It rankles every time.
"I can just see you being so happy with someone."
The same phrase, always delivered with a note of longing in the voice, as if true happiness could not be achieved any other way.
This time, the call for my coupled happiness comes from a person wearing a ring of intent on one hand and holding the keys to a new, jointly owned flat in the other.
I let them finish, taking a moment before replying.
I sip my beer.
Normally this call for my coupled happiness would be positively bashed away, because being single is brilliant for a lot of reasons, but mostly for all the reasons being in a relationship is not.
Allowing anyone to think otherwise quickly results in a pitying look and the words, "don't worry, you'll find someone soon. It always happens when you least expect it. Let's see, who do we know?"
(Not, "Well, maybe you'll feel better about it tomorrow.")
But this time the call for my coupled happiness comes during a week when I haven't been very happy at all; a week when its felt like life would, if nothing else, just be a bit bloody easier if it was shared with someone else.
"But I am happy," I finally respond, lying through my defensive teeth. "It's just a different sort of happy. I've been extremely happy in relationships, and I've been extremely happy single. I know what's possible either way."
And, I stop myself from adding, this isn't a choice.
The next day, clicking through page after page of potential places to call home, the adverts, the bare and furnished rooms, I think back to the call for my coupled happiness, and run the situation through in reverse.
"I can just see you being so happy on your own" I'd say, delivering the words with my head tilted to one side, a note of concern in my voice.
Perhaps the words would be received the morning after a huge argument, when the air's still thick with shared, temporary resentment.
Perhaps they'd push away any possibility that I might be right, that happiness is just a breakup away.
Perhaps they'd get defensive too.