Being single is hard. Being a Christian single woman is even harder. It’s hard for several reasons, many relate to the common and troubling belief that all the “Good ones have already been taken” but also hard because contentment does not always come easily. It can feel like a part time job trying to deal with finding happiness solo, being okay with not having a plus one, being brave about the future, trusting God that His plan is the best plan. Trying not to play the comparison game, trying not to be jealous of other people and their situations, trying not to be judgmental…We spend a lot of our time talking ourselves through this and praying about this and asking God for patience and to provide and to change the desires of our heart if it’s not His will to have us married. It’s actually quite exhausting. And yes, much could be said about the amount of energy spent in single girl angst and how it could be spent more wisely on other pursuits but it is what it is.. Some days, weeks, months are easier than others but then something triggers something and the questions eventually come back and we work to climb back to contentment once again.
Needing to “deal with” or “come to terms with” our relationship status is on-going. We’re confronted on a daily basis with the always asked dinner party question: “So how’s your love life?” This happens… a lot. But even worse than that question is what people say in response to our stating that “nothing is going on in that area right now.” We get the sighs, the pats on the shoulder, the assurance that “the one” is out there. We get to hear stories of so-and-so who was single til she was 73 and now is happily married and says the wait was worth it. We get to hear about all of the unhappily married people and statistics about divorce rates and facts that are meant to assure us that we’re better off than some of those people… Our answers seem to provoke a lot of responses.
However, one of the most unsettling things is that our answers about our lacking love lives seem to derail the people asking the questions.
Our single status is stressful enough for us, it shouldn’t stress other people out. And true, I can’t say that there is a right way to talk about this topic because yes, sometimes we need reassurance but … sometimes we don’t. Sometimes all we want is for someone to promise us that there is some amazing man out there for us and let us believe that they know what they’re talking about … and other times, that very suggestion is enough to make our hearts sink and our blood boil simultaniously.. have I mentioned I’m not a biology teacher?
I think ultimately and seriously, when it comes right down to it, we need to be reassured that our value as a person, our success in life, really does not depend on our ability to land a man. We can still be functioning, contributing, living members of society without a man in our bed. Just because we don’t have children, doesn’t mean we aren’t fulfiling God’s plan for us. Maybe there isn’t actually anything wrong with us at all.
So that’s what I would say.. people should not treat us like our value as people depends on our ability to get a date, a second date, a ring. We should be asked about other things, asked about God or the gym or what we think about some other issue. We have things to say.. and we have lots of things going on. Generally we’re very busy people. We shouldn’t be defined by our love lives or lack thereof.
Now I feel that I should add a bit of a note saying that everyone is different and I know that when certain friends ask me about my love life, I’m more than happy to talk about it for hours and hours.. yeah they love it. Every relationship has different boundaries. What I’m trying to stress is the idea that we are more than our relationship status and we don’t always need “comforting” things said to us when people find out we’re checking the “single” box. The situation can’t be fixed right then.. unless the person is wanting to immediately set us up with her husband’s new colleague who is a tall, dark, handsome, wealthy, entrepreneur with tons of airmiles, “a good heart, soft touch, fast horse”… but I digress. The point is.. our single status shouldn’t define us, nor should it stress anyone out.. we are working hard not to be stressed out ourselves and honestly.. sometimes, it’s really not all that bad! Sometimes it’s actually quite great!