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How to explain why you have been single for so long

She might be suspicious if you have been single for too long, even if there is nothing visibly wrong with you.

She might be suspicious if you have been single for too long, even if there is nothing visibly wrong with you.

What to say when your date asks why you were single for five years in a row

Dating is a lot like interviewing for jobs. Some women take the analogy too literally, and grill you on gaps in your “dating résumé”. These gaps are not necessarily a bad thing- in fact, it is a warning sign if you jump straight from relationship to relationship with no gaps in sight. However, some circumstances do want an explanation. If you are attempting to date for the first time ever after years of being single, women may want to know exactly what you were doing wrong in that time. Here is how to deal with that conversation when it comes up.

It’s all about age

The ‘right’ answer to why you have been single for so long depends heavily on your age (and her age, presuming she is not too much younger or older than you). If you are a pair of teenagers and she wants to know about your lack of experience, the question is not really about you. There are plenty of teens and young twenty-somethings who have not had much of a love life yet. Instead, she is trying to show you how mature she is, in a misguided way, and she is possibly parroting ideas she has heard from others about avoiding (older) men who have been single for too long. However, if you are pushing an age where a long gap in your love life is suspicious (think thirty or older), then she is asking a legitimate question and deserves an answer.

The red flags she is looking for

It helps to reflect upon why she wants to know about your long single period. Being a single man for a long time can throw up some serious warning signs, which your date is on the lookout for. By asking you about this period, she is hoping that you assuage her fears about why you have been single. If she asks you why you have been single for a decade only to be met with an embittered tirade on how women never give you a chance, she knows to never talk to you again.

She is also looking for anything that is wrong with you that explains your eternal bachelorhood. If no other woman looked at you twice over the previous few years, perhaps you have a massive flaw that she has not noticed.

How you should explain your lack of a recent history

When you explain why you have been single, you want it to be a reason that does not reflect too poorly on you. Make it truthful, but in the most flattering way possible. Frame being single either as a choice, or as something that happened for no reason.

Instead of saying “I couldn’t date again for five years because I wasn’t over my ex”, say “I took some time to enjoy life and get to know myself”.

Rather than a whiney statement such as “no woman will give me a chance”, say “I just never found someone I mutually clicked with”.

If you were single for a more sinister reason- such as being in prison, or being too addicted to video games to leave your room for ten years in a row, you might choose to say that dating has never been a priority before, but you are interested in dating now that your life is in order.

The statements I suggested not only avoid making you look like a loser, they also paint you in a positive light- and that is exactly what you are seeking at the start of a new potential relationship.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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