All the Single Ladies: uh uh oh, uh uh oh, oh oh oh…(ad lib).

Dear fellow singletons,

1. Being single is not your identity. I’m sorry for using the word ‘singleton’ there. I will henceforth and forevermore refrain from referring to us as ‘singles’ or ‘singletons’. This is not who we are. Hello, your name is not Single. You are single, you are not Single. It is simply a relationship status. Right, out of the terminology discussion and into the fun stuff…

2. Being single does not make you half a person. We somehow have accepted the notion that single people are Tesco Value products and only becomes Tesco’s Finest when they are married. (For those joining us stateside, Tesco = popular grocery store). We, apparently, are caterpillars waiting for rings on our fingers to turn us into butterflies. We are lost souls, wandering the earth in search of the magical person – who ALWAYS seems to run across a beach in slow motion – to make us whole. Ah, our other half. Cute…but not accurate. Yes, of course marriage is good. Yes, of course you marry someone who complements you and with whom you ‘fit’. But no, sorry, as scientifically interesting as it would make you…you were not born half a person.

3. Being single does not automatically = unhappy. The other day in conversation, someone brought up Rebecca St. James, a singer/songwriter whose journey of singleness was documented by the media and whose recent marriage was celebrated by “Wait for Me” fans worldwide. The person I spoke to, recounting her story, said she waited, she got married and was now happy. Wait – only now? Getting married/being in a serious intimate relationship makes you happy? Sure it does. But you do not wait for marriage to make you happy. There are lots of other things to enjoy; and similarly, you will not always feel ‘happy’ when you are married (just have a conversation with a married friend).

4. Being single does not make you sedate hidden treasure on a pirate’s map. What I mean is this: single people, and especially females, are told “he’s out there somewhere…he’ll find you when he’s ready.” You are then expected to freeze, try to maintain your youthful looks and always be on the look-out ‘just in case he’s there’…WHAT?! Get a life, literally. You will find each other whilst you live.

5. Being single does not make you a slow-cooking chocolate cake. I HATE hearing people tell single people they aren’t married ‘because God mustn’t think they are ready’. Single people are not single because there is something horribly wrong with them; and they must not be made to feel that they are less than others, less ready, less able, less fill-in-the-blank: we are all works in progress and different people’s lives are timed differently for many reasons.

6. Being single does not make you useless. Nor does it make you unimportant. Don’t assume you are second-rate because there is no-one on your arm or no plus one next to your name on that invitation. You have something to say and something to contribue to the world. In fact, this stage of life is one in which we are blessed with time and energy and focus – you are very useful. You are not without a purpose, either: THAT doesn’t begin when you are married. You are in it, now.

7. Being single does not make you not-wonderful. A (married) friend recently told a (single) friend of mine that she hoped she knew she was amazing and that soon she’d find someone who’d tell her that. Oh, that’s right. Single people of the world, remember this: in order to realise you’re amazing, you must be told by someone – don’t have confidence in yourself. Your amazing potential is simply waiting to be awakened by this glorious future partner of yours. For the record: that is not truth. No…you are of worth because YOU ARE of worth.

8. Being single does not mean you are desperate to get married right this very second. But that’s for another time.



P.S.: I’m away to paint my toe-nails a luxurious deep cherry red. Point 9: just because “no one sees them” doesn’t mean I can’t do it.

P.P.S.: the title is the only way in which this post is applicable only to women. Guys, thank you for your input: I’m not leaving you out.

5 thoughts on “All the Single Ladies: uh uh oh, uh uh oh, oh oh oh…(ad lib).

  1. Good reminder that being single is not ab identity but a virtue equal to marriage. I definitely agree with you that Christian circles often promote the value of marriage at the expense and perhaps subtle ridicule of being single.

    Point 2 is an interesting one I fully agree with, and one which can be taken further from my perspective as a married man. Often I hear married folks (men in particular) describe their spouse as their better or other half. While I appreciate the sentiment of a goid marriage being oneness with love and selflessness considered the ultimate, I think the term is used too filipantly. The only way I can describe it is as is this. My wife and I are both whole persons. Yet we seek to be one. The maths works out like this: 1 + 1 = 1. And all things permitting soon enough 1 + 1 = 3.

    Point 7. Being single does not make you not-wonderful. Totally correct. You are of worth because YOU ARE of worth. Totally correct. Often though it does take someone to point out that this is the case. Not necessarily in a romantic case which I understand is what you are emphasising. We do not feel wonderful without the context of another person declaring that. This is particularly appropriate in healthy romantic relationships, which provided a good context for me to understand my worth as a person first, and as a husband (previously a boyfriend and fiancée) second. I am not suggesting one is not of worth until they are in a relationship but that it is often in a healthy relationship where one realises ones own worth.

  2. hi! My input might be unnecessary and a little offputting but here it is… I think needing to have these lists is the problem. When did being in a romantic relationship become the default norm for our generation? I can only assume this is aimed at twentysomethings and a lil older. I just got out of a relationship with an amazing that I loved but am so appreciative of the freedom I now have. I can literally go anywhere and do anything at any time. I can go out with different groups of people, call an old friend for hours, or paint my toes bright red like the author ‘just cause i wanna’. I feel sympathy for my 25 year old friends that are already married and take that responsibility on every day. Because thats what a marriage and serious relationship are: responsibilities and promises that must be made and kept every day. I for one am excited about the opportunities to see and do everything I can. Man is not made to be alone, that is why we have family and friends. I’m realizing how blessed I am to have such wonderful and loving group in my life. I only intend to reflect that love and wonder and if a man wants to bask in it then lucky guy if not that love and wonder is still there! Happy living 😀

  3. In response to ‘d’ I love that you are enjoying being single-and so you should! It is true that relationships bring responsibility and for me personally it’s the fact that my choices (career path/finances/character etc…) affect another person so profoundly that makes that a scary place to be. But I’d just like to say please don’t ‘feel sorry’ for us ‘poor’ married people. We didn’t fall into it like it was a concealed manhole just waiting to swallow us up. We chose it. I choose the sacrifices and the responsibilities daily. I love them and they make me a better person. I don’t feel sorry for single people, but I don’t envy them either. Be happy being you, who you are, where you’re at. As this blog states, if you aren’t already managing to be happy in and of yourself, marriage won’t fix that. It will compound it. Marriage tends to squeeze out what is inside us, like orange juice from an orange.
    Secondly I want to comment on the all too often ‘God has someone for you, it’s just a matter of time’ comment that gets bandied about willy nilly. Nowhere in scripture are we promised romance or a life partner. There are no guarantees we will all meet someone, fall in love and be married. The challenge, for those reading this who believe in and love God, is to be ok with whatever is in His will. For some that may be realising that the life of footloose singledom is not their destiny and for others it may be that the married with 2.4 children scenario is not theirs. Marriage is a gift. Singleness is a gift. Don’t waste your gifts while they are there to be had.

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