8 Things Not to Say to Your Single Friends, According to Our Instagram Followers

things not to say to single friends cat

Being the single friend can be a ton of fun—you don’t have to compromise on what to watch on Netflix, constantly remind someone to put their socks inside the hamper or negotiate schedules for that bucket-list vacay. However, when the people around you are all boo’d up, they tend to assume you want to be in a partnership too and give you unsolicited advice. Well-meaning as they may be, all those “gems of wisdom” don’t always land the right way. So, we took to Instagram and asked our single audience about the things they’re tired of hearing. Below, the top things you should stop saying to your single friends—and two things you can say to show you care.

 1. “You should lower your standards; no one will date you with these conditions.”

A very uncool way of implying that your friend should just settle. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make sure that a prospective partner is as financially, intellectually and spiritually compatible with you and holding out until you find someone who meets those criteria. Relationships are, of course, all about give and take—no person is “perfect.” But when it comes to things that are important to someone, whether it’s financial stability or emotional security—or both!—you shouldn’t be guilting your friend into settling.

 2. “You should try online dating.”

Sure, Tinder weddings are a thing, but online dating is not for everyone. Some people prefer the old-school way of dating—meeting at the bar, a networking event or even at the grocery store, and that’s their prerogative.

3. “We need to find someone for you.”

“…because you clearly can’t do it yourself.” Is the implied ending to that statement. Unless your friend has expressed a deep desire to be in a relationship, you don’t need to make it a personal mission of yours to get her into one. There’s nothing wrong with being single, so don’t make her feel bad for riding solo.

4. “Maybe make yourself more approachable.”

OK, your friend is not some scary dating repellent who needs to change himself in order to attract a partner. Dating and courtship is all about finding the right person who you seamlessly gel with and can be yourself around. If some rando finds your bestie to be “unapproachable,” then they’re just not the one for him.

5. “Well, it’s not all fun, you know! Relationships are a lot of work.”

We get you may be trying to console your pal, but we’re all adults here and understand that relationships come with sacrifice, patience and all that good stuff. Even if your friend is the most independent single lady you know, wanting a companion to hang out with instead of third-wheeling all the time is totally normal.

 6. “Stop looking so hard! It'll happen when you stop looking.”

First of all, serial dating doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is in the pursuit of “the one.” If you find that your friend is always going on dates, it may just be that they enjoy being wined and dined or even just meeting new people. And if their goal is to find a partner for a long-term relationship, the odds of that happening while they’re binge-watching Virgin River are slim to none. So let them go out there and look for their soulmate without the judgment.

7. “I never liked your ex anyway.”

We’ll admit that this one is hard to avoid—especially if your pal is in the throes of a breakup. While it’s tempting to trash their ex to make them feel better, there’s always the possibility that they’ll get back together, which could make for some awkward tension in the future. 

 8. *Anything* about her biological clock.

This goes for any woman, ever, regardless of her relationship status. OK?

What to Do Instead

The dating scene can be exhausting, to say the least, so sometimes all your bestie needs is your support. After a bad date or breakup, invite her over for girl's night. Order some takeout, watch Thelma and Louise for the thousandth time and let her just vent. If she's still looking to be with someone, continue to take her places she might like—art shows, volunteer events, etc.—where she's likely to run into someone she has things in common with. Instead of setting her up with a person you think is right, give space for things to happen organically and don’t push too hard.

img 7241

Resident Hufflepuff, Beyonce historian, self-proclaimed tea sommelier

Steph is a native of Zimbabwe who is both enamored and genuinely baffled by the concept of silent letters. From 2020 to 2022, she served as Associate Editor at PureWow covering...

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...