DISCLAIMER: Boys are great. Girls are great. Marriage is great. Relationships are great.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I need to urge you, single friend, to NOT let your singleness be stolen from you.
Yep. I think singleness is something to treasure, enjoy, make the most of. (I don’t mean that there is anyone out there who aims to ‘take’ people’s singleness through crazy, serial, polygamist dating. Hollywood: you’re welcome. Oh wait…)
I am single. I know it can be difficult. I wrote to you a while ago about things that singles are not, which included slow-cooking chocolate cakes, sedate hidden treasure on a pirate’s map and eh, caterpillars. I know there is a lot of pressure to be un-single. I know you might feel like the ‘odd one out’. I know it’s lonely at times. I know you would like to have someone to share the big happenings and the little ins and outs with. It’s completely fine to acknowledge these things (there are more…what should I have included? What is difficult about being single? Let me know!) and healthy to do so, but…
Singleness is a GOOD thing to have (yes, remember, “you are single…you are not Single” etc…? I think the easiest way to define it is as something we ‘have’, rather than what we ‘are’.) We have time and energy that we can devote to dreaming big dreams and fulfilling them that we will not have to devote in this particular way when/if we are in relationships/marriages. Of course marriage isn’t a crazy cage that locks people away dreamless and exhausted – and friends who are in relationships or marriages, you know that I don’t mean that you are now useless or less effective than what single people can be. Indeed, there are different ways in which you can change the world and bless people when you join up with another human being. You have told me, though, of how life changes when you’re doing life closely with another human being (or 2, or 6) and we have agreed that singleness is a unique period in someone’s life. (On my grouping marriage and relationships: obviously these two relational situations ARE different. Upto you to interpret the implications of what I’m saying if you’re in a relationship – the seriousness/depth/commitment of these vary so much.)
Friends who are single, we simply MUST make the most of the free time, the energy to spend on pretty much whatever we choose, the room and freedom to dream and point ourselves in so many directions.
If you read any of my other posts, you know that I’m greatly concerned by the reality of human trafficking and spend time and energy on trying to fight it. It mightn’t be such an issue for you. But as you read this, there are things that have blossomed or still may be seeds that are in you, that need you to be awoken to, that you need to fight for.
There are people who need you. There are projects that could use your specific talents. There are towns and cities that need you to hold them up for a while. There is a purpose for you that goes farther than what you can imagine, and it does not begin when you find “The One”; indeed, NOW is a great time to engage with it. If the average age of marriage is somewhere between 25 and 30, we spend a very short time being single in the grand scheme of things. Yes, take reassurance in this if you must, but also take from it a sense of urgency: let’s get moving and making the most of it.
Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about why you are single. Don’t waste it making lists of what you look for in a guy or a girl. Don’t waste it stalking members of the opposite gender on Facebook (yes, YOU!)
To take a step further for those of us who are Christians (if you’re not, feel free to listen in). I actually think Satan uses singleness as a way to distract people, to make them feel inadequate, insecure, frustrated. Don’t let him. There is SO much you can be doing, and he isn’t happy about it. The attack is strong. Don’t let him win. Life is short. Singleness is even shorter. There is MUCH to be done.
In essence, friends, please use your singleness wisely… I wasn’t going to go there, but I think I might: singleness, while difficult, is a gift that can be used for great things. Please make the most of it.
Hate mail can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and yes, this post will probably deter my future husband from ever approaching me, so I will probably still be walking the beach alone at the age of 78: donations of shoes might be appreciated for my lonely, arthritic feet.