34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness

34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness

The letter:

Hi, Carolyn:

I was at a wedding recently where family members kept coming up to me and asking me why I wasn’t married and if I had a boyfriend. I’m a 34-year-old single woman and these relatives hadn’t seen me in a few years. I was really uncomfortable with the incessant questioning.

What is a good response when people ask intrusive questions regarding your relationship status?

I am really still angry at how rude and insensitive the relatives were and I don’t really plan to go to another family wedding because of this.

Am I being too sensitive/overreacting?

I see no excuse — I have never gone up to a married couple and asked them why they didn’t have children or something similar, so I don’t see how this behavior is excusable and why I should have to put up with it.

Single at a Wedding

It isn’t excusable and you shouldn’t put up with it, but I hope you won’t keep yourself from occasions you might otherwise enjoy because of it.

These people exist whether you stay home or not; think carefully before you hand them any controls over your life.

The truth gives you a range of options when you’re faced with intrusive questions.

Take advantage of that from now on whenever people start prying: “You’re the 14th person to ask me that today,” for example, is an important non-answer that gives people a glimpse of the cumulative effect of what they assume is a cute or innocent query.

An incredulous, “People still ask that?” gets to the truth of how dated this whole line of questioning is.

“I was quizzed so mercilessly on my romantic life at the last wedding that I almost didn’t come to this one” is another truth in need of airing.

Then there’s always the Miss Manners staple, “Why do you ask?”

You are under no obligation to be the one who tells any of these truths, and staying home is your prerogative. However, even if staying home is exactly what you want and choose to do, the question will still probably find you anyway, so I suggest being prepared.

Your outrage is completely justified.

Since it’s clearly no fun for you to continue harboring it, though, I think you will feel better if you prepare yourself to neutralize future interrogations. That sense of mastery can be the little bit of good that comes from this frustrating experience.

Re: Single:

About the Miss Manners staple, “Why do you ask?”:
Lamentably, pushy folks don’t allow themselves to be shut up with gentle responses, and keep on pressing. How do you recommend people deal with those who won’t take the hint to let things go?

Anonymous

“Aren’t you . . .” sweet/funny/curious/determined/[your not-unkind word here], with a smile, and an “Excuse me, I need to rescue a friend.”

They don’t have to know that, in this instance, you’re your own friend.

In other words, deflect and exit. You really truly absolutely don’t need to stand there and take it.

—————
Related posts:

(Link): Tell the Baby-Obsessed To Back Off (Letter)

(Link):  Idiot Assumes His 44 Year Old Sister Is A Lesbian Because She’s Never Been Married

(Link): My Parents Excluded Me When I Was Single — Now They’re Doing It to My Sister (Ask Amy Column)

(Link):   Dad Buys Full-Page $900 Newspaper Ad Seeking a Wife for His 48 Year Old, Never Married Son

(Link):  Singles Shaming Mother: Her Sons are in their 30s, Great Guys, But She’s Freaking Because They’re Not Married (letter to Hax columnist)

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4 thoughts on “34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness”

  1. yes Christians give the “volunteer and help the homeless” option but it’s not everyone’s forte or talent to help others, they forget other talents not including “helping around” yet if you are not busy with people in any area of life, is easy to start feeling lost because we are social creatures even if some of us are introverted. I just can’t imagine someone not caring about anything else but themselves and call themselves a christian at the end of the day.

    I know what your blog is about, I understood perfectly from the beginning it’s just that when I come here I feel a lot of negativity regarding couples, relationships and god even when you are actually saying the truth about many issues, the conclusions do not leave a way out for some positivity to come around. I don’t think it should go to any extremes, neither happy go lucky marriage is perfect or wow everyone is a horrible person and all marriages suck because reality is a mix of both. I’m not criticizing your blog, im all for free speech but I noticed that I only come here when im angry at my single status sometimes just to affirm my views that relationships are not worth it and then I take a long break from reading when I feel normal again, don’t mind me im just passing through anyways…

    1. @ Jane Zen.
      One of the things I mentioned on the ‘About Me Page’ of the blog is….

      I’m a pretty nice person, but I do get annoyed or upset, particularly over a handful of specific topics, and I have been using this blog when I want to blow off steam.

      I do have days when I’m in a sunny, upbeat mood but I don’t often post on those occasions, so you are getting a lop sided view of my personality on this blog.

      I am also not fully a Christian, if you see the About page. I am a bit agnostic now.

      I sometimes post to other people’s forums and blogs, and I own several of my own web sites, and many of these other sites/ forums/ blogs are worlds away from the topics of Christianity, dating, relationships, marriage and singlehood.

      You’re only getting a slice of my personality and life at this blog, and not the whole picture.

      I actually had a visitor here about a week ago who says she really likes this blog because it is “raw.”

      I know what she means.

      Personally, I tired of the saccharin sweet tone of Christian blogs for singles, and there are many of them out there, if you are looking for upbeat and encouraging conversations about being a Christian single when you feel down about it.

      I got turned off by those sites after having looked at them over a period of years.

      Sites such as “Christianity Today,” “Boundless,” and “Her.meneutics” (and other Christian sites/ blogs) strive to be G-rated and clean at all times. They are usually afraid to be blunt and real about life, about marriage, about singlehood.

      Many Christian sites and blogs (even the ones run by lay persons) are deathly afraid of using rough language, being negative, everything always has to be sunny- sunny, sweet, upbeat, and paint a rosy picture of being a Christian single. In my opinion, that is not real. That is not reality, not to me.

