This post has been stewing in my head and my heart for over six weeks now. I just couldn’t quite figure out what I wanted to harness and learn from it before I put it out there.
Several weeks ago someone commented on a picture that was posted on Facebook asking if the photo had been taken at my wedding. There was no title to the photo…in fact it’s the one over to the left there. I am not sure as to why it bothered me so much initially, but I posted a correction to the commenter stating it was in fact not my wedding.
The more I lingered on it, the deeper the conversation seemed to dive. I kept finding pockets of contention and hurt, shame and bitterness. Not just within me, but with other singles I broached the topic of this post with. I am not quite sure when, but somewhere along this lovely path of life it became acceptable for others to comment on or speculate on a single person’s life.
“We need to get you married off…”
“How come you’re still single?”
“When are you going to settle down?”
For many these words have come from the mouths of their own family. Thankfully I haven’t experienced that, as my family knows me to be the smartmouth should this get broached with me. It also happened once a couple of Christmases ago with some not-so-immediate family and I put that on lockdown.
These are questions we’ve asked ourselves. In the stillness. In the quiet. In the loneliness of the days, weeks, months of a single life. We don’t need reminding. Nor do we need assumptions being made that we just aren’t quite enough for a mate or a partner. We’ll probably ask them again and again. We’ll shout them at God in frustration, in tension, and in weeping.
Why…When…What’s wrong with me…
Countless times I have asked this myself to God, and to myself. Trust me, I worry enough about my own lack of a mate, that I don’t need someone-even a random friend of a friend on Facebook-wondering about it too. Often it’s cloaked in care for us, or out of love. Let’s stop that right now. I think there’s a bit of uneasiness to singles that many don’t know quite what to do with.
We’re that rag-tag bunch in the church pews disrupting the orderly seating of twos and fours. We are able to eat cereal for dinner sometimes, or not make our beds. We can sleep in on a Saturday if we want and often grab a movie on a whim.
We don’t fit in a box. And for many, that’s just not something they can conceive or understand. But I am okay that you don’t understand my singleness. I often don’t understand your married life or your kid life. Because I am not there, yet. I don’t know the worries that keep you up at night, nor the stress you manage. But I also don’t attempt to fit myself into your shoes in order to give you advice. Nor would I dare to.
So on behalf of singles everywhere…let’s stop commenting on our dating life (or lack thereof). Let’s stop assuming you have the perfect person for them or can tell them why they are single. Please, for the sake of friendships and relationships, let’s stop commenting on our dating life and start supporting our blessed life.
Singles, let’s stop harping on our lack of a mate and start loving the freedom to build community, to serve, to share, to grow. This time is a blessing, not a curse. It’s time we stopped adding a stigma to singleness that makes so many want to flee, and start lovingly cherishing the time we have.