the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

The Biggest Reason You’re Not Married
February 26, 2010, 11:11 am
Filed under: Relationships | Tags: , , , , ,

There are certain questions that I can’t stand to answer. Partially because the answer will bring no benefit to the questioner, and partially because the question itself makes certain implications. My favorite (or perhaps least favorite) question of this type — “Why aren’t you married/dating/in a relationship?”

We all love to get that question, don’t we? Whether it’s family, parents, old friends we haven’t seen in a while, or maybe a new acquaintance (but I hope not a date, lest they’ve forgotten their manners), they all want to know why we haven’t been “snatched up” into a relationship.

I’ve been guilty of asking this question before, as I’m sure you have. When I ask the question, it’s really a less offensive way of saying, “What’s wrong with you? Where are your defects? Do you have a personality disorder? There must be some logical explanation as to why someone hasn’t decided they want to spend the rest of their life with you? What’s the problem?”  That’s the backhanded brilliance of the “why aren’t you” question — it says all that and more in such a way that people often don’t have a decent answer.

While you might actually want them to tell you all of those things, you’d be pretty bold (or maybe just stupid) to be forthright enough to ask such blatant questions.

For some reason, it seems as if I get asked this, entirely too often. And the other day I was pondering it… Why am I not in a relationship? Or married? Then the answer came to me, simple and clear — because I have standards.

Standards? Who has those nowadays? Apparently, more people than you might think. While they might be the “he/she needs to have X, Y, and Z material things before I’ll get with him” unhealthy type instead of the honest, healthy kind of standards, at the very least, we could all say that, if we’re not in a relationship, it’s because we’ve chosen not to settle. Some have chosen not to settle for a man in a Honda. Some have chosen not to settle for a woman with 3 kids. It depends on how high your standards are, but you’ve chosen, one way or another, not to settle.

If you think back over your life, your past, and your relationships, you’ll probably see some places where you could have gotten married, or you could have gotten into this relationship, but for whatever reason, you didn’t. That reason — your standards.

Standards have a way of messing up all kinds of things. You see a beautiful girl, but she’s got red flags popping up left and right. Or, you’re getting to know a new guy, but he’s always so focused on himself that he doesn’t really care about you. And yes, you could (and many do) overlook those things and settle for a relationship with those individuals, but, is it really worth it? That’s where your standards come in.

Wait. I’m letting some people off the hook entirely too easily. Let me clarify something — for some of you, it’s not your standards that are the issue, it’s other’s standards that are the issue.

Some of you have some issues that you need to work on before you get into a relationship. Perhaps it’s your immaturity, proclivity to gravitate towards foolish drama, constant negativity, or inability to consider how your words and actions impact anyone but yourself that are holding you back from someone wanting to be locked in a relationship (or maybe even go on a date) with you. (If you got upset about this paragraph, that’s probably because I was talking about you. Don’t kill the messenger.)

How do you know if it’s your standards or other people’s that are the reason you’re not in a relationship? Figuring that out is as simple as looking at whether or not people seriously (not jokingly or for courtesy’s sake) ask you that question. (And for the record, one person a year does not count.) If people don’t ask you, it’s likely that they already know why you’re not in a relationship. And they’re probably right.

Next time someone comes at you with the whole, “Why aren’t you married/dating/in a relationship?” thing, just assure them that it’s because you have standards and don’t feel like settling for less than the best. That will either shut them up or cause them to question your standards (which is an entirely separate conversation). Either way, you’ll have a decent answer for the future.

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2 Comments so far
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I just had this same thought today. I was on FB looking at statuses and saw one that referenced a male flirting with this particular woman. I had the quick thought, really God..why can’t someone show me some attention. Then I was convicted on the spot. The truth is, I do have fellas who flirt and show me attention. However, I’m not the least bit interested in their advances. Why? As you’ve so eloquently stated, I have standards. I’m not one of these ladies who want to lead anybody on, so I don’t even indulge in conversations with them if I can’t help it. I’m pleasant and I keep it there.

So you are right, we have standards Stu!

Comment by Krystle

You know when I get asked this question I never thought to say I’m single because I have standards….very interesting. I like that! I do ask myself why am I not in a relationship and in love with a man and then I realize it’s because I’m not ready for the guy that God has put aside for me. We have to remember those standards we uphold like education, stability, etc., these are characteristics that we should also bring to the table. Great blog!

Comment by Jasmine

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