But my friends... I am one of them. Yes, I am one of those people you see and you're not quite sure what to say or what to ask. For I am single. Further still, I am single and I have no children (or any intention of having children prior to a husband). Should I be seated with all the married people at the adult's table, or am I better off at the kid's table in the corner? Awkward! No husband to discuss, no children to discuss... Oftentimes, it seems that those who are married believe this leaves only one possible topic of conversation to discuss with their single family and friends: relationships!
And while the single people in your life know you mean well... their love life - or lack thereof - is probably not the most ideal topic of conversation this holiday season.
So here are five questions and comments you should probably leave out of your family conversations this year. And why.
1. "Is there someone special in your life yet?"
I guarantee every single person you've ever met - if they're over the age of 21 - has been asked this question too many times to count. The horrible part? That little "yet" on the end. If you must ask this, please leave that out. Being single doesn't necessarily equate with being a failure! Secondly, this question assumes that unless we've met "the one," you don't consider anyone else in our lives to be "special."
2. "Have you considered online dating?"
Odds are, if you're talking to someone who's single, they're probably under the age of 40. This being the case, they are part of the computer generation. Therefore, they probably have considered online dating. In fact, they probably know more about it than you do! They likely have friends who've found a happy relationship via an online portal; they may have even tried it themselves. Or, maybe they just don't like the idea. And that's ok. Chances are, you didn't meet your spouse on an online dating site either!
3. "Don't you like children?"
This is just a silly question. Maybe that single person in your life loves children so much that they've chosen to put their own desires aside until those children would have a mom and a dad... until death do they part.
4. "Have you realized you might be just a little too picky?"
Isn't that kinda the point? In this modern world of cheap and easy, shouldn't you be encouraged by young people who actually take any potential relationships seriously? Isn't it better that they be "picky" beforehand than that they marry the first "special" person to come along only to then get a divorce two children later?
5. "Don't worry! You're next!"
I wish I had $10 for every person that's gotten married since the first time this exciting declaration was made to me many years ago! Hard as this may be to believe... you're not God. You don't know who's next in line to tie the knot. This statement breeds false hope and discouragement. Please don't say this to the single people in your life. How will this make them feel if, say, a younger sibling or a cousin is actually the next one married in your family? Did God forget about them? Or were you just flat out wrong? Probably the latter.
So how should you interact with your single friends and family members? Like you interact with everyone else you know! They're people too, and that's how they want to be treated. If you make them feel like they have leoprosy because they're not bringing a "special" someone to this year's holiday dinner... you're doing it wrong. Remember what Jesus said... do unto others!