Cocktail Party Questions

What is it about the holidays that prompts people who aren't single to ask those of us who are why we still are? The dating service, It's Just Lunch, surveyed 2,678 singles and found that 44% expect to be asked about their love life at least five times during the holiday season.

The comments usually come during those dreaded cocktail parties, when too many eggnogs fog brains and loosen tongues. Here are a few questions and comments singles might hear.

"Have you found Mr. Right yet?" is the favored zinger, which usually comes from Aunt Zelda, after her third cocktail while she's chomping on a cocktail weenie.

When Marty hears that question, she simply says says "I'm not looking. I'm happy with my life, why mess it up?"

Mary, says, "It's never easy to explain singlehood or lack of a 'significant other' or any of those thoughtless remarks people make. However, being a fairly independent lady, this has been and will always be my first response: 'Happy starts with me.'"

When a woman asked Norman why he was no longer married, he answered: "I got divorced for religious differences. She thought she was God and I didn't."

The question, "Why aren't you married?" is usually asked by people close to us who feel they can get away with such intrusions. As a columnist, I hear it often.

People say, "After seven years together, why haven't you married Greta?" as if I'm leading the poor woman on against her will. I put on a sad face and say, "She won't marry me." That usually stops them cold. (For the record, similar to many older couples, Greta and I don't want to get married, we're happy with our arrangement the way it is. Besides, she hasn't asked me yet).

Sharon, says her favorite reply comes from the book, "Kiss My Tiara," which is, "I'm dating somebody married, does that count?"

A rather undiplomatic married woman said to a single woman, in a demeaning tone, "I see you're not married. Any prospects?"

The reply, "Only that man over there who just hit on me." The woman looked "over there." Her husband was waving to her.

And then there's your neighbor's business partner--a Mr. Robinson type--who's at the cocktail party, oiled to the gills. Instead of saying, "Plastics," he corners you and whispers, "I've got a year's supply of Viagra." With a wink he says, "Care to share?"

When his wife happens by, you casually mention, "Your husband says he has a year's supply of Viagra. You must have a wonderful sex life."

The wife says, "He does? You couldn't prove it by me." And then she turns to him, "Honey, could we have a word?"

Carole adds, "Prying questions can be sidestepped with a little humor, a giggle, a twinkle in your eye, it keeps 'em guessing and adds to your mystique." When she gets the why-not-married question, she counters with, "Why are you still married?"

Comments about how easy dating must be suggest to older singles that they're doing something wrong or not trying hard enough to find love. Janet says, "People think available guys/women are hanging out on every street corner, ha!"

"I can't believe women aren't falling at your feet," is what John hears from friends. John says, "It's easiest to reply, 'They are,' and leave it at that, which seems to satisfy them."

And the ultimate ugly comment, "You aren't getting any younger" usually comes from a relative who isn't exactly a spring chicken herself. Best reply: "You could use a little nip, tuck yourself."

Candy says, "Those people inferring that I have the problem, actually have the problem--they need to get a life!" Amen, Candy.

Pour me another eggnog.

Sweetheart Scams

The war on "Sweetheart Scams" and dating fraud by exposing scammers gets bigger. Surf "Sweetheart Scams" links for valuable information, particularly if you've met someone questionable. I don't want any of our readers to get taken.

© 2008, Tom Blake

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Tom Blake is an expert on dating after 50. He has appeared twice on the "Today Show" and has written more than 500 columns on dating and relationships. His "Single Again" column appears in The Orange County Register in southern California, is read worldwide and is often featured on msn.com. He is a professional speaker. He spoke at the national AARP convention in San Diego in 2002, and will speak at the AARP convention in Chicago this September. His book, Middle Aged and Dating Again, is a humorous account of his first year of dating after his third divorce. His new book, Finding Love After 50: How to begin, where to go, what to do, is hot off the press. To ask a question or receive Tom's free weekly column on middle-age dating and relationships by e-mail, click on www.findingloveafter50.com or TPBlake@aol.com

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