During my school and uni days I was able to fob people off with a "oh, no, I'm concentrating on my studies" type response which seemed to do the trick (you can see why I'm a big hit with grown-ups, eh?) but now I'm a little older I find myself struggling for an excuse or a reason for my single status. Some common responses:
"But you're really pretty!!" Um, thank you...but, wait, there must be something terribly wrong with my personality, then?
"But how are you going to provide for yourself?" This isn't Downton Abbey but just in case you think it is it may come as a surprise that despite being a girl I have a job, my own flat and am providing for myself just fine.
"But how are you going to have children?" Again, it may come as a surprise that not every woman necessarily dreams of having babies (Sophie's post here is a good read) and while a man might be a necessity for the whole "bringing a child into the world" part, a man isn't a necessity for being a parent - single woman can adopt or foster.
There's an assumption that because I'm single I must somehow be devoting all my energy to the holy grail of "finding a boyfriend". Surprise news - I'm not. I'm always so busy and I'd rather spend my free time chilling with friends who I can actually relax around or doing a yoga class than going on a Tinder date with someone who won't even have the courtesy to reply to my WhatsApp. Life is stressful enough as it is and, believe me, I do not need that shit to complicate things. I've dabbled in the dating world and it just stresses me out - I have no idea what the "rules" are and despite a fair few of my friends finding success with online dating world, it just isn't for me (despite most of my friends being found online).
I'm actually happy being single. I know that might be hard for some people to believe and for years I didn't think it was possible either - I thought that I'd only truly value and like myself when I knew that someone else did. How ridiculous. Your self worth comes from within, if you don't think you're awesome then no one else will. I think we're wired to think that we'll be "happy" when we've lost 7lbs or bought a Mulberry bag but those things aren't going to fix anything in you that you don't already have. Nothing is going to make you more miserable than being in a bad relationship or being in one for the wrong reasons either.
So the next time someone asks me if I have a boyfriend, they'll get a confident "no" in response.