10 Totally Unlame Things to Say When Someone Asks You If You Have a Boyfriend Yet

June 18, 2015


I recently found myself at a family party where I was asked by a-family-member-of-a-family-member if I had a boyfriend yet.

To be honest, I was a bit taken back by the question. My family members, for the most part, have stopped asking me this question. I’d like to think it’s because they respect my privacy. And not because they know I’m a complete and total lost cause in the dating department. (Umm, who are we fooling? It’s totally because of that last one.)

Since, I hadn’t heard that question in a while, I didn’t really know what to say. I just mumbled out something lame about not having much time and then I shoved tortilla chips in my face.

But since then I’ve had some time to think about some totally unlame things that I could have said. And here they are:

1. Well, I’d like a new boyfriend, but first I’d have to dump my old boyfriend.

And by “dump” I mean, “Do you know any good places to bury a body?”

2. I’m saving myself for the next season of The Bachelor.

I’ve even been brainstorming some dubious job titles to show under my name like all the best Bachelor contestants. Maybe: “Expert Movie Binger.” Or possibly: “Professional Pajama Pant Enthusiast.” Or simply: “Crazy Cat Lady In Training.”

3. I was thinking about trying that Internet dating thing, but the last time I tried to date technology, things got messy.

4. My religion doesn’t believe in dating before marriage.

That and Triscuits. My religion is really anti-Triscuits. But can you blame them? I mean, have you eaten a Triscuit lately? It’s like a scouring pad for your tongue!

5. I hear you’re supposed to wear real pants when you go on a date.

I’m not so into wearing real pants unless I’m at work and I’m expressly getting paid to do so.

6. I wouldn’t want to make Netflix jealous. We’re kind of in an exclusive relationship.

7. Do I have a boyfriend?

Let me just answer that question with a question: DO YOU WANT TO SEE FIVE BILLION PICTURES OF MY CAT???



8. Now, by “boyfriend” do you mean an actual person I’m dating in real life or can it be someone I’ve only dated in my head? Because all of my most successful relationships have existed solely in my head.

9. I don’t like to use the word “boyfriend.” It just sounds so juvenile, you know?

I prefer the term, “lover,” but pronounced “LOOOOOOUUVVAAAAAHHHH.”

Now, doesn’t that just feel so much more mature?

10. No, I don’t have a boyfriend, and I’m not even trying to have a boyfriend.

But I have a job, where I teach people important things like how to deal with living in a foreign country and how to pronounce words like “spectacular” and how to use the present perfect tense correctly. I have a cat, who is horrible and wonderful and I love her. I have a blog, where I write about nothing but my cat and my hatred of pants, but people still leave ridiculously kind comments and send me emails that make me cry. I have a family who loves me even though they know I’m a total dating lost cause. And I have friends all over the world, which means I could pick up at any moment and go visit a random country and I’d probably know someone there whose couch I could sleep on.

I know my life choice is different from yours. And I know your life choice has made you happy. And I respect that and I can understand why you would want me to make a similar life choice so that I can also be happy.

But, let me assure you, my life choice — the one without the boyfriend but with the job and the cat and the blog and the family and friends — has also made me happy. Really, REALLY happy.

And maybe having a boyfriend would make me happier. Or maybe it would just make me miserable and cranky because I’d have to wear pants more and watch Netflix less.

But, for now, I’m fine with being really, REALLY happy.

(Cue shoving tortilla chips into my mouth.)


How do you respond when people ask you personal questions you don’t know how to respond to?


I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On June 18, 2015 at 8:28 am Pamm said:

    Another response:

    Boyfriend? BOYFRIEND? Why on earth would I need a boyfriend? I do what I want when I want, and I have a cat and netflix. I don’t ‘need’ a boyfriend – I have a shower massage.

    Okay, probably not the image you want to publicize.

    I did say that to someone once and they never asked again.

  2. On June 18, 2015 at 8:44 am Rose said:

    The boyfriend question is almost as good as the “When are you going to have another kid?” question. That one pops up all the time, out of EVERYONE I meet! I also mumble something lame and then stuff tortilla chips in my mouth to avoid more conversation on the topic.

