Single? These are nine clichés you’re probably sick of hearing!

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It’s not easy being single. Not because you’d rather be in a relationship, but more because of the daily remarks you hear from other people. That’s why your average single person is sick and tired of having their single life in the spotlight. What are some of the things they hear all the time? Read them for yourself!

More and more people are single

The eleventh day of the eleventh month doesn’t just mark the beginning of the Dutch carnival season, it’s also Singles Day, the day on which we celebrate the single life. So, a special day for singles, and they sure need one. Because singles still have to listen to the usual, undoubtedly well-meant but incredibly annoying, comments every day.

And that’s despite the fact that, in the future, they won’t really be in the minority anymore. Jan Latten, professor of social demography, argues that half of the Dutch population will be single by 2050. Young people are especially likely to choose the single-life or break up when their relationships don’t meet their expectations. Their own happiness comes first, says Latten, and people have also simply become more demanding.

High expectations

That last one can also be the case in a society where you don’t really need each other to survive. While our mothers, and especially our grandmothers, needed a man to bring home the bacon, women can now provide for themselves financially. And if they don’t find a husband, they no longer have to live with their parents like some sad, old spinster whose only prospect is to work as their future caregiver. Today’s women go out and make it on their own.

Luckily, it’s a lot easier being single now than it used to be. People live on their own more often and have the means to do so. Women aren’t thinking of having kids as early in life as before, especially when they want to focus on their careers. Personal growth and development are things that we believe are just as important as a good relationship. Women’s lives no longer revolve around their husbands and the career steps they take. Women want to take those steps themselves.

The cherry on top

So, roles have changed, but this also changes our perception of love. Since we’re less dependent, our expectations are a lot higher than they used to be. We no longer settle for the boy or girl next door. And we don’t compromise, but continue searching for that ultimate, turning-your-world-upside-down kind of love. Our partners need to improve every aspect of our lives. We no longer go for anything less than perfect.

In short, we decide for ourselves whether we enter into a relationship or not. Research from a trend-tracking agency shows that seventy percent of singles are so by choice. When looking at the data, the agency points to the ‘slow love’ phenomenon, where people take their time to work on a stable relationship before settling. And if that doesn’t work? Then they would rather not marry at all and remain alone. Even for young people, the percentage of people who are ‘intentionally single’ is around seventy percent, as research conducted by Tinder and analytics firm Morar HPI showed. Millennials between the ages of 18 and 25 don’t mind the single life because it offers them more freedom and adventure. A steady partner? Boring!

So, a relationship is no longer the cornerstone around which you build the rest of your life. It’s the cherry on top. It’s nice, but it’s not necessary.

Nine clichés that you’re sick of hearing as a single person

Still, settling down remains the norm for most people, and single people notice this the most, as they are constantly reminded by the people around them. Because aren’t they lonely? Isn’t it time to find a good man or woman? Isn’t your biological clock ticking by now? Tiktoktiktok!

Unfortunately, people often don’t realize those sorts of questions aren’t just very annoying but sometimes they can be quite confrontational as well. It’s not nice to be the only single person at Christmas dinner and to be interrogated about your life. It’s also not a great feeling to always have to respond in a friendly manner when hearing the same old cliches over and over again.

Because, when you’re single, you know you don’t fit in with people’s idea of the norm, even if that norm is already outdated in the current times and by modern societal standards. You don’t need anyone to remind you of that, thank you very much. Also, you wouldn’t ever think of asking why the hell that one obviously unhappy couple is still together.

Anyway. Do you know any intentionally single people, and have you been guilty of making one of the following remarks? Just stop doing it. Seriously.

Here they come!

single vrouw

1: Why are you single?

Awkwardness all around with this opening remark. Because how the hell can you answer such a question? If you knew, the solution would be simple, right? And it’s not like you would ever as why someone is in a relationship? At least, not to their face. But when you’re single, it seems like everyone is asking the ‘why’-question. So stop asking. We haven’t met the right person yet. Period.

2: Aren’t you dating?

Paired with a concerned look, this is one of the most annoying questions to be asked, especially during Christmas dinner when all your nosy aunts and uncles see you arrive alone, solo, by your lonesome for the third year in a row. It’s not as if a person who is single is constantly on the hunt for dates, companions or one-night stands, although that last one is probably not what the person asking the question had in mind. Sometimes you like to have some time for yourself without worrying about your next conquest, and nothing is sad about that.

