Whether you're single and want to be, fresh out of a breakup, or on the lookout for your next partner, it's never fun when a friend or relative swoops in out of nowhere and asks personal questions about your love life. It always seems to happen when you least expect it, too — like in the middle of a great conversation at dinner or via text on a random Tuesday night. It's why you need to have a few
witty responses to the "are you still single" question ready to go because not only is it none of their business, you'll probably also want to deflect their negative vibes.
"It can be quite frustrating when people ask if you’re 'still single' because the language and way in which it is often asked can communicate that
you are 'missing' something or that there is something wrong with being single," Sheva Assar, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, tells Bustle.
While you could try to explain that you're
finding yourself after a breakup, or say — for the 100th time — that you actually like being single, it's often better to save your breath and change the subject. Here, 21 witty comebacks to try the next time someone asks if you're single that experts say work perfectly, in a variety of situations. "Philosophically speaking, aren’t we all single?"
If someone is scratching their chin and philosophizing about your single life — whether it's good, or bad, or if you'll "ever find someone" — philosophize right back.
"This is a cute yet profound response, and quite endearing to any thoughtful person,"
Vanessa Ringel, a relationship coach, tells Bustle. It'll help them subconsciously realize we're all in the same boat. "I'm actually catfishing a number of people right now."
Sometimes ridiculous questions call for equally ridiculous responses,
Shannon Gunnip, LMHC, BC-TMH, a licensed mental health counselor, tells Bustle. Let them imagine you sitting at home Photoshopping photos and tricking strangers into wiring money. "Yes, still choosing to be single :)"
This response is a great way to "effectively communicate your positive perspective on your relationship status," Assar says, especially if the person asking thinks
being single is a bad thing.
It'll remind them it's a personal choice, Assar says, instead of something negative that's "happening to you."
“I’m not taking questions at this time, thank you.”
If your family is rapid-firing questions your way, simply hit them with this witty line and change the subject, psychotherapist
Christine Scott-Hudson, MA, MFT, ATR, tells Bustle.
"You do not have to defend or explain your singlehood to anyone," she says. "Keep it light, keep it funny, and keep it moving."
"Yes, yes, yes, yes. Let me answer in advance so you don't ask again for a while."
"This response brings awareness to the fact that whomever it is asks you this question way too often,"
Acamea Deadwiler, an author and dating expert, tells Bustle. "They're guaranteed to think about that before asking again." "When I'm not, you'll be the first person to know."
Another one for the folks who ask too often, Deadwiler says, like prying aunts and "concerned" siblings. It sends the message they really need to chill.
"Ah, are you hitting on me?"
Say this while you smile, glance down bashfully, and then back up into their eyes. It's a playful way to turn the tables, Ringel says, even though you're just joking.
"Why? How many of me do you see?"
The cleverness of this response will deflect the question, Ringel says, and subtly hint it's time to change the subject.
"Of course I am, Sharon. All the best people are."
Want to be off the charts cool? Then say this. "It is short, it’ll make them laugh, and leave it with that,"
Liam Barnett, a dating and relationship coach, tells Bustle. "They won’t go any further." "Are you asking why someone as amazing as me isn't taken?"
Drop that, then launch into an overview of all the amazing things you've been doing lately, Barnett says, like work projects, hobbies, etc.
"Yup. I've been having the time of my life, but I'll look for someone soon."
"Showing them you’re happy and confident with yourself, and you’re looking for someone — yet being a little picky because you know what you deserve — is a good way to end the discussion," Barnett says.
"Oh, I was expecting to have a fun conversation!"
Say this while laughing, or while staring daggers over your wine glass. "It’ll make them question themselves about the question they just asked you," Barnett says.
"To tell the truth, a relationship doesn't fit my personal brand."
If you're feeling cornered, don't forget that "humor dissolves tension well,"
Karolina Bartnik, a dating and relationship expert, tells Bustle. "At the same time, it allows you to dodge talking about something you aren't comfortable with." "Are you still double?"
If you can turn an awkward situation into something comical, Bartnik says, go for it.
"I'm currently in a committed relationship with myself."
Say you're in a committed relationship with yourself, with cookies, with a certain Netflix show — whatever feels funny or true in the moment. "This comeback creates common ground and gets them to think outside the box," Ringel says.
"Yeah, I am. Are you still married?"
Again, flipping the question back on them is a great go-to.
"This comeback underscores the double standard of single people having no privacy whatsoever from probing friends and relatives, while taken people get let off the hook from having to air out their entire love lives,"
Canwen Xu, a relationship expert at EQ, tells Bustle. "What do you mean?"
Asking someone to explain their question is a surefire way to make them feel silly for asking.
"It forces the other person to dig themselves into a deeper hole," Xu says. "They will feel pretty awkward having to explain why they’re so curious about your relationship status. In the midst of that awkwardness, they’ll probably have to also acknowledge that their question was pretty rude in the first place."
"For now, yes. My future partner is still gathering experience for the job."
This response makes it clear you aren't interested in dating just to date, Scott-Hudson says, but that you want to find the right person for you.
"Single is not a diagnosis, but thank you. Glad to clear that up for you."
Tammy Shaklee, an LGBTQ relationship expert and matchmaker, you'll want to use this comeback for those who have a glisten of concern in their eyes. "Yes, I'm going for the cool aunt/uncle vibe this year."
Say this while casually putting on your sunglasses,
Jade Bianca, a dating expert and matchmaker, tells Bustle. Because who doesn't want to be the cool aunt? "If you know someone who can fill the role, pleases have them send a resume."
To really drive home the fact that you're OK with being single for the time being, use this line.
"It suggests you have your options open and you do not have to accept the first person who comes into your life,"
Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., LMFT, CRS, CMFSW, a psychologist, tells Bustle, as well as the fact you're enjoying focusing on yourself.
And for anyone who's
asking why you're still single, that's a great message to send. Sources: Dr. Sheva Assar, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist Vanessa Ringel, relationship coach Shannon Gunnip, LMHC, BC-TMH, licensed mental health counselor Christine Scott-Hudson, MA, MFT, ATR, psychotherapist Acamea Deadwiler, author and dating exert Liam Barnett, dating and relationship coach Karolina Bartnik, dating and relationship expert Canwen Xu, relationship expert Tammy Shaklee, LGBTQ relationship expert and matchmaker Jade Bianca, dating expert and matchmaker Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford, PhD, LMFT, CRS, CMFSW, psychologist