How are you still single?

When you’re out in the dating world, a time or two you’ll probably hear this:

How do you not have a boyfriend already?

(normally continued with ‘you’re so great’)

I’m not sure if it’s my history with self esteem or if everyone feels this way, but this question definitely gives me pause. I think this phrase could be termed as a backhanded compliment since it comes off as a compliment but it’s challenging you as well. 


It’s pretty confirmed that they think you’re great. They’re vibing with you and playing with the thought of you as a girlfriend. They’re thinking “I totally want to date this girl. Wait how is she not wifed up already? Is something wrong with her that everyone else sees but I don’t?”. Basically, they want to know if you’re single because all the guys you dated were crazy or because they all ran away from your crazy. They’re worried you might be too good to be true and they just haven’t found your glaring flaw yet.


Your answer could give them very important information:

You could say you recently became single and they may realize you’re not over your ex or just not ready to get back in the dating game yet. 


You could tell them that you just haven’t found the right one yet, which could mean you’re really picky and high maintenance. Or it could just mean that your small town doesn’t have a ton of options! Or you’re a girl with standards who isn’t going to settle!


You could tell them that you just haven’t had the time. Is it because you’re focused on your career, you’re very independent, or you’re actually too scared to put yourself out there and that’s your best excuse?



They’re also testing you, they’re putting you up against a wall a bit. You now have to prove yourself to them that there’s nothing wrong with you. They’re poking you to see if any flaws fall out. It’s a compliment that requires an explanation as a response. People want answers, they want to know they’re not being fooled. It’s not the innocent compliment it comes off as.



  1. I find that a useless question.
    The answers are usually rather vague and most of the time it’s “I just haven’t found the one” and the other person nods in agreement and says “Same.” And they live happily ever after. Not.


  2. Interesting, because I just wrote a post for my blog that includes a time I was told something very similar.

    I never thought of that question as a test, though… mostly because the people asking me why I don’t have a girlfriend usually aren’t potential romantic partners. I get that question from female friends who are already married or in relationships, or from sweet old ladies, and I always assumed that they meant it as reassurance, trying to make me feel better, although it is not very helpful for that.


  3. This bloody question, previous relationships. Everyone hates it, guys and girls, seasoned daters or or inexperienced. I wouldn’t view it as ‘they’re testing you’. All the reasons you say in this post are perfectly understandable. I’m a guy; all those reasons for not having found a boyfriend apply equally to men and women and are also reasons many guys haven’t found girlfriends. I would just be brutally honest and tell them the reason you’re single. All the reasons mentioned are perfectly understandable.

    RE the bold “why is she not wifed-up already”, there’s this idiotic belief that women have it easier, that girls just need to sit back, look good and pick the applicants; not true, load of rubbish. Girls have many of the same problems guys have. RE Is there something wrong with me? Guys and girls who are single have this question all the time.

    For the time being, don’t panic. Go with the flow, just be as honest as you can. FORGET ABOUT THIS IDEA THEY’RE ‘TESTING’ YOU! One of the beliefs that keeps social anxiety going is this idea that everyone we meet is ‘testing’ us. Once we learn to stop seeing it that way, it will be so much easier. Trust me.


  4. Since life on earth is all about lessons we need to experience and learn from in order to grow spiritually, everyone has their reasons for being single.
    And it is only when you are willing to look within at who you really are and willing to listen to the answers your guide(s) give you, it is then you will understand the whys and know the truth.
    And if you choose to label why you are single with reasons and excuses, you will continue to manifest painful life situations meant to show you the truth.
    And it is only when you find the love within you will then will know all the reasons and excuses were nothing more than an illusion, and he lesson is learned.


  5. Hi there! I always say, “I’m too much woman for most men to handle.” Or, “My sexiness is intimidating to be around.” 😀


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