Married people do not have to prove why they’re married, so why do people have to explain why they’re not?
Dear Concerned Family, Friends, Friends’ Nanas, Co-workers, Strangers on Planes, Hairstylists, Taxi Drivers, et al:
I can’t take it. The number of people in my life telling me about the number of times they have been ‘concern-policed’ by people worried about their relationship status.
I know, because it happens to me too.
Fear not. WE ARE OK. Well, no more/less than you. You might not think so because we are not traditionally partnered. True story: When she discovered I didn’t have a boyfriend, my friend’s nana once halted a wedding rehearsal dinner to ask the guests how I’d get home without one. She, like you, is unnecessarily concerned about people who are a) not married, b) dating, c) not dating, or d) engaging in non-“traditional” relationships like open or consensual polyamory.
We have lots in common, including interest in each other’s well-being. However, many of us are concerned about your OVER-concern about this one area of our lives.
You need to know this frequently vocalised concern can make us feel uncomfortable, belittled, disrespected. It feels like a person’s marriage is off-limits, but dating life is open for assessment. You can imagine how irritating it is. We all receive unwelcome messages when people want to see us on a certain track, usually theirs (when are you having kids, when are you buying a house, blah blah blah).
We regularly hear the following: