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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Why aren't you married yet?

Do you think the question "Why aren't you married yet?" is meant to insult or compliment? When I'm wondering it about a single friend of mine, I mean it as a compliment. But when I'm asked it, I feel insulted. Really insulted, actually. Not to mention irritated. My mind races through possible answers, from the sarcastic to the painfully honest (by which I mean feelings of self doubt/low self esteem or remembrances of relationships that didn't work out). I usually just land on, "I don't know." Because really, is anyone expecting an honest answer when they ask you that? And do they deserve one? What do they want you to say?

How do you react to that question?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

My favorite sassy answer always - "I don't know, I am hoping you can tell me..."

Anonymous said...

Just lucky, I guess. :)

violet50 said...

Most people are saying: "Why haven't these guys snapped up a woman as intelligent, beautiful, funny, and spiritual as you?".

Sui Sin Far said...

I know why I'm not married. I don't think people really expect an answer. So, I either go with the snarky response "because I'm Mormon" or the equally snarky response "do you really want to know?" And, since the (Mormon) relatives in my life should know why (because I could have married someone who wasn't Mormon but didn't because it displeased them), they should know better than to say something as foolish as that. I usually bite my tongue in those situations. Sometimes I go with the polite "it hasn't been right yet."

lizzie mc.- said...

Here is my rather personal comment that you needn't feel compelled to post, unless, of course, you want to.

My, now, husband, Andy, was, then, a friend. (That's an excessive amount of commas!) He was often told, "You are a great guy. Why hasn't anyone snatched you up yet?" However, it was usually an older women or married friends. But as a friend I said the same thing (whilst thinking, "It's going to be bad because I'm JUST a friend and he's gonna put me in his cross hairs.") But as a good friend, I didn't want to withhold a compliment that he deserved. He had already resolved that if a young, single woman were to say such a thing, he would marry her. (End history lesson.)

1. Most people aren't as good with words as you are. I've likely said that same absurd thing. Here was what I meant, "You are the kind, funny, imaginative, beautiful, loving, righteous, and more worthy of a beautiful and happy marriage than anyone I know...quite frankly, I'm not quite sure that I'm not the one that shouldn't be in your boat."

2. And although you are sarcastic (a trait I happen to enjoy!) And you pull it off well because, truly, you are a sensitive person. You are insecure at times (who isn't at times?)

3. Here's what I've begun to learn recently. The commandment, "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is just that. Not love self more or less than others. Why?

A. Because we allow others to love us only as much as we deem ourselves worthy. So, I, as a person of low self esteem continue to question and doubt my husband (nearly 12 years later) that he truly loves me. I don't believe it and don't accept it.

B. Receiving love increases our capacity to love. And as result I love him less because I receive less.

You are a brave woman to ask such a personal question. Love yourself enough to assume the best of others' intentions. Say DIRECTLY to the verbally inept, "That hurt. What did you mean?" And then, accept the flood of love and admiration in their response!

karajean said...

I never say that to anyone, but I have been known to say it about people, and it's always meant as a compliment. Like, "you're so great!" I can't believe it hasn't happened yet. But I can definitely see how it would be an insult, and so I never actually ask those people. And if I did, no, I wouldn't expect a real answer.

Katherine said...

A friend of mine said that she always wants to say, "I don't know, why are you so fat?" back - one personal question deserves another, and all that. I know people mean well, but they don't understand that there's not something wrong with me that prevents me from being married right now, it's just that there are other things in store for me before that event takes place. I also like to put it back on them: "Well, I don't know, why do YOU think I'm not married yet?" Makes it nice and awkward right back at 'em.

T. Taylor Joo said...

I usually give them an honest answer. The ones who meant well understand and stand there helplessly. The ones who were snarky about it say, "That can't be the reason," to which I think, 'Why'd you ask me if you were going to believe my answer?'

Furry Bottoms said...

Ugh, I get asked that often. The truth is, I don't go out enough to meet someone. I'm petrified and horridly shy-- I don't like crowds of people. So I've been telling the truth the past couple years. I just haven't met anyone, which is true.

Sometimes, I am tempted... when someone asks... do you have a boyfriend? Why aren't you married? I want to say "Why, do you have someone in mind?"

Ru said...

I am generally pretty insulted by it. It's one thing when an older person says it, since I know they're trying to be complimentary. (In a roundabout way. If you're trying to say, "Oh, you're cute and nice and smart," I'd rather you say that than, "What hidden problem lies beneath cute and nice and smart that prevents a nice young man from popping the question?")

But far more irritating - I've had two dates ask me that question, which I feel is just shorthand for, "Tell me all the things that are wrong with you right now." (And also, if I'm on a date with you ... why aren't YOU married, buddy? Guh.)

Someday, I'm going to answer the question honestly - "Probably because my parents' highly dysfunctional relationship gave me issues that I didn't work through until after college, then of the three serious boyfriends I had after that, two had commitment issues and one cheated on me all the time. And now I'm 27 and believe it or not, a tiny bit cynical. How about you? Oh wait, is that an extremely personal question to ask someone? I'm sorry."

Mark said...

Q. Why aren't you married yet?
A. How old is your daughter?

Translation:

Q. What the hell is wrong with you?
A. Piss off - it's none of your business.

Ryan @ TheSinglesWard said...

I tell them that I'm not done growing up yet. Sure I have a degree, a good job, but I just enjoy The Singles Ward too much. Hahaha get it, my blog... The Singles Ward... yeah yeah yeah!

Liz said...

I smile, then later when I'm home I add their name to my "List" and when the day finally comes I will have my revenge and it will be sweet, so sweet. Bwahahahaha.