This is a very different type of blog than what I have written in the past. It goes out to all of my siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, fourth cousins twice removed, co-workers, friends, the random guy that stops you in Starbucks, and to all those who have asked me this question or thought that maybe I was choosing to become a nun. It also goes out to those like me who if they had a dollar every time they were asked this question, they would be a millionaire with their own private jet vacationing to Hawaii right now. You may be a friend just reading this because you love me, someone who gets this question asked a lot, or maybe a potential suitor. If you are the latter, I am taking applications 🙂
Here’s a little bio on me: I’m 34 years old, never been married, but attended weddings ever since I was in Kindergarten – my first one actually being on the playground. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who was a bridesmaid in my best friend’s pretend wedding at five years old?! I have a bachelor’s degree, I worked with children with cancer, I’ve traveled the world ministering in orphanages and churches, I am intelligent, I am funny, I am pretty…but I am single. If you are a single woman over the age of 25, you’ve probably been asked this same question many times as well…”Why are you still single?”
Well, a month ago, after a long day at work and a quick nap, I randomly woke up with this topic in my mind and some questions of my own:
Question #1: Why do people ask these questions? I deducted it to a couple of different things. Either A) They are confused or B) They feel sympathy because at my age they were already married to the love of their life with two and a half kids, a dog, and a mortgage. But, maybe there is another option. Option C) They see how incredible I am and really cannot understand why Westley hasn’t found this Princess Buttercup. After too many times of being asked this question and it leading to disappointment in my heart or vanilla ice cream with peanut butter (or both), I decided that I would forever just assume the latter. My first, natural reaction can be offense or hurt, but it is actually way more fun and freeing to just know that I am incredible and leave the question unanswered.
Question #2: What type of answer are people really wanting? Really, think about it…So, I absolutely love movies. If you like someone talking to the movie screen expressing their emotions to the characters, then I’m your girl. So what type of scene are people wanting when they ask this question? Let’s go with the comedy…”I’m SO glad (because we are always SO glad to be asked this question…cue sarcasm) that you asked why I’m single. You know, the last guy I dated came to my family’s hillbilly-themed birthday party and thought that all of my brothers wore cutoff shorts and that I lived a double redneck life. He ran away at that party and I haven’t seen him since.” (Note: we really did have a party like this once, and it was THE funnest by the way.)… Or maybe they want a drama…”You know, I would’ve been married, but he was actually dating my best friend behind my back who was engaged to his best friend, and then we ended up on Judge Judy, and the rest is history.” or a movie title such as “The worst traits found in a human, featuring ME”. Maybe they want a mystery…”Why am I single? Well, all of my boyfriends were guys that I had kidnapped. We never officially broke up, so am I still single?” Really, what type of answer do people want? Do they want to know that you’ve at least tried or do they want to hear that you’ve failed? Would they rather we do a mail-order spouse? It’s such a mystery to me! My advice…start writing some fun scripts as answers to this question. It will make answering them way, way more hilariously fun. Hey, maybe even hire your best friend to act as your boyfriend at a family event and have fun with it! Oh, the ideas are flowing now! Hahaha. That would be a Christmas to never forget 🙂
Question #3: Why aren’t people actively recruiting? For the amount of people that love me, value me, know me, and want to see me happily married, you think I would have been set-up at least once or twice. I have people praying for me in this area which is so important to me, but us who are single also need active recruiters. I love Ohio State Football! Going to the games is magnetic and so much fun. If someone is wanting to recruit a player for the NFL, they send a scout or someone to observe and get to know the player on behalf of the team. If a friend of yours is single and in their 30s and above, chances are they need some help expanding their recruitment circle. Instead of asking the question about singleness, suggest someone who you would recruit for them. Take a moment in the next day to even look through your FB friends to see who could maybe be a good recruit for another one of your single friends. Most of us are only a couple connections away from meeting that person and who knows, you could be that bridge!
So, back to the question.”Why Am I Still Single”…At the end of the day, I think most singles would say that we simply just don’t know. Things haven’t worked out the way we thought either. Although as I write this, I’ve only been on one date in the last 4 years, I’ve dated several guys in my lifetime. For the most part, they have all been great guys in their own way and I know that no one is perfect. To hold on to the things that hurt me still gives that old pain a place in my life and I said goodbye to its power a long time ago. As I look back, I realize that I could’ve chosen to get married to a couple of them (obviously, not both of them at the same time) but I didn’t feel peace on it and it didn’t work out. I also had a revelation that just as a natural father walks his daughter down the wedding aisle and gives her away to her groom, that my heavenly Father also has this role in my life. That although I get a choice, my Father is preparing to give me away to my groom and He doesn’t give His daughters away to just anyone. I decided that I’m not simply a woman waiting to be chosen, but rather a chosen woman who is fulfilled even while waiting.
“I’m not simply a woman waiting to be chosen, but rather a chosen woman who is fulfilled even while waiting.”
As the days, weeks, years go by, and every Christmas dinner brings that same question from my family, I choose a higher road and that is of gratitude. WAIT…don’t stop reading yet…I know it sounds cliche. Believe me…I wasn’t always there either and I have my moments. Don’t get me wrong, I WANT to be married. I pray for my future husband. I dream about him. I cheer him on even now…but focusing on the fact that I haven’t met him yet or giving into disappointment, doesn’t change that reality. I can be single and full of hope or single and full of hope deferred. Having hope and joy feels like a better option to me! I see friends dating, others getting married, families being formed, all things that I thought I would have by now, but I am still thankful. There is power when you can posture your heart with pure thankfulness towards someone who is experiencing the very breakthrough that you so desire. So, I choose to step into the grace of gratitude. I WANT to celebrate people. I remember getting a text from one of my best friends in Ohio when she got engaged and it was a picture of her ring. I was sitting in my car crying and screaming in joy! When my brother proposed to his wife, I got the text when I was in an airport by myself. I started crying with joy on the spot and found a random stranger to tell the good news too. Looking back, that was a really funny and awkward moment, but joy causes you to do those things sometimes 🙂 Be the type of friend that you want others to be when your moment comes too.
So, I know it’s the question you all still want to know…why am I still single? That is a question that no longer needs a response and no longer makes me feel insecure. I love who I am, I love how I was created, I love the dreams that are in my heart, and I love that one day, I will get to share in this incredible journey called life with my husband in covenant. This promise and desire has just been accruing interest!