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"So, why no man in your life?"

Updated on August 23, 2016
H Andelsmen profile image

H. Andelsmen realized her girlfriends were asking advice, often, because she herself has been through so much, so she decided to share.

At First Glance

When I first see this question, it instantly burns me up. It is offensive and rude. I think, "Because you have an open avenue to message me, and I was nice enough to reply to you, you think it is appropriate to ask such a personal question? Maybe I am the only one who finds this offensive. But, I doubt it. If you don't find it offensive, you should. This person is implying, to me at least, that there is a reason that I don't have a man, and he would like to know what that reason is.

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
Voltaire

Voltaire agrees with me. At least I think this quote is appropriate considering the situation. We are chatting online. This was not after days of chatting, or after many back and forths throughout one day. This was after three exchanges. Him, me, then him. Boom. The slap in the face. Yes, I am judging him based on his question. I am quickly assessing based on my first glance that he has not regard for the words he chooses. I am determining at first glance that if he does have regard for those words, he chose to use them anyway.

Pause.

Now, for me, considering that I was immediately offended, I chose to pause and collect myself prior to replying to this at all. This is a necessary step. When you are online 'chatting' and find yourself faced with something that makes your mouth fall agape and draw an outloud breath, walk away for a minute. Don't respond yet.

“A pause gives you
breathing space
so listen
to the whispers
of the real you
waiting to happen.”
Tara Estacaan

After I took a pause, I was able to think clearer. I told myself, "Don't take that so personally." I was able to talk myself down. I was able to tell myself, some people aren't aware what they are stating can seem negative to the person on the other end. After the pause, I decided that I would side step that whole question. Because if I chose to address it, I didn't think my point would have been understood anyway and I really didn't feel like putting forth the effort to explain myself. So I dodged the issue. He may have understood, but I knew, for me it didn't matter.

The Response

As I said, this particular time I chose not to even reply to this direct question. Having received this question many, many times in some form or another while doing the online thing, I have usually provided some type of response. As I have been single for some time off on and on for what seems a slew of years, I have gained a load of insight. My best advice, less is more. Choose your battles. Just because someone offends you, does not mean that you must stand up and defend all those offended in the life span of the digital universe. If you are into that person, a reply is necessary. If not, excuse yourself in an approriate manner, and move on.

“The text has disappeared under the interpretation.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Now, should you choose to address the question, the response you choose should be well thought out and very you. This can go one of three ways:

  • You have an ex and if you want to continue to converse with this person, but the heavy stuff can wait, just say so. But don't just blurt that out. And don't write a book to explain. A simple, "I was with someone. We split, for plenty of reasons, but it was a mutual decision." Says two things, 1) I am not ignoring what you said; and 2) I am accepting my role in whatever happened and not putting all the blame on the ex. I know when a guy tells me, "my ex was crazy" says to me that he thinks he did no wrong. Folks, we all play a role in our relationships, stop trying to act innocent. Own your sh*t.
  • You don't have an ex, have been single for quite a while, and you want to continue to converse with this person, just be like, "I have been enjoying the single life and just dating." This tells him about you, 1) you are not trying rushing into anything; 2) you don't mind addressing tough questions; and 3) It was your choice. Don't get me wrong, this may be interpreted a million different ways; however, we are just trying to get past this one, darn question.
  • You can answer a question with a question. Now me, being the jokester that I am, I usually try to make light of it and reply jokingly, something like, "Lol, why no man in YOUR life?" Putting them on the defensive usually makes them, pause. Or they will fire back real quick and sound offended and scoff. Either way, you will learn one thing, whether or not the have a sense of humor. As for me, I made my point that asking that question is repulsive in one way or another and I can show you how it can be repulsive to you.

Just Don't Ask It.

Though I have provide some suggestions on how to deal with this question. My advice to all, men and women, just don't ask it. It isn't nice. You don't appear nice asking it, no matter how it is worded or what you meant by asking it. In no form, does it come off as you trying to have genuine conversation with someone. It comes off as you don't know how to have a genuine conversation and you struggle to invoke topics to talk about. Whenever you approach someone, think to yourself, would I say this to them if I were approaching them in public? Uh, no. At least I hope you wouldn't, you may get slapped. This internet thing has led us all to instant gratification. Dating, if that is your true intent, still takes time compadres. Let it develop.

