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Ask A Therapist: I'm Single & Get Annoyed with Set Ups. How Can I Say That Nicely?

Relationships, Boundaries, Ask a Therapist
3 min read

Dear Therapist: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride! This doesn’t actually bother me, but I get very frustrated when guests at weddings try to set me up with another single person. Even worse, when they try to set me up with a single males in the bridal party. Is there a way to respectfully decline without making the situation awkward? 

Frame Therapist Chandra Medina weighs in:
Weddings are fun but definitely come with a whole lot of other not so fun stuff don’t they? That’s great that you get to take part in such a special day for so many! But as far as your question, I would be curious to know why you get frustrated when others try setting you up. This will play a part in to why it would feel awkward to set those boundaries. 

I would encourage you to take some time to just sit and get curious about what exactly bothers you. Do you feel pressure about having to hang out with or entertain someone when you prefer to just have a good time with the girls? Is there a pressure to be dating? Do you feel judged for still being single? Our emotional reactions are triggered by the interpretations of our experiences, so I would first start with identifying exactly what that is. 

Next you can answer the question of it that interpretation is valid or a projection of you how you really see yourself in the situation. You may find that each situation was a different scenario, but it can be easy to generalize the experiences. Once you know this information within yourself, you can simply decline with a “I prefer to just enjoy the wedding and mingle on my own terms.” or whatever you discover that reason within really is. 

Getting specific with why it bothers you will help you confidently communicate your request for them to stop. As far as not making it awkward, I would have to ask, awkward for who?  Conversations such as this one are usually only one sidedly awkward simply because they are unfamiliar for us. The more practice you get at communicating your boundaries and saying “no thank you”, the less awkward it will feel. Also, it’s important to remember that “No thank you.” is also a complete sentence in itself! But I promise, the more connected you get to your "why" combined with the practice of communicating your no, the less awkward it will become! 


About the therapist: Chandra Medina is a licensed psychotherapist based in Orange County, Ca. Chandra specializes in working with women who struggle with finding their voice, codependency, people pleasing, anxiety and relational trauma.  To learn more about Chandra, or get in touch, view her Frame profile here. 


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