    • On June 18, 2015 at 9:19 pm Sally said:

      The funny thing is I’ve actually heard myself ask that question to people who just had a kid, and I’m like, “OMIGOD. STOP SAYING THAT! WHY AM I ASKING YOU THAT??? THAT’S NONE OF MY BUSINESS!” I guess it’s just what you ask people who’ve had a kid. 🙂

  3. On June 18, 2015 at 8:59 am Erin said:

    SO happy to find your blog & fb page to follow you. You are so funny & I love that you travel … sometimes alone. I, too, have chosen my professional pet sitting business, my cat, & Netflix over a boyfriend at the moment. Not sure I chose it so much as I don’t feel the urge to search for it to “complete me” when I have all I need & a bag of chips (literally). Love this post & sharing. Can’t wait to read more!

  4. On June 18, 2015 at 9:29 am Cheryl Howard said:

    The one I hate the most is “I just don’t understand why you don’t have a boyfriend yet? You’re so nice, cool etc …”

    While I’m sure that the intention of their statement is to be kind, I feel like they are just sitting there wondering what is really wrong with me. And to be honest, at times I’ve wondered the same thing.
    Cheryl Howard recently posted..ZenBanx Is the Perfect Tool for Canadian Travellers.

    • On June 18, 2015 at 9:16 pm Sally said:

      Yeah, that’s a great one too. I used to get “Why aren’t you married yet?” a lot in Asia. I was always like, “Umm, excuse me, you’re my taxi driver. I don’t feel we’re at the stage in our relationship where I have to explain that to you right now.”

      • On June 19, 2015 at 2:52 am Evelyn said:

        Same in Turkey! The randomest of random people like the greengrocer I visited only once, the ice-cream guy.. But! After trial and error, I’ve found something that resonates with them ‘Ahh, destiny! What can I do?’

  5. On June 18, 2015 at 12:26 pm Arianwen said:

    LOVE the last one. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s exactly what I want people to know about me. It’s lovely to know people are concerned, but it’s also a little irritating that they can’t always accept that we don’t all need a significant other to find true happiness. Here’s to all the single ladies (with or without cats and an obsession with Netflix)!
    Arianwen recently posted..Sightseeing with the London Pass: is it Worth the Money?

  6. On June 18, 2015 at 1:44 pm Priya said:

    #10 is my fave 🙂 it’s funny when you’re in the moment and you don’t know what to say but then come up with 10 responses after. When I came back from Australia, a family member asked me if I was going to get married now. Sigh. Because that’s apparently the only goal in life.
    Priya recently posted..Getting My Ethiopian Food On – Vegetarian Style

  7. On June 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm JessieV said:

    Wait. #5 – people OWN real pants?
    JessieV recently posted..Visiting the House of the Mother Mary

  8. On June 18, 2015 at 4:39 pm zoe said:

    Love #10, not just because it’s way more articulate than my usual response of “Me? Have a BOYFRIEND?! Have you even met me? You’re joking, right?”
    zoe recently posted..13 remarkably specific superlatives about Turin

  9. On June 18, 2015 at 5:28 pm Cara Lee said:

    I read this somewhere, and usually forget to use it, but it puts THEM, the questioner, on the spot, no matter what they have asked that makes you uncomfortable: “Why do you ask?”

  10. On June 18, 2015 at 6:42 pm Mahdi said:

    Love this post and totally know where you are coming from. I find Christmas with the extended family is the worst time for it. Also love when everyone starts wanting to set you up with people who have nothing else in common other than being single.
    Mahdi recently posted..The Seven Golden Environmental Rules

    • On June 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm Sally said:

      Ha! I feel your pain! I have a friend who is always telling me some story about a horrible coworker and then halfway through the story, he’ll be like, “Oh, Sally, he’s single! You should date him!” Like I’m just that desperate that I’d date anyone (even his horrible coworker) just because he’s single.

  11. On June 18, 2015 at 9:53 pm Isabelle said:

    I love your answers! I hope you’ll get to use them one day!
    Nobody ever ask me about having a boyfriend. They probably all think I’m gay by now!

