Tinx Talks: Please stop telling single women you’re not “worried” about them

Tinx Talks

by grazia |
Published on

If you are a living, breathing adult you have likely been on either the giving or receiving end of the phrase “I’m not worried about you!” in the context of someone being single. The condescending phrase is often hurled about at office parties, happy hours with people you barely know anymore and pretty much any extended family gathering. As a currently single person, (and someone who loathes small talk) I’m here to make the case why this archaic sentiment must be put to bed once and for all. Don’t even get me started on “it’ll happen when you least expect it!”! Here’s why this phrase needs to go.

It’s gendered. I'm no statistician but something deep inside my loins tells me that nine times out of ten “I’m not worried about you” is said to women. Further, I would venture a guess that it is mainly women who say this phrase to women as well. Why must we do that? Why must we perpetuate the scarcity mindset and race-against-the-clock attitude to one another? Women are supposed to be looking out for each other not making patronizing comments about dating.

It makes us feel awkward. What, pray tell, is the appropriate response to said phrase? “Oh good, you don’t think I’m past my sell by date, how fantastic, yay me”. I mean seriously, are we supposed to say thank you? Thank you, you think I’m worthy of love! Thank you, you think someone one day will want me. How kind!

It insinuates being single is something to worry about. Back to the dark ages we go! Should I brush up my dowry and try and get my dad to throw in a few more goats? It’s true, yes, that most of us can’t wait to fall in love. But what this phrase insinuates is that it’s impossible that we might be happy as we are, right now. Two things can be true at the same time: we can be excited to meet a partner, but also totally fulfilled without one.

It also insinuates that there are some single people that do need worrying about. I have, at times, considered sarcastically asking back what about me makes people feel I am ultimately going to “be ok” in the grand scheme of it all.

Most of all, it’s lazy. Much like all of small talk, I loathe this tiresome sentence filler that people lob at you over mediocre appetizers at someone’s birthday dinner. It ends the conversation, puts a strange stale dampness into the air and generally makes everyone feel a bit uncomfortable.

In case you live under a rock, dating is really, really tough right now. Not just for women, but men too. So if you are happily coupled up in a relationship, do us a favor and have some real sympathy rather than verbally burdening us with platitudes. And if you don’t have any sympathy to give, that’s more than fine too. We would rather just change the subject than squirm through another conversation that starts “how are the apps going? I don’t know how you manage! They weren’t around when I got married!” Yeah, Deborah, we know.

I try hard to reiterate as often as possible it’s not us vs them, namely single people vs married people, but gosh, the married folks have to do their bit as well. So please, hear our cries and stop treating us like we are ticking time bombs on the brink of detonating. You were single too once, remember?

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