So, this is something that has been cookin’ on the backburner for awhile. It’s not something I usually talk about openly; mostly because, I don’t give it much thought until it’s pointed out for me. But also because I don’t feel that I should constantly have to explain myself for existing as a 30-something year old woman who happens to be single.
I also don’t think of it as a “problem” that needs to be solved. I’ve seen people go from relationship to relationship because they either weren’t satisfied with what they had or they aren’t comfortable enough with themselves to be alone and wait for the right person. And it makes me sad for them.
Yes, I am in my late thirties and yes, I am single.
But not for the reasons you most likely think.
So, what sparked this topic?
I ran into someone I know at the store, who promptly asked me why I was at the store on Valentine’s Day. (Read: “I know you don’t have a boyfriend, but I’m going to be nosy.”) Yes, I am well aware that it is Valentine’s Day and I am here at the grocery store taking care of myself instead of spending it with a significant other. Yes, I am perfectly fine with that. And no, I am not going to go home and cry forlornly into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Why? Because I know who I am. I am content. I do not need another person to validate my worth. I never have been that way and I thank God for that.
Case in point: Years ago, I went to visit a family who had just had a baby and when I went to hold him, she actually said to me, “please, don’t drop my baby”…I think my mouth fell open right then and there from the shock of such an ignorant statement. As if to say, “Well, you must be an idiot to the world of babies if you have not had a child yourself.” I didn’t have to say anything. The look I gave her said enough.
So, let me clear up a few things for you.
1. If you are still single past a certain age, there must be something wrong with you.
Wait…what’s that? You and your husband can’t have kids and you’ve tried and tried and the doctor can’t find anything wrong with you? Isn’t that interesting. You can’t materialize a human-being out of thin air? Imagine that.
So…is something wrong with you then?
2. A single woman is a threat.
A threat to whom? Your own vain insecurity? That says more about you, than it does about me.
I can almost guarantee, if a woman is saying that, it’s because she knows her man’s tendencies. Blaming your husband’s lack of self-control or wandering eye on another woman is deflecting. Ask yourself, if your marriage was healthy, would this be an issue?
What this is, is a whole lot of assuming. You’re assuming this woman is not godly. You’re assuming that she is loose. You’re assuming that even if your husband made a pass at her that she would go for it. You’re assuming she would even want that kind of attention. You’re assuming that an attractive woman who is single cannot be those things and godly at the same time.
I can’t speak for other women in my genre, but I can tell you this. I will most likely avoid your husband like the plague and here are some past reasons of my own experiences as to why:
- He stares and it makes me uncomfortable.
- He tries to hug me under the guise of “church fellowship”
- He asks personal questions that he should not be asking and thinks it’s okay because, you know, “you and my wife are friends”.
- Discernment is screaming that there is an impure spirit and I don’t want to be anywhere near that, thank you very much.
- And perhaps the most marking reason of all…
I was stalked for years once, by someone who turned out to be the husband of a friend of mine. He hid it well. He had everyone fooled. He devastated many lives. And you would never have known it because he wore the perfect mask. Life-long “Christian”. Devoted husband and father. None of us saw it coming.
So, you see, the issue is not this “single woman” you don’t even know that you’re so dead-set on blame-hating (and getting all of your friends to hate). The issue lies in a broken-spot in your marriage.
So chill, this is just as uncomfortable for me as it is for you.
3. A single woman in the church feels left out.
We do? I didn’t know that. Well, gee, now I feel all left out!…kidding…totally, kidding. I don’t. You know why? Because I am busy living my life, enjoying my life, loving my life. And it is full.
4. Your life is incomplete unless you are married.
Actually, it’s not. My life is very full. I’ve gone to college (twice). Lived in New York. Wrote a book. Studied Ministry. Volunteered. Mentored people. Poured into the lives of others OUTSIDE my own walls. Lead teams. Mentored people (OTHER than my own family). Etc. And still find time to play hostess when guests come over.
I seriously cannot believe in this day and age that this is still something that people are ignorant about.
Would I go back and change it now? Absolutely, not. I was an idiot in my 20’s. If I had married then, I would have looked to that man to meet my every self-centered need and would have been a horrible wife. Because we are taught that a man should do all the work in a relationship and all the woman has to do is sit back and enjoy being spoiled.
It wasn’t until I began to grow in my faith that that false ideal started to change for me and I learned what true love should really look like in a marriage.
5. Single women want to be set up on dates.
No, stop it. We don’t. We don’t want you to “play God” for us. If we wanted that, we would do it ourselves.
What’s that, you say? “But you’re both single and in your thirties?” Really? Are those my only two allowed criteria? Single and older? Yes, I’m being sarcastic to prove how ridiculous that sounds. No woman wants to go out with a man they don’t know just because they are single and close to our age.
Give us a little more credit than that, please. We are waiting for Mr. Right. Not Mr. Available.
Not to mention one obvious fact that people seem to conveniently forget…
Jesus was single. Paul was single (as far as we know).
I know. It’s the truth people hate to admit. So, why is it that we think that the extent of being “Christ-like” for women looks like bake sales, minivans, and diamond rings?
Non-singles, I challenge you…do you even know who you are outside of your significant other? Or is your identity wrapped up in other people? Something to consider.
Here’s the thing…don’t buy into the lie. We as Christian women are so much more than that. What you value, may not be what another person values. A comfy life at home with the kids might sound like a dream to some, but pure boredom for others. Why? Because God has packed us all differently. He has different purposes for all of us. Be careful not to deflect your own desires as everyone else’s desires.
I can’t say what the future holds, but I can say the reasons I choose to be single now:
- I chose not to settle for abusive relationships.
- I chose not to settle for just “okay”.
- I chose to see love as deeper than physical attraction or lust.
- I know my worth as a woman.
- I’ve seen far too many couples marry for the wrong reasons only to realize later that they weren’t a good match for each other.
- God has stuff for me to do now, that does not involve a relationship.
- I choose to see marriage as a future possibility and not completion.
- I want God’s best for my life.
That means letting God orchestrate the whys, hows, and most importantly…the who.