“Ever since college, I make friends. They get married. I lose friends.” -Chuck Palahniuk
As I get older, most of the people I know are either getting into serious relationships, getting engaged, getting married, or having kids. In fact, at the age of 30, more of my friends, family and co-workers are married than not. On top of that, I have no close friends that have ever been 30 and single. This could easily put a divide between my married friends and I. We could slowly drift apart.We have different priorities and different schedules and different challenges and we can’t truly understand each other’s place in life.
I, however, do not believe this is a death sentence to relationships between married people and singles. I don’t want to lose friends just because they’re married and I’m not! My married friends and their families add so much to my life. I believe careful honesty is the key. We must have a determination not to project our own insecurities, longings, fears, and frustrations out on the other. If we do that, then we can still have real, beneficial, and meaningful relationships.
So, here it is, the truth: this is what singles believe married people have forgotten about being single (or aspects of single-ness they never even experienced because they got married much younger than 30).
Single + Single does not equal a perfect match…We get the impression that a lot of married people do the math and come up with: single guy + single girl = match made in heaven. No, nope. Thank you for thinking of us . . . but there’s a little more to it than that.
Speaking of matchmaking . . . I won’t speak for every single, but I was not built for online dating. I know that there are ‘Plenty of Fish’ that I could be ‘Match’ed with and we might fall in love and live in perfect ‘EHarmony,’ but let me just ‘Tinder’ my resignation now, because I’m out! #notinthislifetime. No need to ask me if I’ve thought of trying it. I’m an old-fashioned girl. And speaking of old-fashioned, if you come across a “great Christian guy,” don’t tell us girls about him– tell him about us! We want to be pursued.
We still believe in fairy tales…Well, kind of. We know now that it’s not as easy as falling in love and making darling, perfectly behaved babies and living happily-ever-after, but we still believe in having our own beautifully quirky love story. Help us believe. We’ve heard it’s a lot of hard work . . .like, more hard work and less sleep than you could have ever imagined! Now, tell us about how much fun it is! There are fun parts, right?! I love what Mindy Kaling says, “part of me still thinks … is it really so hard to make it work? What happened to being pals?”
Plus one? More like, plus none…When you’re single, you don’t have a built in “plus one.” We want to come to weddings and parties and even dinner with you and your couple friends, but sometimes it’s harder than you’d imagine. So, unless our odd-numbered singleness throws off the aesthetics of your evening, please invite us, but give us grace on those nights we decline. It may surprise you that there are times when hanging out with all couples will actually make us feel lonelier than staying home alone and watching Netflix. Not to mention that standing on the dance floor at a wedding, under a spotlight, with six little girls dancing around you to the blaring refrain of Single Ladies is . . . just horrible.
There is no “I” in team! But there’s an “I” in Single…Having a plus one at parties is just a small perk of marriage. You are now part of a team! You’ve procured not only a built-in date but also a best friend and a confidant; someone you can do life with and make big decision with. Your moments are their moments, happy and sad. They know you better than anyone. You are two who have become one.
Imagine not having that built into your life. It can be hard and even scary at times. Doing it by yourself doesn’t always come with the kind of freedom you might imagine; it comes with doubt and insecurity and uncertainty and longing. So, take care in saying things like “enjoy your freedom” or “appreciate your single years while you can” or “you’re so lucky you don’t have anyone to check-in with!” We envy the partnership you have and we’d give up spontaneous Grecian vacations or control over the remote to be a part of a team like that …or, let’s be real, even just to have someone who paid half our bills! Just kidding… about the remote. 🙂
What’s NOW vs. What’s NEXT?…Have you heard the idiom “in the meantime”? It means, “Until something else happens.” As a single, it can feel like everyone is just waiting for us to reach the next big milestone in our lives. Until then, they’re compassionate to our being stuck “in the meantime.” However, sympathetic refrains, inspirational quotes, and future predictions can be more harmful than helpful. We know that phrases like “you’re going to make a great wife/mother one day” or “that’s ok, you will find someone” are meant to be comforting, but it can make us feel like who we are now (who we might be forever) is not enough.
We may get married. We may make great wives and great mothers; we may find someone. But we might not. We want to know that who we are is enough. In fact, we’d like to know it’s more than enough. We’d love to know that you don’t see us as incomplete or running behind or stuck in the great singles waiting room of life. We want to know that the lives we’re living now (as singles) are complete, significant, thriving, successful and meaningful.
So, ask us WHAT’S NOW instead of WHAT’S NEXT because “in the meantime” our real lives are happening and we want to share them with you!
This is how you can pray for us…There are aspects of the single life we appreciate and even love, so we don’t need pity, but we’d love your prayers.
- Pray that we’ll use our single lives to honor God and that we’ll rest in knowing His plans and timing are far greater than ours.
- Pray that we won’t settle, but will wait for a spouse who loves Jesus and us with their whole hearts for their whole lives.
- Pray that we are made complete in Christ, so that no matter where our journey takes us we find our identity and worth in Him and not in our relationship status.…And if you want to pray “Lord, if it’s your will, please send Brittany a tall, funny and handsome fella who loves pizza, Netflix, and country music,” well, who am I to argue with God’s will?!
Talk back time…Are you single? What are some of the parts of being single that celebrate? Where do you struggle? What kind of support or prayers would you like from others?
Thank you Brittany for sharing your perspective with us! Ladies, if you’ve got friends who would be encouraged by Brittany’s words, share this post up by clicking the any of the share buttons. If you’d like weekly encouragement like this, I’d love to share it with you. Just enter your email address to subscribe and that’s it. Thanks for stopping by!