Now did this guy in particular mean to upset me? No, I think not. He really meant no harm. During my pause, I reminded myself, some people just don't communicate as effectively through writing as they do vocalizing what they have to say. They fumble. They don't say what they are really trying to say. What I 'think' he was trying to say, or I hope, was, "you're attractive, it seems like you would have a man." It just didn't come across that way. Probably because he didn't say that. So in order to save yourself from the awkwardness, just don't ask it. Not even any of these:

  • "Hey shorty, you fine, you got a man, right?"
  • "A woman as beautiful as you doesn't have a man? Why not?"
  • "You are a pretty woman, what's wrong with you?"

See what I'm saying, none of those are okay. Just assume that they are in fact single, then don't worry yourself with the details of why. Just go with the flow and if they are into you, they will remain consistent and will ask thoughtful questions. If they are real good, they will have a way for you both to converse without having to fire away questions at each other. But, that's a different article.

© 2016 HanDelsmen

Comments

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    • H Andelsmen profile image
      Author

      HanDelsmen 14 months ago from East Coast

      Dashing,

      I wholeheartedly agree on the humor part, I was looking for a like button lol

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 14 months ago

      H. Andelsmen,

      I actually get where you are coming from. We all have our own pet peeve questions that we hate being asked. These days very few people are as forthcoming as you are. In fact many don't volunteer information about themselves unless they're directly asked.

      For instance there are a lot of married men who won't bother to mention it unless a woman asks them and if she gets involved with him and discovers it later he'll say: "You never asked me if I was married."

      Having said that I am a big believer in trusting your gut instinct when it comes to accessing the "intention" of a question being asked of you.

      I believe most people however will continue to use questions as "ice breakers" rather than start talking about themselves.

      Many have been taught it's more polite to "show interest in others" rather than to lead off by talking about themselves. Others think it's narcissistic behavior.

      Personally speaking I believe using humor is the best "ice breaker".

      Enjoy the remainder of your week too!

    • H Andelsmen profile image
      Author

      HanDelsmen 14 months ago from East Coast

      Dashing,

      You have valid points. I am not sensitive to not having a relationship, I choose to be single. I just think and advise others, that this type of question should not be used as an icebreaker. In fact, I recommend to not use questions at all. If I approach someone, I start by stating my name, and telling a funny story about myself, or a fun fact that no one would ever guess about me. Just to get the ball rolling. Personally, I don't enjoy firing questions back and forth, at all. We can learn about each other through a variety of ways and the generic questions are just plain boring, to me.

      I get the instances when it is sort of compliment, and I can tell when it is. The way that was worded, was not. He asked "why". "So there's no special lady in your life?" is more of a compliment, agreed.

      I'm not angry, just want to point out, to those who care, that considering that approach can be frowned upon by the recipient.

      I'm not going to address the old times, we live now. Other than to say, I am not seeking pity.

      Have a great remainder of your week Scorpio!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 14 months ago

      The only person you can change or control is yourself.

      As you noted you might be in the minority who find that question offensive. I would imagine someone who isn't upset about not having a man in their life probably wouldn't be as sensitive about the question.

      Odds are the question was asked as a "ice breaker" and not to make someone feel bad. The person may also be verifying that there is no one waiting in the wings for them to have to compete with.

      In other instances it's sort of a complement when they meet someone who is attractive, pleasant, and fun to be around. They're curious.

      It's as if they can't believe someone like you is still on the "open market".

      My guess is very few men would be offended if a woman asked:

      "So there's no special lady in your life?"

      Most likely he would interpret that question as sign that she's (interested) in getting to know him in a romantic sense. It wouldn't upset him.

      Anger is the Mask that Hurt wears....

      Back in the 1960s and prior eras women simply didn't have the career income opportunities that they do today. There was much emphasis placed on them to use their youthfulness to attract a good man to marry and take care of them. Women who failed to do so were looked at as "old maids" after a certain age or seen as the little old lady with lots of cats.

      However today women are CEOs of companies like General Motors, Oracle Software, Xerox, and IBM just to name a few. Oprah Winfrey is her 60s and has never been married or had children. No one pities her!

      Unless you worry about what other people think about your relationship status the question should simply be seen as a "ice breaker" or conversation starter. Most people aren't out to hurt others.

      Being single is a (relationship status) not a deformity!

      One man's opinion!:)