I occasionally talk about, or make references to, my status as a single woman, but I don’t like to address it on my blog in depth—except when I feel like I really need to.
It’s difficult to make oneself vulnerable by exposing a deep-seated desire. It’s hard to admit that I need and want other people. It’s hard to admit loneliness. This is particularly difficult for Christians because it seems sacrilegious—if Christ fulfills us, if God supplies our every need, who am I to say that I do not have everything I want and need? Am I suggesting that God has failed me? Am I suggesting that God cannot do everything? There is also the tendency in Christian culture (at least in America) to put on a happy, brave face and never admit that we are struggling in anything, lest it appear that we do not actually have the peace and joy and abundant life that Christ has promised—even though He also promised that we would not be free of trouble in this world.
There is also, in my experience and perception, this cultural idea that a woman somehow can’t desire a romantic relationship and actually have a life at the same time.
A woman who wants to get married–but somehow hasn’t yet–must be desperate, lonely, pathetic, shy to the point of agoraphobic, dowdy and ridiculous and suffocating, who is man-obsessed and baby-crazy, who spends her nights crying into her dozen cats, and otherwise has no life. But I am not that woman.
I want to experience romance (at least for a little while—too much and I would feel smothered). I want to get married and eventually have a child—in that order. Every new engagement or pregnancy announcement brings a struggle between happiness for the people involved and pangs of envy and wondering “why not me?” I struggle with feelings of loneliness. I want to be pursued and desired. When people hear that, though, they assume I am just sitting around, pining and wishing my life away and doing nothing but waiting for the perfect man to just show up. I’m not.
As my blog readers will know, I travel, I wrote a novel, and I’m self-employed. I have close and invaluable friendships, I have multiple interests outside of romance, I read and exercise and cook, and I want to draw closer to my God. I know a relationship won’t solve all my problems. But when people see my life, what I actually do, they assume I am totally fine with being single, that I am not interested in finding someone, that I am always partying it up with my friends and not even thinking about settling down someday. I am not that woman, either.
I don’t want to waste my singleness—but I don’t want it to be forever.
This has been a struggle of mine for a long time, but the past year has been the most difficult so far. Let this be a warning to my readers that I will be discussing this topic and opening up about it a little more often in this blog. I don’t intend for it to dominate my blog–I will still write about introversion/Myers Briggs, movies, my travels, and my cooking achievements–but it will come up more often.
As I have said before on some of my posts about singleness, I am not looking for advice. I am well aware that people who do try to give me advice–how to meet men, how to “work on myself,” how to live a Christ-honoring life as a single–all have the best of intentions. But please believe me when I say that I have heard it all, and tried most of it, and I don’t need more.
I’m not completely sure why I feel compelled to share more of this particular aspect of my life, but right now I am just talking it out, processing it. Maybe eventually this could help others who are dealing with similar things, and inform them that they are not alone and perhaps encourage them to join in the conversation.
3 thoughts on “New Year, Old Issue”
I completely identify with this post! Thanks for doing such an amazing job articulating what so many of us feel and experience in this arena.
“It’s hard to admit loneliness. This is particularly difficult for Christians because it seems sacrilegious—if Christ fulfills us, if God supplies our every need, who am I to say that I do not have everything I want and need?”
I comfort myself with the fact that, in the Garden of Eden, before sin entered the world, God saw that Adam was lonely and said that it was “Not good for man to be alone.” What this tells me is that loneliness is not sinful! Even in the perfection of the original Creation, walking in close intimacy with God, Adam experienced loneliness, and God identified it as “not good” and remedied this God-given longing in the heart of Adam by presenting him with Eve.
“A woman who wants to get married–but somehow hasn’t yet–must be desperate, lonely, pathetic… and otherwise has no life. But I am not that woman.”
Amen!!! It is completely possible, common, probable and natural for single women to desire to be married but still enjoy their present singleness! Thanks for sharing your heart with us and being willing to be vulnerable – in so doing, welcoming the rest of us to open up on this poignant and personal topic.
Yeah, some days I enjoy my singleness more than others, but in general this is the state in which I tend to live.
Thanks so much for commenting. Glad the post rang true for others too!
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