Singleness is the state of being that one either loves or hates. For most women, having a man was the life lesson since birth. A woman was not a woman without a man. Some of us can remember as kids when the adults would tease that we had ourselves a “little boyfriend” even though we did not truly know what that meant. According to the church and the bible, singleness is a gift that should be used wisely in the service of the church errr. God (pardon my slip). I see why people would say that because as singles we have all the time in the world to devout to religious things (don’t we?). Singleness for me has been both a joy and a curse.
There are some very joyous aspects of singledom if you look for it. Luckily, I was not raised with the peer or parent pressure to be married with children by the time I was 22. I had the freedom to go out and date (well.. I dated without my parents knowledge because my father was very over protective), have dreams and enjoy the pleasures of caring for myself ie. being selfish. This joy of singleness lasted until my very late 20’s. During that time, I truly enjoyed my life and discovered myself: my likes, dislikes, became honest about my fears, insecurities and strengths. I had the opportunity to explore my unconventional female interests without having to explain myself to anyone.
The joy of singleness allows you to be independent. As a child, all I wanted was to be successful and learn to do things on my own. As an adult, I have fulfilled that dream. It may not seem like much but when compared to other women who are so afraid to even live on their own because they may fail, it is a big deal. Being single showed me that I can stand on my own two feet and solve problems when they arise without the constant fear that I am not able to do it on my own. Enjoying singleness helped me to indulge in my selfish wants and has now prepared me to be able to give in a relationship and as a mother.
Singleness as a curse is a very real stress for many Christians. Wanting a partner after a certain age is NOT DESPERATION. However, as the time passes, the feelings of desperation increases which leads to wrong choices and even disappointment in God. As an older single in the church, you get the “I feel sorry for her/him” pity from the married people. Loneliness, which most people do not want to admit to, becomes the constant nagging companion everywhere you go. At church: you see the happily married couples; On the tv: the internet dating ads show their successes; At work: people talk about their spouses or you hear about someone’s new love/sex partner. With all that couples overload sometimes you want to scream.
The curse of singleness heightens your awareness of couples and family. People making out in a park would irritate you because PDA is not appropriate; however, now you are irritated because it’s not you. The neighbour-next-door’s sexcapades would interrupt your sleep but instead of banging on the wall, you fantasize about what you would be doing with your spouse if you should ever have one. As you get older, you realize that time is passing and you are not able to share those moments with anyone. You miss the joy of intimacy and a level of connection you are not able to find in other relationships. You miss having someone to call your own and them claiming you as theirs. You miss the opportunity to say “we” “us” “our.”
Being single is a bitter-sweet situation. Even though we know that the grass is not always greener on the other side, most singles are willing to risk the chance of disappointment to get an opportunity to share in the bliss that some couples experience. I would never change my early single year because it was a good lesson for me. However, I think it’s time for me to get settled and experience life on the married side.