One- Can Be A Terribly Lonely Number


A coworker disclosed to me that she had some feelings of not wanting to exist. At first I was confused because I could not fathom this very vibrant person feeling this way. However, as we chatted a bit and she explained what was going on, I completely understood and wondered how many people have similar experiences.

First, I have to make a disclaimer that being single is not inherently bad, shameful, or a curse. However, the issue that presents itself  for many singles is the loneliness. This woman was lonely and despite being involved in social activities and church, it did not and will not replace the loss of feeling important to someone. I made the mistake of thinking that people who have had lives (marriage, children) before being newly single have nothing to complain about. Afterall, they had a past experience to reminisce about. It’s the terminally single who needed to cry and complain.

Her thoughts of death came about because she did not feel needed by her adult children with families and other family members who have their families. Singles are not always shut ins with no lives, on the contrary, they have friends in the community and church  but there is the feeling that no one truly cares; you are not important to anyone anymore. The connection is not the same  as it would be if you had your own family or spouse.

I know the bible fanatics will say just believe that Jesus loves you etc… etc… However, if you are honest with yourself, Jesus is not enough when it comes to such an intimate connection. No single woman looks at Jesus like a lover/husband. If he were enough, then there would be no need for marriages, romantic relationships, and having children. The love for Jesus would take care of all those human desires.

Humans want to feel needed, special, important and loved by another human being. Most singles want to be married because they want that intimacy that comes with having a relationship with another person. For some singles, probably a large number, church is the worst place for them. This is so because the pews are filled with couples and families which are a constant reminder that they do not have that connection to another human being. Sis So & So goes home with her husband and children and you go home with… you. 

It can be very difficult to be single at times and this is something most of us will not willingly admit because it is “pathetic”. How many singles have said or felt some of these: “If something happened to me over the weekend will anyone miss me until I did not show for work on Monday;”  It has been a long time since someone hugged you or touched you affectionately; “If I die today would anyone really care or miss me?” “I wish someone/anyone could see the real me;” or “Can I trust anyone  to truly be there for me without feeling like a burden if something were to happen.”

It has taken years but I am beginning to recognize what a difficult burden it is to be a single individual today. Well, looking back at history it has always been a struggle ie. Ruth and Naomi story. God made Adam and Eve for a reason and it was not just to procreate. There is a special, certainly biblical, justification for one human being to feel connected to another. Think of this: a perfectly healthy baby can die without human contact; so why is it hard to fathom the desires for singles to NOT want to go through their lives alone. One is indeed a very lonely number.

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6 thoughts on “One- Can Be A Terribly Lonely Number

  1. I find that this article really speaks to me. I am 54, never married, and I am still hoping to find someone who will love me and think I am special, as I will do for him. My life has an overwhelming emptiness at its centre and the thought that I might always be alone fills me with dread. I also have no family, which makes it more difficult. I don’t go to church, mainly because-as the article describes-churches are full of families, and I feel even more isolated. I am constantly worrying that maybe there is something wrong with me, which would explain why noone has wanted to spend their life with me. I go out socially and see friends, but it is not enough. To be honest, I see my single status as some sort of curse, and I want so much for it to end.

    1. Chris, you are not alone in your feelings. As we get older, being alone can feel so very overwhelming. I don’t think most people are meant to be alone for most of their lives. There is nothing wrong with you at all. Some of us seem to be ‘unlucky’ in love. Single status can and do feel like a curse. As singles, we have to make the best of our lives with what we are blessed with even though it can be hard and still may not seem like enough.

  2. It’s funny that I would run across this post today, as I’ve been feeling really heavy-hearted on this issue. And I think it’s really difficult for me because being so young (almost 24) most people don’t really have much sympathy for the loneliness that I feel as a single woman. I’m supposed to be “enjoying life” and “livin’ it up!” For some reason, I’m not “supposed” to be marriage-minded at my age. It’s frustrating because people expect you to want to waste your youth on stupidity and vanity, and then when you’re all used up, dried out, and tired, THEN find a man to marry and give your stale leftovers to.

    Thank you for just being open and honest about how you feel. I often feel that way too many Christians try to become mechanical and live as if they’re something other than human. And yes, we do have spiritual fulfillment in the love, grace, and mercy of God our father and Christ our savior, but our God has also given us emotional and physical aspects to our humanity, and I think it’s unnatural to try to downplay them or write them off as if they’re not important. It’s easy to let the world make you feel “pathetic” for having these feelings…However, how could it be pathetic to want what God wired/programmed us to desire? Things appear to be scary and bleak out here for a single, marriage-minded, non-sexually active Christian..and I’m starting to become discouraged by the loneliness (and lack of promising prospects), to be perfectly honest. It’s downright frustrating, but I’m holdin on. Only by the GRACE OF GOD am I holdin on…….

    Sorry for the random unloading of emotion, but it was so comforting to find someone honest enough to just put it out there..yes we’re Christian women, but we’re still women with womanly needs and desires, and I’m tired of people trying to make us feel bad about that! As if our bodies hibernate until we say “I do”.

    1. Ashley, I welcome your very honest feelings. You are not alone in how you feel but as Christians we are not allowed to express those very human desires. It has taken me a long time to be able to openly admit that I am not a perfect Christian and even longer to be comfortable writing those things down so others who feel the same know they are not alone. Hang in there Ashley, I definitely know that it is hard and even harder to accept that there are no easy solutions. Continue to pray for guidance and strength.

  3. Wow, what a great post! You expressed this sentiment so well… I really wish people would be more understanding that even if you are an active single with friends, church family and extended family (nieces, nephews, cousins, etc.), there is a void that can only be filled by a partner. It would be nice if a single Christian woman could acknowledge that without being criticized or told that she needs to spend more time with God in worship and service

    1. Thanks for posting Lisa,
      I have heard the sentiment spoken many times that a person is lonely because s/he is not spending enough time with God. I truly believe that we all experience human feelings with or without God in our lives and to deny this is very dangerous ie. depression, suicide, falling away from the church etc. Older Christian singles are a special breed that do not always seem to fit nicely into the church ideals.

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