The question, “Why are you still single?” is highly inappropriate because it implies, “What’s wrong with you?” But try not to take offense to it and please don’t defend yourself. Simply respond with an empowered answer.
You absolutely do not need to explain the details of why you haven’t gotten married yet. Bottom line it with something upbeat like, “I wanted to explore who I am and get my career going before I made a choice about who could be right for me. I’d prefer to only get married once.”
I actually think it’s smart to wait till you’re at least 30 to get married. It takes that long to have enough life experience make a good decision about the rest of your life. The more people you date the more you learn about what you want and need in a partner; and more importantly what you don’t want.
Younger generations were expected to get married. Girls went to college to find a husband. They got a degree and then never used it. They needed a man to take care of them. That’s where the question, “Why are you still single?” comes from. But it’s an outdated and very judgemental attitude. Please don’t allow it to make you feel bad about yourself.
Men get asked, “When are you going to find a nice girl and settle down?” As if it’s any of their business. People say, “If a man doesn’t get married by the time he turns 40 there’s something wrong with him.” Again, judgemental and outdated; and not in New York City. I get a lot of male clients around that age who tell me, “I thought that I’d be married by now.” The time flew by while they were building their career. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I do know it’s hard to not care what people think of you. However, I think you should think badly about anyone who asks nosey and demeaning questions. You are never obligated to explain yourself. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel like you should.