So last year I wrote a post on being single on valentines day and with the date coming quickly I figured I would continue the tradition this year since so many people wrestle with this, and by now I’m a two-year veteran. I’ve got a couple of post ideas for the next few days… we’ll see how many I actually post…
In our culture there is an age limit at which it is socially acceptable to be ‘single.’ Usually its somewhere around 25 or 26, maybe upwards of 30 if you live in an urban area. But the moment you cross that threshold, that point of no return age, society starts to expect things of you that it didn’t before. Some of these expectations are good. If you are 26 and still living at home with your parents (and using that as an excuse not to launch into adulthood) you need to move out. If you’re a 12th year senior because of your laziness with classes, you need to kick it up a notch. Its okay to expect people to become adults when they need to become adults. When it comes to getting married, for most people there is a age threshold that the moment they cross it they begin to feel the cultural pressure to make things happen.
It usually expresses itself in well-meaning comments: “I don’t know why she’s not married yet … she’s such a great girl.” “Any relationship possibilities?” “Want to babysit for us on Valentines Day?”
But the reality is that this cultural pressure makes being single sometimes really hard. Sometimes I will ask people I’ve just met who are single: are you single and content or are you single and looking? If they say content, that usually means they’re lying (next post I’m going to write is on the myth of ‘content’). Nobody wants to appear desperately lonely and so most people I talk to try to wear the mask of ‘contentedness’ to hide a legitimate desire to be in a relationship and/or to be married.
One girl I asked not too long ago began by giving me the ‘company lines’ trying to convince me of her ‘contentedness’ in being single. Midway through her spiel, her voice cracked, her eyes began to water, she looked up and away from me trying to allow the tears to subside before I noticed them, and admitted “there is a strong desire in me to be a wife and a mother.”
I guess what I’m getting at in this post is that even though the cultural pressure, the things people say, and the effort some people feel they need to put into convincing the world of their contentedness make being single really really hard and confusing at times, but don’t let this cause you to waste your singleness.
You have more TIME than your married friends. Its true. More time to invest in your career, your calling, your friendships and family. Savor this time, because it won’t always be there. Every relationships you have are practice for whatever potential romantic relationship you might have someday.
You have more MONEY when you are single (most of the time unless you marry a sugar daddy like me who makes tons of money). 🙂 Invest it wisely. Save it. Store it away so that someday you can be a HUGE blessing to your future wife or husband. Sure you may not be able to go out as much, and you might have to make a few minor insignificant sacrifices now, but how cool would it be to be able to someday write a check and pay off your fiance’s student loans? BOOM.
You have more MOBILITY when you’re single. Don’t waste it by making major life decisions (or not making them) based upon your insecurity or need to be in a relationship. Go! Do! Risk! Travel! This is the time to explore!
This is the time to create great stories. This is a time to ask people out on dates and even if you get rejected to laugh at yourself and move on. This is a time of forward movement. Its a time of joy, laughter, and excitement. I know a lot of married people who regret things they didn’t do when they were single.
Don’t squander it by imagining how much better life would be if you had someone… that is an illusion. There are great joys in relationships and marriage, but they are not the ultimate fulfillment of our need for love… God is. This leads me to the last thing I will say in this already-too-long post. Use your single years to pursue God with every bit of passion, excellence, and energy you can muster and you may just find that He is able to transform those years into some of the best of your life.
What about you? What’s the hardest part about being single for you?