2 minute read

36 Ridiculous Clichés Singles Are Tired of Hearing

Last Updated: June 11, 2015

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

It is estimated 25% of Millennials will never get married. In fact, the chances of never getting married are higher now than ever before. In the face of such fantastically optimistic statistics, more and more people are dishing out dating advice to singles.

What you say What a single person thinks
You will meet someone when you least expect it. Exactly how is this supposed to help me? How can I try to expect something less, unless I forget about it entirely? And if that’s the answer, then why are you reminding me by bringing it up? If you’re right, haven’t you just set me back at least a couple weeks by making my singleness a topic of conversation?
We want grandbabies! Thanks. So glad to know my reproductive organs exist for your multi-generational sense of fulfillment.
God has the perfect match for you. Your prophetic abilities are astounding. Good to know God has a match for everybody. Too bad guys like John the Baptist, Elijah, Daniel, Jeremiah, and Paul didn’t get that memo.
If I was a girl/guy I would totally date you. Perfect. Good to know I can land myself a date in the magical gender-swap universe.
There’s plenty of fish in the sea. If by “fish” you mean human beings, I was aware of this already. There’s well over seven billion of us. Thanks for the reminder that despite the surplus population, I still haven’t found a date. Cheers.
My friend didn’t get married until she was 50, so you still have time. You know what, you’re awesome. I was hoping to get married around menopause.

What to Say Instead

If you’re one of these well-meaning people, you may be thinking, “Great, now I feel bad.” But there’s good news: you don’t need to walk on egg shells around your single friends! Here’s a list of easy-to-remember words and phrases to start saying instead:

  • “How are you?”
  • “Want to hang out sometime?”
  • “Is there anything I can pray about for you?”
  • “You’re awesome!”
  • Don’t say anything about their singleness at all. Just listen.

Singles, We Know You’re More Than Single

The real problem with these clichés, is that, as well-intentioned as many of them are, they sometimes come across as hurtful or offensive. Instead of easing the loneliness or bitterness, they may even make these feelings worse…and drive singles into compulsive behaviors, like binge-eating or porn.

We recently released a new book, More Than Single: Finding Purpose Beyond Porn, about helping singles break free from lust and pornography and find joy.

  • Comments on: 36 Ridiculous Clichés Singles Are Tired of Hearing
    1. A Single on

      This article is very true. I want to also add I think that being single is one major reason why people lose faith in God. In fact, I think it is a major reason. I do not know one person who has not prayed to God for love. Male or female. It does not matter. All have prayed to God for love and when that does not happen, one truly calls God into question. Churches make things infinitely worse. They spout the same old tired line — God will give you what you need. Well, no, obviously he will not. It amazes me how many people delude themselves when using that line because I can give you hundreds of examples of things that people genuinely need and God is not providing. I remember having this conversation with a Church leader tell him that love is what I needed and he said no it wasn’t. He told me that I needed God. Here was a person telling me that what I am saying I needed was wrong and that I did not know what I needed. It was insanity really. Amazing how many Christians tell you that what you truly need is not what you truly need. It is insulting really. First they assume that I did not have a true relationship with God and then secondly, they assumed I did not know my own heart. So insulting.

      Ironically, I grew up in the church and I believed all that I heard about goodness and truth. I was the guy who never spoke badly of women, who was honest, who never cheated, and never manipulated. I would listen to a woman’s sob stories and genuinely care. I would try to help and prayed for people. I wasn’t perfect, but I was genuine. You would think that in the realm of love things like genuineness, caring, consistency, and communication would be prized, but no, really it isn’t. At least, not here in America.

      By my mid 20s, I started to realize that love and wealth correlates. The more wealth you have the more opportunities you have for a woman. This is something that is never spoken about regarding women because we have put women on a pedestal in America. We have put them on way too high of a pedestal. All this nonsense that women marry for love really is nonsense. I can provide example after example of how women marry for comfort and not love. Why do you think so many women cheat? And yes, before you say they don’t, I can assure you that tons do. A staggering amount actually and that too is never talked about because women can do no wrong in America. They cheat because they married for comfort and something is missing. Love is what is missing.

      The ironic thing with me was I resisted this notion that wealth equaled love. I made very good money and never let anyone know this. I am convinced if I would have flaunted my means I would not be single. That was never more evident to me than the only time I ever walked out on a date. The woman I went out with was everything I ever looked for in a woman. To this day, she was probably the most beautiful woman I ever have seen. Yet, during our date, she asked me if I at least made XX amount of money. The number she threw out was actually low and that made it even worse. I could have almost given her a pass if she was simply a greedy gold digger. But no, she was just a typical woman and it showed me that really women don’t truly marry for love. There is always a financial component to love. The truly ironic thing was the reality was I made a staggering amount more than she asked about, but I was so disgusted I simply walked out. After many years of being single, in hindsight, I should have just spent a ton of money on women. Going after love by believing in love is simply a fools errand in this day and age.

      Many men in America are disgusted by American women I think because for women it truly is about money. When you have websites that popup that are dedicated to explaining why you should not date an American woman — that is very telling and something that should not be ignored. When you have hundreds of men commenting on those websites — that is even more telling. In America if you have money, you will not be single. On some level, it is all about that. I also think that is why feminism in America is so hated. Feminism is not really about equality. It is about superiority. Women have lost their way in America and are most certainly not holding up their side of their biblical duties. A woman wants it all but still have the man pay her way. Doubt this? Go back to dating and see for yourself. Go to any alimony hearing in a divorce court. Even Covenant Eyes avoids this lack of accountability with women. Covenant Eyes is so male centric —- the male always has the problem, the male must change, and the woman is left at home crying. I have yet to see one article where anyone talks about the biblical responsibility of a woman to her husband. I have yet to see one article where someone comes out and says the obvious: ladies you are the ones doing the most porn but there are tons of jobs out there — stop doing porn because it is easy money and get a real job. The realities truly are that 99% of people who do porn are not forced to do porn. I know there are some that might be forced into doing it to survive, but the vast majority do not. Heck, half the porn out there is homemade porn. No on ever talks about how women have lost their way in our society. The male is public enemy number one and the consummate whipping boy.

