relationships often make terrible partners.
Oh, and the idea that everyone wants what you have is insane.
12. “[Insert tons of unsolicited relationship and sex advice.]”
Whether it’s tips on how to plan a date night or how to “keep your man interested” (ugh), people in relationships often love to give totally unsolicited advice to their single friends because coupling up apparently turns you into Dr. Ruth.
13. “You just need to love yourself, and then you’ll find somebody else.”
Calm down there, RuPaul. Being in a relationship doesn’t make you a guru.
14. “We’re just at two different points in life.”
When people pull the whole “we’re at different places in life” thing because they’re in a relationship and you’re not, it is usually more than a little offensive.
Just because you’re not dating somebody doesn’t mean you can’t be further along in life; a romantic relationship is not an inherent step in making your career, spirituality, friendships, family, home, health, or any other element of your life exactly what you want it to be.
When I was single, I heard this exact statement from multiple friends who had never financially supported themselves. They never meant it as “you’re further along than I am.” It was always, “I’m further along than you because I have settled down romantically.”
It was as though they believed that going to bed each night with the same person somehow transported them into maturity because the romance was the only thing holding them back.
15. “Awww, I remember being single.”
Um, okay? I remember being in high school, but I don’t walk up to 15-year-olds on a daily basis just to let them know I’m so nostalgic for my acne days.
It’s not like being single is a phase of your life that you go through and then reminisce about for years to come after you’ve finally grown out of it.
Saying “you keep me young” to anybody who’s not at least 30 years younger than you—let alone your own age—is so patronizing. After all, when was the last time you heard a single person make that statement to a couple in such a way?
16. “You’ll find love where you least expect it.”
Ah, so I’ll be finding it at the bottom of my Crunchwrap Supreme? Love’s so spicy, man.