Author Topic: "So how come you never got married?"  (Read 7655 times)

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Raintree

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"So how come you never got married?"
« on: March 31, 2012, 02:02:55 AM »
The background: I'm not married. I don't have children. I used to want to meet someone and settle down, but I always had such bad luck in relationships. Things would seem amazing in the beginning, and then would come the announcement: "I'm not looking for anything long term, and I want us both to see other people" "I have this thing with a woman who lives in another city and I am not ready to let her go," "Being with you reminds me how much I miss my ex....I think I'll go back to her" (ouch)...."I think I might be gay," and the classic, "I really like being with you but I've been hurt before and can never fall in love again." Etc etc etc. I couldn't really understand it because I did turn heads on the street (so it wasn't my looks) and I had plenty of friends (so it wasn't my personality).  Eventually I just gave up, watched everyone around me fall in love and get married, and resigned myself to being single. Which isn't such a bad thing after all. But it must seem a little strange to some people that I've reached middle age and never been married. End of Background.

Last week: I went on a date with a guy and we hit it off. In the middle of a lovely half hour kiss, he asked me why I'd never been married. I forgot how he worded it, but I sensed he really liked me but was trying to figure out my inner freak (if any of you saw that Scrabble and the City episode).

What's the polite way to shut that question down without coming across as trying to hide some serious flaw of yours, or maligning the men you've dated, while simultaneously conveying that there's nothing wrong with you that he needs to worry about? I said something like, "Oh, I don't know, I've had longer term relationships that didn't work out for whatever reason. And I do tend to be picky." And then I applied bean dip.

No idea if this thing is going to go anywhere but I'm curious to hear some other good responses to this line of questioning.

Danika

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 02:37:54 AM »
I think you're right about why he asked: to figure out your "inner freak." I think it's good to be honest, but not too long winded. For example, if you are looking to settle down, then say "I do eventually want to get married" or "I would like a committed relationship" and then add "but I've wanted to find someone compatible who I'm really crazy about and not just settle for 'good enough.'"

That:
1) indicates you do want a commitment. So if he's just looking for fun scrabble, he can get lost
2) doesn't bring up exboyfriends and blame them and make it sound like you can't accept responsibility for things
3) doesn't bring up exboyfriends which might indicate that you might be still hung up on someone
4) indicates that you would like to be with someone but aren't desperate and will latch on to whomever

It's kind of a weird question for him to ask on a first date though. As if you're really going to say "Oh, it's because I have this strange fetish and it scares people off." Maybe he's also trying to find out if you've not been married but you have several children with several men and they all have custody, so you just never mentioned the kids, etc.

RandomAngel

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 06:08:17 AM »
Hmm...this reminds me of my parents' oft-repeated advice: never slam your old job in an interview for a new job. Of course you left (or were fired!) for a reason, but no matter how right you were or how crazy they were, there's no way to say so without looking bitter. So you overcompensate a little--generally with a hint of a smile and some Bambi eyes--and resist the urge to analyze specifics. ;)

"You know, it's just never happened. I've had some great relationships and really enjoyed them, but somehow none of them ever wound up in marriage. [Insert return question here--how did he wind up with his ex, what does he think makes a good partner, why hasn't he married if he hasn't? No need to be aggressive about it, but he asked you a very personal question, so don't shy away from doing the same.]"

Enkidu

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 09:11:09 AM »
Best response I ever heard to this question was a shrug followed by, "Dunno...just lucky I guess."

I actually probably would have gone with that, and followed up with a "No, seriously, I don't have commitment issues or some fatal flaw. Just haven't found the right one and I am choosy...now, where were we?"

I think less is more, this early on. So I think you did good by addressing the question and then beandipping. But I wouldn't have used the word "picky," which to me has negative connotations. I would have gone with "choosy," as it doesn't make it sound like you're just waiting for him to exhibit some flaw so you can deem him not good enough.

nonesuch4

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 11:15:26 AM »
I was acquainted with a woman who was well into middle age having never been married.  Her explanation was that she had a great life, hadn't met the man she'd give up her freedom for.

