I just read that two people who I’ve known for a really long time got married over the weekend. When expressing my happiness that these two people have found love and that it gives me hope that love is truly possible, a married friend of mine says to me, “Love is about timing. Your time will come.”
First of all, let me express that I know that this person meant really well in saying this. Let me also express that this is the MOST ANNOYING THING YOU CAN EVER SAY TO A SINGLE PERSON. Ever. Telling single people that “their time is coming” is a idle, verbal pat on the head that is the most angering, frustrating and irritating action anyone in a relationship can do to anyone they care about who is unattached.
Married and attached people, you’ve forgotten what’s it’s like to be single, so I’ll let you in on what happens when you flip this comment at a single person. You draw attention to what we were trying not to talk about, but now that you’ve brought it to the surface, you cause us to spiral into a whole series of questions for which you have no answers, such as “Who are they?” and “When are they getting here?” and “What will make me ready?” You’ve further punctuated that they have no control over a situation in which they are deeply invested other than to wait and work on themselves, which they’ve been doing for years and that time still has not yet come. You can obviously see that this is not in any way helpful.
If you are attached and really want to help someone who is single who wants to find love, introduce them to the single people you know. Throw dinner parties and invite smart, upstanding and really great singles you know. Give us condoms and look for activities where we can meet other people we didn’t know about. Convince us not to recycle bad relationships. Take us out for brunch and listen to our stories about dating with open kindness and give us advice that you would have liked for someone to tell you when YOU were single. But DO NOT trivialize or give flip fortune cookie-type advice. Telling us that we’re not ready yet or that our “time is coming” secretly makes us want to punch you in the throat. If you’re single and reading this, you understand exactly what I mean right now.
Now, single people, here’s some advice on how to guide your married friends into a more helpful state. Ask them to do the actions listed above. Also, take a deep breath and realize that their relationship might not be as shiny and fabulous as they make it out to be. As a matter of fact, no relationships are flawless and perfect, so be kind and understanding with your married friends. Just as someone is telling you that your time is coming, they might be concerned about something in their own relationship. It’s your responsibility, timing or no timing, to make your life something that you love, because if you’re trying to find love, you would rather find someone who is attracted to the person YOU want to be and the life you want, right? So, you do you and they’ll be there.
Married, single, attached – we’re all waiting for the right time to have something in our lives. Let’s support each other by giving each other a hand, a shoulder to cry on and nights filled with the good tissues when things don’t go as planned. We’re all in the waiting line for something. Let’s just get along.