3: I don’t get why you’re single. You’re so nice!

Yes, you definitely are nice. And it’s also nice that someone would compliment you like that. But at the same time, the compliment implies that there’s something wrong with you because, if there wasn’t, you’d have already found yourself a nice man or woman. You shouldn’t feel like you have to justify your solo status in life, just like it’s a bit inappropriate to suggest that only nice people are in relationships and the not so nice people are all single. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you’re not a nice person. It just means you haven’t met anyone with who you’d want to share your life.

4: Oh, should I introduce you to my cousin/brother/colleague/dentist/butcher?

Of course, a friend playing matchmaker like that means well. But the fact that you’re single doesn’t mean that you want to end up in some kind of meat market. Or that you constantly want to be coupled up with other single people. Even if that one match-made-in-heaven person just so happens to be among your friends’ inner circles. But, more often than not, it’s because your matchmaker is feeling a bit desperate about your single life and wants to help you find a relationship no matter what. However, you’re nowhere near that desperate, so as long as you don’t mention it yourself… the other person doesn’t need to bring it up.

5: If you stop searching, love will find you

Again, a fantastic mood killer. Who says you’re searching for it? Or that you’re working on hunting down your next prey all day? The fact that you’re single doesn’t mean you have a gaping hole in your life. ‘You’ll meet the right person when you least expect it’, yet another brilliant pearl of wisdom. Do you mean when you’ve just put a family pack of tampons in you’re shopping cart while wearing your sweatpants again? Maybe you’re not out looking for your next, great love at the moment, and that’s totally fine.

6: Have you thought about online dating?!

Why no. That hypermodern phenomenon completely passed you and your 1950s typewriter by (eye-roll). Of course, you’ve thought about online dating before. In fact, you might already have made a couple of accounts to increase your chances, and you’ve been swiping till your fingers cramp up. It’s incredibly annoying when people present ‘online dating’ like it’s some sort of grand revelation. Sigh. Deep, deep sigh.

7: Aren’t you being too picky?

Okay, then why don’t you just marry the first person you hook up with at the bar. As long as you’re not single anymore, right? Because that’s what it’s about. Of course, it’s not a great idea to have a long list of demands. But, it’s not wrong to take a bit more time when getting to know someone instead of just those first few minutes during your first drink together. The only downside is that you usually can already tell whether or not someone is relationship material in those first few minutes. Are you missing that spark? Then you could still go on the next date, but chances are it won’t lead to anything. Or you’d have to be so desperate that you’ll settle for ‘meh’. That could also be the case.

8: You just need to get yourself out there!

Just because you haven’t found anyone yet doesn’t mean you’ve been locked up in your house for months or years surrounded by seventy cats. It also doesn’t mean there are magical places where perfect men and women are just ripe for the picking. Or where they just drop from the sky. After all, we’re not living in an 80s music video complete with singing Weather Girls and umbrellas. It might be shocking to hear, but singles are not at home crying in a corner all day either. They’re having fun and go to bars and clubs: even when they aren’t in a relationship.

9: Well, time is ticking!

Painful. Very painful. Yeah, you know you’re not the youngest anymore. And yes, if you’re a woman, you’re aware that there is an expiration date on your eggs, so to speak. That doesn’t mean it has to be pointed out to you. In fact, you’d rather not have it. Biological clock? That word should seriously be banned.


No worries, being single doesn’t mean being sad and alone!

So, try not to worry too much when a nosy uncle or acquaintance comes to you again with one of these cliches. Remember that you’re better off happy and alone than unhappy in a relationship. You don’t need anybody else to feel complete. You really don’t. Of course, we don’t want to be guilty of using cliches ourselves, but you should focus on me, myself and I. It’s not crazy or awkward to go to a dinner party or a movie theatre by yourself.

And remember: you aren’t some sad, old spinster when you’re single. Come on! It’s not the fifties anymore. Being single these days just makes you one of the many, and there is nothing wrong with that. So resist the urge to start a relationship with your first Tinder match out of desperation. Society might not always cater to single people, and people still are a bit taken aback by it, but it’s becoming more normal to share your life with yourself and no one else. So, no worries. You’re not pathetic and lonely!

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