Kaypeep

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 11:19:46 AM »
Hmm...this reminds me of my parents' oft-repeated advice: never slam your old job in an interview for a new job. Of course you left (or were fired!) for a reason, but no matter how right you were or how crazy they were, there's no way to say so without looking bitter. So you overcompensate a little--generally with a hint of a smile and some Bambi eyes--and resist the urge to analyze specifics. ;)

"You know, it's just never happened. I've had some great relationships and really enjoyed them, but somehow none of them ever wound up in marriage. [Insert return question here--how did he wind up with his ex, what does he think makes a good partner, why hasn't he married if he hasn't? No need to be aggressive about it, but he asked you a very personal question, so don't shy away from doing the same.]"

Wow, what a great answer!  I was going to say that it's such a loaded question, and so frustrating to answer because you want to be honest but it's an impossible question because there's no clear cut reason.  I think this is a very good reply!  I must remember it.  I am in a relationship for 8+ years yet, and so many people ask me this question.  I can spin your answer to reply politely without giving up any personal info about myself or my men.

Twik

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 11:28:34 AM »
Best response I ever heard to this question was a shrug followed by, "Dunno...just lucky I guess."


That may be a good answer if you're explaining to your nosy second cousin. It's a poor answer on a date, unless you want to make it very clear that you are not interested in the relationship moving towards marriage. Even a followup of "no, just joking" would not likely change the impression that I would get from that.
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MacadamiaNut

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 12:55:56 PM »
I just say,

"I haven't met the right person yet, and you?" (if he never married either)  OR

"I haven't met the right person yet.  So what made you decide to get married?" (if he was married).  OR

"Why did you decide to get divorced?"

I think this would bring out the realization about the whole "right person" concept.  His answer will be something like, "I got married because I loved her and couldn't see my life without her in it" OR "We found out we weren't compatible so we parted ways", all of which prove your point without having to say anything else about your own situation. :)
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QueenofAllThings

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2012, 03:02:29 PM »
My husband asked me this when we were dating (I was 37, he was 40 when we met) He was a widower.

I just said that I'd never met the right one, and I liked my life too much to settle for the wrong one.

gramma dishes

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2012, 03:27:14 PM »
I think you're right about why he asked: to figure out your "inner freak." I think it's good to be honest, but not too long winded. For example, if you are looking to settle down, then say "I do eventually want to get married" or "I would like a committed relationship" and then add "but I've wanted to find someone compatible who I'm really crazy about and not just settle for 'good enough.'"

That:
1) indicates you do want a commitment. So if he's just looking for fun scrabble, he can get lost
2) doesn't bring up exboyfriends and blame them and make it sound like you can't accept responsibility for things
3) doesn't bring up exboyfriends which might indicate that you might be still hung up on someone
4) indicates that you would like to be with someone but aren't desperate and will latch on to whomever

I really like this for all the reasons mentioned.

TheaterDiva1

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 03:41:37 PM »
Since you seem okay with being single,  I'd just say "I haven't met the right guy yet" or "Timing hasn't been right" or something like that, and move on.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 04:16:07 PM »
I just said that I'd never met the right one, and I liked my life too much to settle for the wrong one.

I'm stealing this one.
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sweetonsno

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2012, 04:48:16 PM »
I just said that I'd never met the right one, and I liked my life too much to settle for the wrong one.

I'm stealing this one.

Ditto.

Raintree

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2012, 07:02:08 PM »
Lots of good responses here, thanks! He did say something like, "I guess it's just that you're not that desperate" which I think sums it up just fine. He told me it was good to be picky. (Because really, who wants to feel that the person they are with isn't picky at all, and would take anyone?) I do know single women my age that I would describe as desperate, as in it REALLY bugs them that they are single and they get ALL their hopes up with every guy they meet. I think I'm at the stage where "I like my life too much to settle for the wrong one" would be absolute truth for me.

lady_disdain

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Re: "So how come you never got married?"
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2012, 01:19:24 AM »
Really, really bad timing on his part. Enough to cause me to raise an eyebrow. But, on the whole, I would go with one of the wordings already proposed.