How did you get into dating

"Why are you still single?" - what you should say in response to this question

Anyone who is single knows this sentence. And if not this sentence, then a comparable one: “Don't you want a partner?” “You have too high demands!” “And what went wrong last time? He was really nice! "These sentences come from friends, family members, colleagues, maybe also from complete strangers who feel obliged to comment on the relationship status of others:" Don't you want any children? "

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Such sentences can be recorded as harmless, interested questions, but if they are asked too often, then at some point you get stuck in the defensive loop and almost inevitably ask yourself the following questions: Am I perhaps not open enough? Should I have tried longer? Do i need a new hairstyle? A new way of life? Coaching? Or maybe new friends?

"Why are you still single?" - this sentence is supposed to do you good, although it is a standard sentence of the Single shamings. Because there is definitely the slight suspicion that the person is not single by chance. But because something is wrong. The only question is what?

Now, of course, one could begin to prepare answers to this question. Something like: Because somehow you don't like online dating and it's so difficult to get to know people differently. Because you are not over XY yet. Because somehow you always fall for the wrong person.

But you could save yourself all that and instead start to undermine this latent stigmatization of singles.

It won't be easy, because the bad image of single people has grown historically and is fairly stable. And that although the single woman in series and films like Sex and the City and How to be single is now portrayed with an almost enviable lifestyle. Lots of shoes, lots of parties, little responsibility. But in the end there is a bad aftertaste. Because she is only really complete with a man *. Hello Mr. Big. This is how the dramaturgy of the single tragedy is always the same. The fact that there are also single women who are not at all interested in men is usually omitted.

Lots of shoes, big hangover

Without a man, these women are independent and passionate, but also desperate and latently neurotic. “Why are you still single?” The answer is her overflowing shoe closet and the amount of rosé the night before. The associated negative stereotypes surrounding singles - capricious, incapable of relational, complicated - have stubbornly lodged themselves in the collective reservoir of stereotypes. So much so that singles inevitably find themselves in the carousel of questions about their own inadequacy: They are the ones who lack something. They are the ones with whom something is wrong: "Aren't you alone?"

It is meant to be kind, but it is patronizing.

All these questions are therefore unfortunately not as nice and harmless as they seem at first glance. “We are not just what we want to be. We are also what others make of us, ”writes Carolin Emcke in her book about desire. We are not just what we see ourselves. We are also how others see us. And if you see yourself as a deficiency for too long, you will feel the predefined gap yourself at some point. "Why are you still single, you are so great!" It is meant sweetly, but it is patronizing. And anyway, since when have only great people been in relationships? Rhetorical question.

In addition, it is mainly women who, as singles, are perceived as rather half-baked. The perception of singles is very different depending on their gender. There are also historical reasons for this: For women, in the classic role distribution in heterosexual relationships, the figure of the caring, loving partner responsible for the private is provided. They take care of the household and children. Unpaid. At least that's the way it was intended. Single women inevitably point to this outdated gender role distribution.

For women, relationship status is of public concern

The sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann describes it as follows: “Male loneliness may be hard and difficult to endure, but it is essentially a private matter. This is the big difference to women, for whom living alone is both a private and a public matter that is of interest to the whole of society. ”For women, relationship status is of public concern. Because women do more in relationships, more for others. The so-called Gender Care Gap is a good 52 percent. In this context, it also becomes clear that the characteristics that women tend to attribute to - for example being caring and self-sacrificing - are quite coincidentally precisely the characteristics that predestine them for their extra work in relationships. According to this role model, a single woman carries an excess of care with her. Where do you put it? The woman needs a valve. "Try Bumble."

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“Why are you still single?” - the arc from a small question to a big problem is wide, but it shows how even supposedly harmless small talk about our dating behavior refers to such tough and stable role models. Therefore, singles should really no longer be persuaded that something is wrong with them. Because there is actually something wrong with those who do not trust women to be whole people on their own. So the answer to the question is actually a counter-question. Or a short answer: "Because I have enough."

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