Getting Nagged? 5 Great Rebuttals

Don’t fret. We’re not here to probe into your romantic life with a dozen intrusive relationship questions like the ones below. We’re here to help you manage these invasive queries without causing any disruption in your life.

The trouble with a relationship question is that, in most cases, it’s not simply a question. It carries a pressure for you to take action on the subject. Meddlesome as it may appear, these questions are often delivered by close friends and family members who are concerned for your well-being. However, their definition of happiness and contentment are often different from yours.

The common denominator for these responses is that don’t give the askers the reply that they want to hear. Why? Because it only validates their choices, not yours. If you want to articulate your thoughts about the subject, fine. But remember, you’re not responding to confirm their choices. You’re responding to assert your choices.

Here are some of the most common intrusive relationship questions, along with their “appropriate” responses:

neggingrebuttals

Question #1: “When are you getting engaged/married?

Translation: You’ve been together long enough. You should get married already.

So you’ve been cohabiting with your boyfriend for about 5 years. Things work out just fine and you’re both enjoying the setup. Then her glib sister comes for a visit and drop the bomb ask the question. Actually, you’re thinking about it too, but you’re waiting for his brother to propose… Awkward!

Instead of sighing or a hasty “no plans yet” reply, try to answer the question with a witty retort: “Awww, you really want us to be happy sis. Well, we’re working this one out with your brother. If you want to help, better not ask.” You may include the “hahaha” to make it sound lighthearted.

If you want to sound a little wiser, you can explicate by saying something like, Marriage is a very important decision. We want to think it through well enough. Please, I don’t wanna be like Kim Kardashian”. Not only will the asker shuts up to contemplate about the question herself, she will also look at you as a sensible person.

nagging2Question #2: “When will you have children?”

Translation: You should have children already so you can become a “happy” family.

Whether you and your husband can’t decide on having dogs instead of babies or you’re trying really hard to conceive, getting asked about the absence of a child in your married life is vexing. Society always looks at childless couples as incomplete. And for this reason, most people are excited for you to have a baby in order to become a “real” family.

If you’re trying to conceive, say “We’re trying”.  If you are planning on having kids but not at the immediate future, just say “We need more time as a couple. We want to be ready when we have babies”. If you want to have a more stable life before having children, respond something like “Not until I get the degree or “Not until John gets the promotion so we’ll be better financially. If you don’t feel like discussing things, just smile and answer “If you stop asking, you’ll be the first person to know”.

If you and your partner plan on not having kids at all, better tell them directly. This way, they’ll stop asking and they won’t be given false hope (especially if the “they” are your parents.)

Pregnant woman and man in the office

Question #3: “Will you still be working when you’re pregnant?”

Translation: You better stop working now that you’re pregnant.

This question usually comes from women who were previously confronted with this issue and were also forced to make a choice. Instead of an irritated retort like “So what? You have a problem with that?”, treat the asker as a concerned individual who cares for you in your vulnerable child-bearing time.

Do not give the asker an indecisive reply, like, “Do you think I should?” or a miserable one, like, “I wanted to but John and I needed the money. If you do, you are only giving in to the asker’s pressure who wants you to do what she has also done.

Your answer should be based on what you and your partner have come up to, like, “John and I have decided that I should not stop working. Work is not that stressful for me anyway and it’s a good exercise than just staying at home, eating and watching TV. Besides, the doctor says I don’t have a sensitive pregnancy”. This response not only answers the question, but also closes the case. It shows that you have already pondered on the subject and have already come to a reasonable decision.

nagging2

Question #4: “Don’t you have plans of adding more children to your family?”

Translation: You should have another child. One is just so unexciting.

Regardless if you’ve decided to raise just one child or you’re trying to conceive another baby, don’t sound bitter on your reply. Instead of responding, “No, I don’t like too many children in the house” or “I wanted to but I find it hard conceiving”, make a response that (again) portrays you as a levelheaded person.

Say something like, “Whether I only raise one child or more, I want to give the best. I want our family to be emotionally and financially stable so the children will be provided with enough love and comfort”.

when are you getting married - mother in law

Question #5: “When will you buy your own house?”

Translation: You should buy your own house already.

This question often comes from your parents or in-laws. Whether your family is staying in the asker’s home or you’ve been renting an apartment that doesn’t fit her taste, it may come to you as a pushy probing that could expose two very private matters – how much money you and your partner saves and where you wish to live.

If the question comes from a visiting person, just say “We’re working on it”. If it comes from the owner of the house, try to turn the question around so you know where the asker is coming from. Respond something like, “It sounds like you are excited about us getting our own house so we have a nice life. Actually we’re working on it and we’re also excited to build our own nest.”

This way, you’re reflecting back what you think you hear the person is saying. You are also telling the asker that you’ve already made your preference and are really working on its realization.

Remember, it’s you and your partner’s life and choices. Nobody else’s. Make sure to do what feels right to YOU.

AUTHOR
Chloe Miller
Chloe Ambrosia Miller has been writing since she was 10 years old. She grew up in Sao Paulo until she was 4, then moved to Los Angeles with her family. Finally, she moved to New York when she was 18 years old to study at NYU. She's written for a wide array of publications and is often a ghost writer for best selling authors. She lives in Brooklyn's Park Slope district in a loft with her two cats.
4 comments
beautiful_shie
beautiful_shie

For me, it's about, "I have a life, you have a life, let's deal with our own."


I have this belief of "I don't care about other people's business as long as it doesn't affect me." I don't care because I don't want them to care about my business as well. I don't want people to be questioning me about my choices and decisions.


Well, nagging affects me most of the time and I'm honestly trying hard not be affected...


shielaclifford
shielaclifford

I definitely agree! It's me and my husband's life and choices. When my ex-boyfriend (who happens to be my husband now :) were not yet married, people are asking, when are you going to get married? Or Are you engaged already? I even heard them say, "You should be engaged by now! You're not getting any younger."



Now, we have a child and people are still asking me questions about my personal life and choices like when are you going to have your next child? And I can still hear them say, "you're not getting any younger, have a baby now!"


I used to feel really annoyed for all these questions, but as time passes by, each time I'm asked of some personal married life questions, which to me is more of challenges and rules that I have to follow rather than questions for me to answer, I just smile and say nothing. And it turns out that instead of me being annoyed, I have the person asking be annoyed LOL ;)

ZeeTheBeauty
ZeeTheBeauty

We all know family members may be a little "too" into our personal lives. Although we know they mean the best. These are good tips to get family members off your back for the mean time. I was surprised when my aunt asked me when am I going to have a boyfriend....I'm just like I'm not sure. Growing up family members pushed me away from boyfriends and now they're embracing it... interesting.

Darren Criss
Darren Criss

Ok. i knw im kinda young, like 15. but my friends keep talkin bout gettin married, and im like, i dun wanna get married. not yet anyway but they say id end up an old maiden . i mean my point. evn at younger age,we are all pressured to think bout marriage. i dun wna think about marriage yet cuz i gotta graduate college and move to a big city!