      I never got anything out of the sweet, G-rated, prim and proper, super nice blogs for Christians that tell singles to “serve Jesus,” “find contentment in Jesus,” and so forth. These little platitudes don’t convey the deep loneliness and pain some singles who desire marriage contend with.

      After a death in my family a few years ago of someone I was very close to, and the lack of Christian support I received after that death by other Christians I knew, I came to see that a lot of what passes for Christianity today is absolute bunk, fake, and a waste of my time, so you’re not likely to see a lot of warm and fuzzy pieces on this blog, not in regards to Christianity.

      I wish you luck. Thank you for the comments.

  2. Even though this blog is mostly about Christianity other religions also endorse this thinking that being single is wrong. In new age spirituality it is common that we are just half a spirit and must find our other half “soulmate” That we were divided in our entrance to this world and must find that other half for completeness It has become so commonplace in society to think you are incomplete, this is bullcrap mysticism making harder for people to think they are complete and fine and that their drives to seek for companionship is for affection, sharing, sex and reproduction, it had nothing to do with finding a lost element only found outside of yourself. Christianity in a way gives me a a breath of fresh air because it tells we are complete with god, not another person so I don’t get the whole obsession with marriage and family in churches.

    Also I am tired of society slapping me in the face with the health benefits of sex and relationships and that single people die sooner but that it’s not true. Longevity has little to do with sex or marriage . Look at this old 105 years old woman who died as a virgin and does not regret it!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3165565/105-year-old-virgin-says-no-sex-the-key-to-long-life.html

    Have you written about this yet? I feel that more people need to stand up against sex being offered as the cure all pill, people are getting the wrong ideas and abusing it.

    In addition, it is obvious you do not recommend marriage as the purpose of life, then what exactly do you suggest us “alternative people” do to be fulfilled in life? Should we become a combination of Joan of Arc, Jesus, Gandhi and mother Theresa and just live a life of service with whatever talents we have?You keep posting negative stories about failed relationships, bad families, corrupt churches yet you seldom keep a balance with some positive in betweens of people actually doing good, is that fair?

    1. You said,

      In addition, it is obvious you do not recommend marriage as the purpose of life, then what exactly do you suggest us “alternative people” do to be fulfilled in life? Should we become a combination of Joan of Arc, Jesus, Gandhi and mother Theresa and just live a life of service with whatever talents we have?You keep posting negative stories about failed relationships, bad families, corrupt churches yet you seldom keep a balance with some positive in betweens of people actually doing good, is that fair?

      Well, it’s my blog, and I can post anything I please.

      And no, marriage is not the meaning of life. The Bible does not present it as being such. It is Christian American culture which makes it out to be so.

      What you decide to do to get meaning out of life sans marriage is up to you. I cannot make life choices for you.

      You have to make meaning in life for you.

      Some Christians would suggest that as an unmarried person you “look to Jesus” to find all your meaning, and do things such as volunteer to help the homeless…

      I used to do that junk myself and it did not help me or make me feel as though I had meaning or purpose.

      “Find your meaning in Jesus” and “be like Mother Theresa and work to help the homeless” are simply platitudes married Christians toss out at singles.

      I have already explained a million times on this blog I am not “anti marriage,” and I still hope to get married one day myself.

      However, I am largely okay with being single: I realize I do not need to find completeness or meaning via a husband. I’m fine alone and as a single. I don’t need a spouse to complete me.

      But, I am infuriated that most of evangelical Christian culture keeps telling singles they are losers and incomplete without a spouse, so I use this blog to point out how unbiblical, stupid, and cruel that propaganda is.

      However, the Christian culture in the USA has made an idol out of marriage, and they say if you are still single, you are either a loser, selfish, too ugly to get married, or some other negative assumption.

      Married Christians in the USA also teach that married people are more godly, loving, and responsible than singles, and that is FALSE.

      I am not here to make marriage look good.

      The Christian culture in America is already in hyper drive saying marriage is great and awesome and everyone should marry. Marriage is already “made to look good” by the dominant evangelical culture.

      Married Christians need to be slapped across the face with reality: that marriage is not bliss, married people sin and are not perfect. Marriage is not a guarantee of happiness.

      Another guy asked me a similar question as you, and here is what I told him,

        I post such examples of marital failures to counter the idiocy and snobbery of married Christians who tell us that marriage makes people better, more godly, and more loving than being single.

      If you feel there is a deficit of “marriage is good” articles, then please consider starting your own blog and write post after post about how good marriage is (we already have enough such posts in America, we don’t need anymore, though).

      Have you not seen my other posts on this blog such as,
      (Link): Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?

      (Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

      (Link): The types of Christian singles who annoy me

      (Link): More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll (“Two Mistakes Singles Make”)

      I would encourage you to go through old posts on my blog, because I get the feeling you don’t understand my views or perspective.
      You might want to get acquainted with my biography on the blog’s (Link): About Me Page

      I am not here to give answers to singles, like “Hi, my name is Betty. I want to get married, but I am not. How should I live life and find meaning while I am a single??”

      Nobody has all the answers, not even me. The purpose of this blog is not to give purpose or meaning or definitive answers to singles.

      I make it pretty plain what the purpose of this blog is under the banner on the home page:

      Christian Pundit Blog:
      views and thoughts on topics, especially ones pertaining to christianity – with an emphasis on how most christians either ignore or discriminate against unmarried christians – and how christians have turned marriage and parenting into IDOLS and how there is no true support for sexual purity, virginity, or celibacy among christians – this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don’t debate dissenters.

      Edit/ P.S.
      No I had not seen that news story. Thank you for sharing that. I can make a separate post about it and credit you. Thank you.

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