So in honor of another Valentine’s Day spent gloriously single, I thought I would weigh in on this dreaded virus that causes grown adults to cringe at the sight of a holiday filled with hearts, flowers and chocolates. SINGLENESS – ahh!!! Run for the hills!! It might be contagious!
The truth is I am 31 years old. Yes, I just admitted that for the entire world to see. You’re totally impressed with my bravery right now, aren’t you? And I am SINGLE. Yep, you heard me right. Single: not married, not dating, not talking to anyone. Shoot, as far as I can tell there aren’t even any viable options close by. Feel free to laugh now. I am. And the truth – here goes… I am, at least in this moment of time, absolutely and perfectly okay with my status. Just because I made it to a place of “okay”, doesn’t mean there hasn’t been times that I struggled as I watched my closest friends find and marry the love of their lives. Of course I have always wanted my friends to find love, but I wanted it too.
Life can be hard and sometimes watching others step into stages that you yourself want to be, is difficult. I recently received a phone call from a close friend of mine who was struggling. She’s one of the most amazing people I know, but like the rest of us, she just had one of those moments. She needed to talk about that question singles are always asking – “why am I still single?” I listened. She cried. We both laughed. She dealt with her feelings and is back to tackling life and changing the world. We all need to phone a friend every now and again.
Throughout the years I have heard various “well intentioned” statements intended to encourage us single folk. However, most of them do exactly the opposite – especially coming from happily un-single people who married young. So I consulted a few of my closest “still single” friends to hear their favorites.
Disclaimer: This Blog entry was written from the perspective of older singles. After all I am 31, not 21. 😉 If your friends are single and still in their late teens or early twenties, these words don’t quite apply.
Here are the top 10 things singles hate to hear:
10. So and so is still single and they’re older than you. So why are you complaining?
9. You must be too difficult (have too many requirements) because you are the total package.
8. Don’t give up, there’s still plenty of time.
7. Oh, you’ll find the right one. It’s all in God’s timing.
6. They may be married but would you really want to be married to their spouse? You’re better off single.
5. It will happen when you least expect it.
4. If I was single and younger, I would totally have wanted to marry you.
3. Enjoy your season of singleness.
2. You can do so much more for the Lord while you’re single.
1. The longer you wait, the better it will be.
On behalf of all the older singles everywhere.
To all our married friends, we know that you love us. We love you too and truthfully many of you are a shining example of what we are believing to one day find ourselves. We know that you probably mean well but sometimes these particular statements only serve to make things worse. Instead of using the cliche encouraging statements, try the following.
- Take us out for the evening and spend some quality time with us (You don’t have to pay, simply making time for us is enough). Just please don’t make us the 3rd wheel to what would have otherwise been a date for you.
- Get us a gift. This can be as simple as bringing us our favorite coffee – its always nice to feel like someone is thinking about you.
- When you see us struggling, offer to listen. That’s it, just listen. Don’t give expert advice, even if you do know what you’re talking about. Sometimes we just want to be heard. (Now if we ask for advice – go for it.)
- MOST IMPORTANTLY – Take time to pray for us. No matter how great you are with advice, no words you give will ever impact our lives the way simply praying for us will.
For better or worse, for the allotted time, whatever it may be, we the single people are and will continue to be – single. And that, is perfectly okay. Thanks for sticking with us. We need all you happily “un-single people”.
PS – Special thanks to my unnamed “still single” friends for adding to this post – You know who you are. 😉