When you’re out in the dating world, a time or two you’ll probably hear this:
How do you not have a boyfriend already?
(normally continued with ‘you’re so great’)
I’m not sure if it’s my history with self esteem or if everyone feels this way, but this question definitely gives me pause. I think this phrase could be termed as a backhanded compliment since it comes off as a compliment but it’s challenging you as well.
It’s pretty confirmed that they think you’re great. They’re vibing with you and playing with the thought of you as a girlfriend. They’re thinking “I totally want to date this girl. Wait how is she not wifed up already? Is something wrong with her that everyone else sees but I don’t?”. Basically, they want to know if you’re single because all the guys you dated were crazy or because they all ran away from your crazy. They’re worried you might be too good to be true and they just haven’t found your glaring flaw yet.
Your answer could give them very important information:
You could say you recently became single and they may realize you’re not over your ex or just not ready to get back in the dating game yet.
You could tell them that you just haven’t found the right one yet, which could mean you’re really picky and high maintenance. Or it could just mean that your small town doesn’t have a ton of options! Or you’re a girl with standards who isn’t going to settle!
You could tell them that you just haven’t had the time. Is it because you’re focused on your career, you’re very independent, or you’re actually too scared to put yourself out there and that’s your best excuse?
They’re also testing you, they’re putting you up against a wall a bit. You now have to prove yourself to them that there’s nothing wrong with you. They’re poking you to see if any flaws fall out. It’s a compliment that requires an explanation as a response. People want answers, they want to know they’re not being fooled. It’s not the innocent compliment it comes off as.