  12. On June 19, 2015 at 2:29 am Leslie in Oregon said:

    Here, here and bravo!!

  13. On June 19, 2015 at 4:12 pm Daina said:

    Excellent post. Things all children should learn in school include which questions are NOT okay to ask:
    1) Do you have a boy/girlfriend yet?
    2) If individual is dating someone, then: When are you getting engage or married?
    3) If individual is partnered, then: When are you having children or any version thereof (Are you planning on having children? How many kids will you have?)
    4) Are you pregnant? – to any woman ever.
    5) To any people who have kids – When are you going to have more kids?
    I’m sure there’s more, but these are a good start.
    Daina recently posted..Music & Food in Boston

  14. On June 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm RenegadePilgrim said:

    This is an awkward question for me mostly because I don’t dig dudes, so it’s always fun to answer in non-LGBT-friendly countries with a “I don’t want to be married or have a boyfriend” when inside I’m thinking “I AM GAY!!!!”
    RenegadePilgrim recently posted..Camino Portuguese: Day 5

    • On June 20, 2015 at 8:59 am Sally said:

      I had quite a few gay friends in Asia, and they were always being asked why they weren’t married yet… or, worse yet, people tried to set them up on dates with so-and-so’s single cousin/friend/sister/brother.

    • On June 30, 2015 at 8:33 pm kato said:

      Yep! Me too. Am I ever game enough to answer with that great line from the rom-com Imagine Me and You , something like ” I don’t have a boyfriend, and I might one day get married if the laws change , but if I spend the rest of my life with someone else it will be a woman”. oh, I guess that’s a little outdated in the US and the UK ( and ever other English speaking developed country in the world now, except here in Australia.)?

      I never tried it. But sometimes I just laugh in a certain kind of way when asked the boyfriend question, just enough for them to get the idea that I’m queer, in any sense of the word. 😉

      • On July 5, 2015 at 11:27 am Sally said:

        This is yet another problem with the whole “do you have a boyfriend thing?” It just assumes that the person being asked would, in fact, want a boyfriend… and not, say, a girlfriend or whatever-gender-friend. Just one more reason why people should stop freaking asking this question!

  15. On June 21, 2015 at 12:22 am Pleddie said:

    I just returned from four months in China, trying to learn some Chinese.FAIL! I was at a school that taught foreigners Chinese and Chinese students English. One day, while I was talking to a Chinese student, a Chinese teacher, who taught English, was walking by and asked me If I was there looking for a Chinese wife. I am 77 years old and was a little taken aback. I liked your, “Why do you ask?” but the answer could be even worse than the question, so I am glad I hadn’t read this blog. My response was, “No, my other four wives would be upset if I came home with a fifth one.” She seemed satisfied with that one, and walked on. Of course the Chinese student immediately wanted to know about my four wives and would they really object.

    I have always like the approach of giving silly answers. My favorite would be when I would be out mowing my yard and some kid would walk bye and ask me what I was doing. My response was I am swimming. Typically, they would look at me a minute and then say something like, you aren’t really swimming, are you? That does happen nowadays, but mainly because kids don’t walk anywhere anymore.

    • On June 27, 2015 at 10:53 am Sally said:

      I love your response! Although as someone who lived in China (and visited a whole bunch of other countries in East Asia), I don’t think it’s totally unreasonable that she asked you if you were looking for a Chinese wife. I saw a lot of men your age (or older!) with beautiful young Asian girlfriends/wives. But, yeah, you wouldn’t want to make your other wives jealous. 🙂

  16. On June 26, 2015 at 3:50 am Ceri said:

    On behalf of all happily single girls everywhere, I salute you. You are the queen. Seriously. Memorising that last point so I can deliver it back to those naggers.
    Ceri recently posted..Teaching in Korea vs Teaching in Mexico (Part 1)

  17. On December 24, 2016 at 9:47 am Claudia said:

    I don’t have a boyfriend. I have 3!! Do you need any, is that why you’re asking? (That’s how I’d answer!)


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