Hey, ladies. Just a reminder: always a bridesmaid doesn’t always mean you’re destined to wander this earth alone like Sasquatch. We know you love your single friends but sometimes those encouraging comments that are meant to cheer them up just don’t come across the way you meant them (remember when your high school boyfriend said your carefully chosen outfit was interesting? Yeah, the wrong turn of phrase or a backhanded compliment can set your unattached pals reeling). Think (and read) before you speak:
1. When you say: Awww, I can’t wait until you find someone!
Your single gal pal hears: Your poor, lonely creature. While I’m basking in the warm glow of a sun that shines only on the married, you must pine alone in your turret in Spinster Castle, weaving a blanket made of your own lonely tears to comfort yourself against the chill of eternal loneliness. I pray for you and your mortal soul. I do.
Instead, try: Literally anything else. Have you seen the video of a French bulldog who can’t roll onto his stomach? Did you know that Alexa Chung has a new line for Madewell that will kick your face in? Did you get your hair cut?
2. When you say: You must be having so fun being single. Like, so Sex and The City, right?
Your single gal pal hears: Tales of your singlehood are making me uncomfortable, and are filling my heart with a sense of pity I usually reserve for orphans on late-night television commercials. While I’m sure that your tales of harlotry are entertaining to your turbotramp friends, I can only imagine the mistakes you have made after one too many glasses of Pinot Grigio. Please stop talking.
Instead, try: I heard you met a boy who gives you butterflies in your stomach and you kissed him in his car outside of your apartment like a couple of teens. Tell. Me. Everything.
3. When you say: Don’t you think you’re being a little too picky?
Your single gal pal hears: You’re really not as pretty as you think you are. Seriously. Time to cash it in and settle for that guy who looks at you like he’s going lock you in the basement and make a suit out of your skin.
Instead, try: In the words of Jay-Z, on to the next one. You are a prize and a precious gem. (You can maybe skip the last sentence, but keep it in your back pocket for next time).
4. When you say: You want 4 kids? Shouldn’t you have already started by now?
Your single gal pal hears: Your fragile eggs are getting sparser with every passing month. Each day you spend not being pregnant is a day closer to having a baby with two heads. I see no other option but for you to give up all of your hopes and dreams and turn your apartment into a cat palace.
Instead, try: Oh, that’s great! You’re going to be an awesome mom who drives a Volvo station wagon and raises precocious children with gender-ambiguous names just like you always wanted! I will always be there to babysit for free and our kids will be besties just like us.
5. When you say: You know, a lot of women are getting married later in life now.
Your single gal pal hears: Tick tock, girlfriend. We all know you’re no Demi Moore. And even if you were, Ashton’s her SECOND husband. I don’t want you to feel defective, but maybe you are?
Instead, try: To keep that thought to yourself. File it away in that special place where you keep things that you don’t say out loud, between asking a stranger whether she is pregnant and the fact that it was you who farted in that elevator.
All the single ladies: We know we didn’t get it all in here, so what drives you nuts?