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Thriving as a single woman

Empowering answers to the question “Why are you still single?”

June 5, 2024
Posted by Karen Strang Allen

As a single woman, you’ve probably heard this question more times than you can count: “Why are you still single?”

Well-meaning family and friends may be concerned about your relationship status and feel the need to offer unsolicited advice, because they believe being in a relationship is implicitly better. But the truth is, being single at this stage of life can be incredibly empowering.

As a middle-aged woman who has spent many years being single, this is a question I’ve personally fielded often.

Sometimes, it’s meant as a compliment (e.g. “Wow, you’re such a great catch – how has no one snapped you up yet?”).

Other times, it’s said with a hint of suspicion (e.g. “There must be something wrong with you if you’re not in a relationship.”)

And sometimes the person projects their judgment and lack of understanding onto the situation with a statement like, “You’re just too picky!” (Because lowering your standards is a surefire way to find a great partner lol!)

Regardless of the intention, this question can feel intrusive and doubt-inducing…and can even push you back out dating long before you’re ready.

While you do not have to justify your single status to anyone, it helps to think through your own reasons for being single, and to have some empowering answers that make you feel good about your decision.

Common reasons women remain single

As a love and empowerment coach who has spoken to thousands of women over the past decade, there can be many reasons why a woman may be single. But they tend to fall under one of these 5 categories:

1. Healing & rebuilding – After a break-up or divorce, it’s a very wise decision to take time to heal, to rebuild your life and confidence, and to learn how to make yourself happy (instead of relying on another to do that for you). While many women resist being single at first, they often discover that this can be a very empowering time of joy and rediscovery.

2. Having other priorities – While a romantic relationship can be a priority, there are other things in life that may be more important to you. For example, I made it a priority to build a successful business, raise two amazing kids, and take care of sick family members. These priorities didn’t leave much time for finding a partner, so I consciously chose to step back from dating for a period of time. Other common priorities that may take precedence over finding a partner include: building a career, taking care of your physical and/or mental health, moving to a new location, or simply enjoying being on your own for a while.

3. Not wanting to settle – Once a woman has created a great life for herself, it’s common to not want to “mess that up” with the wrong person. A partner must add to your life, not detract from it. So if you haven’t met the right person yet, it can be an empowering & courageous decision to choose to remain single until you find the right match, rather than settling just to have someone. (It may not be as empowering if you’re just waiting passively for something to change rather than taking inspired action to find a great partner.)

4. Feeling fear – A less empowering reason for remaining single may be that you’ve been hurt before and you’re afraid of choosing the wrong partner again. This is a reason that may require some professional help to resolve…avoiding what you’re afraid of rarely makes the fear go away (and it blocks better relationships from coming to you). Instead, it’s better to bravely look at what happened before so that you can change the underlying reasons why you made those choices (and resolve the fear). My free training Loving without losing: How to attract the love of your life (without losing yourself again) can be a helpful resource.

5. Dreading the process – And lastly, many people simply dread the process of dating. This typically happens when there’s a lack of knowledge of how to date effectively and strategically to get the desired results. That’s why I created a free training called Finding Love in the Modern Age, to help women gain a better understanding of what to do (and not do) when dating.

Funny answers to why you’re still single

woman laughing

So now, let’s talk about how to answer the question: “Why are you still single?”

If you want to inject a little humour, you could cheekily say it’s because:

    • My Netflix recommendations are too long to make room for a relationship right now.
    • My cat has a very strict “no boys allowed” rule.
    • My dog doesn’t snore.
    • I can enjoy my menopausal hot flashes all on my own.
    • I think I look beautiful in flannel PJs.
    • I never get bored by what I have to say and always make myself laugh.
    • I can avoid shaving for days and try on a new Bohemian look.
    • I can always find the right button (on the remote and on me!) 😊

Empowering answers to why you’re still single

smiling woman with hand on head

Or if you’d prefer to inspire, here are 7 empowering answers that will give people food for thought (and curb their need to offer unsolicited advice):

1. I’m focusing on what makes me happy

After years of putting the needs of others first, I’m finally prioritizing my own growth, goals and happiness. Being single allows me the freedom and flexibility to pursue my passions without compromise. I have many activities and relationships that bring me joy!

2. I enjoy my own company

I am comfortable with who I am and don’t need external validation to feel complete. My worth isn’t tied to my relationship status. I enjoy spending time with me (I’m a good cook, great in bed, and really funny too! 😊). I cherish solitude and I’ve cultivated a rich inner life, so I don’t need to be in a relationship to be whole or happy.

3. I value my independence

I’m financially independent, so I don’t need a partner to provide for me. I take pride in supporting myself and having full autonomy over my life and finances. I have the freedom to make decisions, pursue my passions, and live life on my own terms.

4. I’m focused on my personal growth

Being single allows me the space and time to focus on my personal development and growth. I am connecting to myself on a deeper level and exploring my spirituality, passions and interests. I enjoy learning, evolving and becoming the best version of myself!

5. I’m building the life I want

I’m redefining what a successful life looks like and building a life that aligns with my values and dreams. Right now my priorities are [advancing my career, raising my kids, making new friends, traveling the world, engaging in creative pursuits, etc.]. And I’m loving every minute of the path I’m on!

6. I haven’t met the right person yet

I have high standards and won’t settle for anything less than a truly fulfilling, equal partnership. I’d rather be single than in a mediocre relationship. My time and energy are too valuable. I deserve a partner who truly complements my life. Waiting for the right person (rather than settling for the wrong one) is a sign of self-respect and patience.

7. I believe in quality relationships

Being in a relationship doesn’t necessarily create happiness. It’s far better to be single than to be in a bad relationship. Quality relationships require mutual respect, love and generosity. They also require that each person is emotionally mature and self-aware, and has the skills to succeed in a relationship. I’ve done that work myself, and will wait until I find the person who has also done that work. I’d rather be single for a while to find a terrific partner and create a great relationship than to rush into something unhealthy or unfulfilling.

Be proud of your decision

Being single is nothing to be ashamed of…it’s not a condition that needs to be explained or justified. It’s a powerful choice that reflects your values, priorities and self-worth.

Embrace it, own it, and be proud of the fulfilled, autonomous life you’re creating!

And the next time someone asks, “Why are you still single?” use it as an opportunity to empower yourself and enlighten others. Your worth is not defined by your relationship status. Celebrate your independence, your journey and the incredible life you are building!

Stay empowered, stay confident…and most importantly, stay true to yourself!

xo Karen


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About the author

Karen Strang Allen

Karen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. 

Learn More about Karen