Listen up my Singleton Friends, this one is for you.
I’ve had so many interesting conversations with my fellow citizens of Single Town this past couple of weeks that I decided ‘Status: Single’ was going to be my next blog post. It’s an #awkward one because you can only write about what you know so if you aren’t a fan of the TMI then click the little X at the top of the screen now cos this one gets a little bit personal and don’t tell me I didn’t warn you….
I am single. SURPRISE! Said nobody that I know. Ever. Except the girl who does my nails. She asks me every time I go in there. Which is roughly every 3 weeks. I can feel her disappointment & concern seeping through her handy work into the very foundation of my nail beds.
I am not a Nun. SURPRISE! Said a lot of people. As a Single Christian Woman at the tender age of 35 ½ years, it appears to come as a surprise to many that I am neither pining for a husband nor given up and married myself to the church. Or God. What is it that Nuns actually do? Do they marry the Church or Christ? Note to self: research this further in case I decide on a change of career…
So here are my observations having lived 35 ½ years on this planet as an unmarried woman but with a deep faith in God, broken down into 3 handy points with their very own Sub Headings.
There are things that are just plain awkward for Single People to answer when they are put on the spot by well meaning but socially unaware Not Single People they don’t really know.
The Weird Justification Conversation.
Not Single Person: What do you think of Bob?
Single Person: Great guy but I just don’t feel like we connect on any particular level.
Not Single Person: Why not?
BUZZ. Wrong answer. I’m never even sure what that next question means! Am I now meant to list all the negative or unappealing attributes about Bob? Bob is great, Bob is a delight. Bob earns lots of money. Why do I now have to justify not being attracted to Bob? Poor Bob! It’s not his fault.
The Unexpected Introduction to Reproduction
Not Single Person with Kids: When are you going to have kids? Have you considered what you’re going to do now that, you know, you’re getting older?
I have actually been asked this question. Several times. I have yet to formulate an appropriate response. Do you think I am not aware of my age? Am I meant to rush home & start researching how to freeze my eggs? Do you want me to cry? Have a nervous breakdown? Steal a baby perhaps?
The Patronising Knee Pat
Not Single Person at a Wedding: *pat pat on the knee* Don’t you worry, your time will come. *sad but reassuring smile*
Thank You for that very unhelpful, completely not required moment of unnecessary sympathy.
Middle Aged & Single doesn’t equal Beaten Down & Dismal.
This is not a feminist statement. It’s a fact. God created us. He created us to be Beautiful, Strong and Resilient and He gave us the resources to be just that.
Most of us have lived good, joyful, purposeful and adventurous lives. We won’t break if somebody else has a baby or falls in love or gets married. We are capable of separating our own wants & desires from the lives of other people so that we don’t feel resentment, jealousy or discontent when the life of another is enriched. We celebrate. We laugh. We buy a new dress for the party.
Of course, there are times we may feel lonely. There are times we think it would be nice to come home to someone. There are times that we wonder if we will ever meet someone that is compatible in the way in which we need and desire. BUT mostly, we are O.K!
For some it’s easy. For others it isn’t. And I don’t undermine those experiences because it hasn’t been 35 years of pure contentment. There are times I’ve wished things could have worked out differently. There are times I’ve wondered what is wrong with me, why everyone around me is able to find someone to journey through life with and what it is about me that lacks appeal. There are times I’ve grieved for what might never be. And I’ve sometimes tried to change. To fit in. To relax my standards and expectations because after all “you can’t be too fussy”. Like there is an age limit to having standards before you have to just let it all go!
Do you want to know the ultimate deal breaker for many men? Love Jesus with all your heart. It goes down a treat. You suddenly become ‘too strong’ or ‘too independent’ or ‘too Christian’. You can be Christian as long as you have no conviction. I’ve thought about what that life might look like. I figure if a woman isn’t expected to give up her dreams of making the Olympics, climbing the corporate ladder or becoming a Judge then I can hang onto my faith with both hands and feet.
The Issue of the Fine Line
There is a fine line between swearing off men & owning 10 cats and finding that place of contentment. Because no matter where we are at in life, there needs to be a level of contentment.
It was a quandary I faced the year I turned 30. It wasn’t like there hadn’t been possibilities or ideas or crushes but nothing had eventuated. So I sorted it out with God one day. I said to Him ‘Right. You and I both know I am going to honour You with my life, with my choices, with my future and with the man I marry, if there is in fact a man out there for me to marry. So if that time is not now, maybe that time is never but if it’s not now then I cannot feel Lonely, Lack or like I’ve been ripped off. Because there is none of that in Your plan for my life. The road might be bumpy but You did not create me to feel lonely or like the plan is flawed. So take it away. Every feeling of loneliness, every feeling of lack, every feeling of disappointment and let me know that You are there and You are in control’.
Hand on my heart, the conversation went something like that. With tears and snot and everything.
And He did. He continually meets me right where I’m at. There are times other thoughts & feelings might creep in but I know how to work through it and overcome. Probably because I’ve had a lot of practise and they say practise makes perfect but mainly because He made me to be Beautiful, Resilient & Strong. He has a plan and the plan isn’t always about the Man! The plan is bigger, more intricate, more colourful and more exciting than anything I could have imagined for myself. Just ask the 2005 me that stood on top of The Great Wall of China after working for 3 weeks in an Orphanage in Wuhan. Or the 2011 me that aced her Silver Marketing Exams when she didn’t think she was that smart. Don’t ask the 2003 me. She had a perm.
Have I given up the ghost? Nope. There is always the dream and the hope of what might be in amongst all the other chaos and adventure. Am I pretty bloody happy with the way life is going? Yes.