It’s that time of year again: general conference, yes, great! And also, mission reunions, not so great. I know everyone loves these and I’m excited to see some of the people with whom I served, but, I’m not married. I’m fine with how my life is, but I expect a barrage of “Why haven’t you found the right guy?” and “You really need to settle down.” Never mind the fact that I’m getting my Ph.D. and have launched a very successful business during the past year — none of that seems to matter at these things because I’m not married. How can I go, have a good time, and deflect the rude comments about my life that are sure to come?
Haven’t found the right guy / That’s OK
Dear Haven’t found the right guy / That’s OK,
If it’s any solace, even if you were married, people would still find a way to say the wrong thing: i.e. “Oh! You’ve been married for three years? Why no kids?” or “Your hubby hasn’t graduated from school yet, he needs to get on that!” It’s less about the state of your life and more about the nature of people, we (some of us more than others) love putting our feet in our mouths! That and sometimes people just don't know what to ask to get an update on your life.
What you can do to “deflect” these comments is to make sure the statement you made above is true: “I’m fine with how my life is.” And answer the question they are really trying to ask, which is likely "what have you been up to lately?" and tell them about your business and educational pursuits.
I find that external and unsolicited commentary is more hurtful when I feel like there is some truth to it. But, you’re getting your doctorate and you’ve started a business, those are two really incredible things and regardless of what other people are saying, asking or doing — you can feel great about your accomplishments.
In short, strive to feel good about where you currently are. Know that the path and timing of your life is unique and be grateful that you, with the help of a loving Heavenly Father, get to be the author of it. Knowing this will not stop the unintentionally rude commentary, but it won't sting as much and it won't have the power to prevent you from enjoying yourself.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
Readers: Do you find yourself asking single people why they aren’t married? What prompts you to do that?
Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the Latter-day Saint experience. Twitter: askange_column