SINGLE? Got parents? Who deliberately choose the most punishingly painful moment to ask probing questions about, essentially, if you’re f**king?
During a conversation about the news
Your relationship status has no connection to Ukraine or Gaza, thank f**k, so it comes out of nowhere when chat swerves hard from the IDF to why you were wrong to dump Tom, who had prospects. Do bombed-out buildings remind them of your love life? That segues into the cost of living, which could be allieviated by splitting the rent with a special someone.
When you’ve lost your job
Been made redundant again? Brace yourself for a tearful phone call to your parents where they cut you off to ask if you’ve got any dates lined up. You reply it’s not your main focus and your dad replies that now you’re free to date shift workers during the day you’ve got even less excuse. ‘And MILFs,’ he adds.
During a family occasion
Whether Christmas or a christening, a 50th birthday or a family meal, your parents need to establish to all attendees first that you’re single and second that it’s your own fault. It’s almost like an intervention for being terminally unloveable but without the follow-up of rehab, just a lonely walk home to an empty flat.
Midafternoon on a Thursday
An unprompted text from your mother reading ‘still single? x’ at half-past two on a Thursday, just as you’re miserably failing at Countdown, is not especially awkward because there’s nobody there to see you stifle sobs. But it’s hardly normal, is it? And nor is the same text at half-past two in the morning next Tuesday.
Two minutes after they last asked
You calmly explained to your parents that you are still single a mere 120 seconds ago, yet they’re grilling you again. Perhaps they assumed you were lying? Or thought you’d matched with someone, gone on a few dates and made it official during your conversation? Modern dating is a weird and wonderful thing after all. But, in fact, no.