      So, I guess in summation, I think being single is much more complex than people make it out to be. We don’t really talk about why people are so single. We also do not account for it as being why people turn from God but I assure you that it is a reason. I can’t really put the blame totally on God though. We have to face facts that America really is a messed up country. We live in this delusion that we are a great nation. No. We have the best military and we are protected by two oceans. That truly is why we are great. If it were not for that, I think the rest of the world might have gotten rid of us long ago. After all, we have been at war perpetually since WWII. However, we are decaying from within because our priorities are so wrong in our nation. Lincoln was right about that. Our destruction will come from within. Not from a foreign enemy. From our mass incarceration to our spying to our materialism — we have problems and it is wrecking havoc on families and relationship. We are a dysfunctional society in so many ways and no nation can stand once the family unit crumbles.

      I do like your article though. At least, you had the guts to say the truth. A lot of the cliches are simply BS.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hey there. Thanks for all your thoughts. You are correct that a whole host of cultural beliefs and values contribute to why singleness is more common now than ever before.

      • Alex on

        I also think technology is ironically playing a huge role in singleness in this day and age. In a world that’s smaller than it was even 10 years ago, people are more lonely than they ever have been. It’s just the wrong period in human history to be a young adult, or to make it worse, a Christian young adult.

    2. RKline on

      Great article! This is a response to “A Single.” Maybe what is wrong with Christians in America is that they remain wholly self-centered. Focused entirely on building their own kingdom, and not God’s. Finding a mate and having children, then having a healthy marriage and godly happy children, all while making as much money as you can, with a little bit of God on the side to keep things peaceful, and some charity giving on the fringes to ease your guilt – this seems to be the primary goal of mainstream Christians in America. Nope, God isn’t to be blamed for not providing you with the spouse of your dreams. Building your happy Christian family fiefdom was never His priority. He is about building His own kingdom, saving the lost, caring for the orphan and the widow, bringing deliverance and freedom to those who are in bondage, heeding the cries of the poor and outcaste, spreading His glory throughout the earth. Get out of your American self-centered bubble and focus on building God’s kingdom. Sell your stuff. Leave the country. Start living a life of abandon that is fixated on God’s glory, and not your own comfort. Then you will discover the life you really were made for, which is far greater than any happily married comfortable American existence.

      Reply
      • Rachel Nichols on

        Americans are self centered period. We Christians in America have lost our saltiness.

        If the American church were doing Christ’s work, our country would not be rotten to the core.

    3. Douglas Crawshaw Jr. on

      You know, I just need to let this out. I’ve gone through a lot of these single cliches, and I honestly don’t know what to say. Do I still long for a wife? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I would really like to see the singles issue addressed more in the Church. These are the people that, if what you say is true, are more prone to pornography and apostasy. We need to know WHY these single people want to get married, and WHAT we can do about it, according to Scripture. Emphasis on “according to Scripture”.

      For example, while I Corinthians 7 does discourage marriage as a distraction from serving the Lord (albeit marriage is not a sin), it does mention how marriage is used as a means to avoid sexual sin (v. 2, 9).

      We also need to address the modern issues that make marriage way less desirable in this day in age, such as, money. One suggestion I have is to have other family members live with you and help take care of the kids, and help with the household. The Bible doesn’t condemn that. If a couple chooses to marry to avoid sexual sin, we as a Church must help them, because living in America is very expensive. Now, yes, the Bible does talk in Genesis 2:24 about “leaving his father and mother”, so why then do we see Noah’s married kids living with their parents in the Ark, or Jacob’s kids living with him (Reuben had kids, says Genesis 42:37), or even calling family neglect being “worse than an unbeliever” in I Timothy 5:8, which was mentioned after talking about widows? In light of these verses, does Genesis 2:24 really mean one must be physically away from their parents at marriage?

      As for dating, surely there’s a better way to get single Christians married who need married. Let’s include both parties’ families in the conversation, and earlier. Getting married shouldn’t rely on feelings, or being “in love”, but on righteousness. True love will pursue righteousness, even if there seems to be little in common with each other.

      Now, I’m not at all saying that we should get all our single Christians married, because there are some that either don’t need a spouse (I Corinthians 7:7) or are Biblically ineligible to marry, such as a divorcee (I Corinthians 7:11, among other places). And RKline is right about focusing on doing God’s will. Marriage is a ministry to be exercised in accordance to God’s will, with specific roles and commands for women (for example, Ephesians 5:22-24, 33b) AND men (for example, Ephesians 5:25-30, 33a). v. 31 and 32 speak of the mystery of Christ and the Church. A marriage based on comfort and wealth doesn’t sound Biblical at all.

      Correct me if I’m wrong on any of this. The point of all of this is not about “how to get singles married”. It’s all about “how to obey God and avoid sin”.

      Reply
      • William Buttram on

        How are your spouse and children?

    4. Khanair on

      Nice article, it would be good to see more articles on singles. By the way, I’ve heard almost all of these, the most common is, “there’s plenty of fish in the sea.” Some fish you want to purposely avoid, because they think that just because they like you, that means that you like them…creepy people.

      Reply

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