There is no need to rub in their single status. They are well aware. You might be genuinely concerned for them, but how you phrase what you say can make quite the difference between being concerned and downright rude.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 14, 2019. It has since been updated.
Sometimes, we tend to overstep our boundaries and say things to our friends, who for whatever reason are still single. Our friends expect us to be supportive and hear them out if they have relationship troubles when they are dating. When they are not seeing people, they might simply enjoy their own company.
In either situation, they just want us to be the friend they can lean on. We're all big girls who can take care of ourselves. However, our well-intentioned wisecracks might sometimes end up hurting them deeply, and that is not what we want.
If you have ever been caught saying these things to your single friends, you know it's time to stop:
This implies that the person shouldn't lookout for a person they really like but just settle. There is no reason for your friend to lower their standards if they haven't found the right person. When people settle below their standards, they could end up resenting that person. So, don't judge single people for wanting more from their partners, advises Hello Giggles.
Asking them why they are single is not problematic in itself. But when you add the "still" it makes it seem like a disposition they can't get away with. It comes off as offensive and might hurt their feelings. They could still be single, despite dating. Perhaps, they simply haven't found the right person yet. It might also imply that there is something wrong with them, even if you're just being genuinely curious. It would be less judgmental if you ask, “Are you seeing anyone right now?”, according to the Independent.
This feels extremely exclusionary to the friend. It's quite rude to exclude a friend from gatherings just because they don't have a plus-one with them. It would feel like all their friends are hanging out without them and isolating them. Instead, leave the decision to your friend if they would come to a gathering where only couples will be present.
This is so vague when it comes to advice that it leaves the person confused and wanting more. If your friend has been open for a relationship and still hasn't met someone right, it doesn't mean they won't. They shouldn't stop looking for the right partner, just because it's taking time. It's better to be in control of the situation. Besides, why should they pretend they don't care about finding the right person?
This is the most offensive thing you could be saying to your single friend. You are telling them that they are not enough by themselves, that they should change completely or that they are unlovable. Instead of throwing about general statements, give them concrete and positive advice. No need to change them, just enhance what they're already gifted with.
This is the least offensive question you can pose to a friend. However, it could be misinterpreted as pressure to start dating again in the case of someone who has just broken up. However, if the friend has been trying to date unsuccessfully and was unaware of this avenue, you might have helped them. It gives one access to a larger pool of people to choose from but one has to be cautious while proceeding. You never know what kind of inappropriate people are lurking out there...