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.