Remember when I wrote a blog post back in August that was more open and honest than I usually am about being single and how much it sucks?
Well … it still sucks. Mightily.
And not just because of all this:
. . .
And ever since I ended my church-shopping and settled down to another place of worship, it’s gotten worse. Don’t get me wrong: the new church has everything I’m looking for in terms of theology, liturgy, and organization. It has a solid foundation in the gospel, and while the pastors are not the most eloquent I have heard, they are truthful and actually rely on Scripture. For the most part, I like going. I look forward to the sermons every week in a way I haven’t in months and months. I’m still holding my breath for a C.S. Lewis reference, but I’m sure it will come soon enough.
But holy crap, the congregation. It’s all college students and young married couples, with the odd retirement-age couple thrown in randomly here and there. I don’t even know. I don’t have a problem with college students or young married couples as a rule. It’s just that all my friends in Columbus are already married. (I’m not exaggerating. ALL OF THEM. If I want to hang out with a fellow singleton friend, I literally have to leave town. Or wait for them to come visit me.) And judging by the population at my new church, if I want friends who are single, I have to befriend the row of 20-year-old girls sitting in front of me in their Ugg boots talking about how many credits they’re taking this semester.
I kid you not, yesterday I heard one girl talk about her indecision about having kids someday. Then I heard her say that she was “going to be 20” on her next birthday. I wanted to smack her.
The week before, I met a girl who asked me if I was a student. I said “No, I’m not … actually, I kinda feel like I’m too old for this church.” Her response: “Oh, don’t worry, I’m not a student either! I was until May, but I’m not anymore!”
If you don’t get it, here’s the trouble: in either case–married couples or college students–I have to make friends who are in vastly different circumstances-of-life as I am. This is not just “Ugh, she likes to sew and I don’t” or “He doesn’t watch Sherlock” type stuff. This is “Our lives are in completely different places” stuff. If I had a few college-age friends and a few married couples here and there among single-and-my-age acquaintances, it would be fine, and rather refreshing. But when those are my only options, it’s awkward, it’s frustrating, and it’s isolating. And trust me, my life is lonely enough. It’s not an issue of time–the assumption that single people automatically have more free time than married people is ignorant and often wrong (not in my case, but still). It’s an issue of having someone who knows where I’m coming from, who has a major thing in common with me, and who just gets it. If you don’t understand why that’s important … I really don’t know how else to explain it.
I’m not complaining in complete ignorance. I understand that, at 28, I can expect most of my peers to pair off into matrimony very soon, if they haven’t already. I understand that, in a city with a major state university, there will be a large population of college students in the autumn months. What I don’t understand is how the hell every other person in their late 20s managed to get married by now, how they all seem to have forgotten what singleness is like, and how there are so few over-30 Christian singles in a capital city. Supposedly, the 2010 U.S. census showed that almost 44% of adults are unmarried. From what I’ve seen, those adults are all under 25 or over 50 because I sure as hell can’t find many who are around age 30. Not in churches in Columbus, Ohio, at least. If I’m not the only one, where are the others??
I can’t be left to say all this shit by myself: