I’ve been wanting to write a blog on singleness for a long time, but was having a hard time articulating my thoughts. Fortunately, God knows how much I like telling stories, so I was recently part of a very ‘interesting’ situation that has allowed me to create this blog.
I’m an almost 28 year old female which therefore results in my singleness being a regular topic of discussion. My reaction to people’s comments and questions vary greatly depending on the person making the comments and my current level of annoyance.
I am typically able to get over my annoyances after a brief rant with my roommate, but after this recent experience, I decided it’s time to put my words out there.
The School of Promise recently hosted a male substitute teacher for two weeks, while one of our teachers was in America. He was a man, my age, very handsome, well dressed, well off and… believe it or not, single. He came to Thailand solely to help us out for the two weeks and therefore had no other responsibilities–no team, no where else to be. Saying this dude was ‘available’ was an understatement.
The matchmaking attempts began immediately–and being honest, I was fine with that. This situation (a single male coming to volunteer at the school,) is such a rare occurrence that I wanted to take advantage of it and get to know him.
I quickly (after our first one-on-one hangout) realized I wasn’t interested in this person. While he was handsome, yes, and easy to talk with, we had extreme differences of opinions and world views. Our convictions on how to live our lives did not match up at all.
I was not interested.
But, wasn’t opposed to hanging out with him on a friendly level while he was here.
It’s at this point that things started getting annoying. The staff at the school could perceive his apparent interest in me–he was very intentional and sought out time with me as much as possible–so their chatter, gossip and speculations were swirling around the school.
I had been married off. One person was even kept up at night because she was having ‘anxious dreams’ about me leaving the school and moving to this fellow’s country.
I didn’t really want to talk about him while he was still working at the school, so I let the comments slide for a couple days, but also tried to let the teachers know that I was not interested in him and that we were just friends.
And here’s the kicker… no one could understand why I wasn’t interested. I tried hard to not slander him while he was here, and so my words of ‘we’re just friends,’ or ‘I’m not interested in him,’ or ‘we’re just very different,’ were rebutted with things like: ‘But, he’s so handsome,’ ‘He’s a Christian,’ or my personal favorite, ‘But like likes you so much…’
One teacher went as far as to say, ‘If you turn him down, this will be your last chance, you’re getting old and there won’t be anyone else.’
(I like to think she was joking… but you never can tell.)
The story ends with me having to be incredibly firm in my ‘dis-interest’ in this man and while he was willing to marry me and take me away from Thailand… I let the marriage train pass me by.
But, In all seriousness–I don’t understand.
I don’t understand why marrying someone who is completely incompatible with you is more desirable than living the single life.
I see and understand the draw of marriage–it is a good and beautiful thing, finding someone to walk as partners in life with—but, I also don’t see marriage as the end all of life. I don’t see marriage as a goal to work towards (winks to my team leaders…) and I don’t see singleness as a stamp of living an unfulfilled life.
Singleness is not a synonym for loneliness.
Singleness does not mean that I am not mature enough to be in an intimate, committed relationship. [I could go on soooo many tangents here…]
Nor is my being single a punishment from the Lord for my not being ________ enough.
My being single just means that I’m single.
Honestly, I (maybe controversially) don’t believe that marriage is a promise from God. It is probably one of my biggest pet peeves in life when people quote Psalm 37:4 to me as a ‘cure’ for my singleness.
In case you don’t know:
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
You know what, the deepest desire of my heart is not marriage. The deepest desire of my heart is to look more and more like Jesus. And I do believe that He will fulfill that desire…though I’m very far from having arrived.
I am single. I am 27, and I’m okay. I’m more than okay, I’m happy.
I’m living my life fully, I’m saying ‘yes’ to the opportunities in front of me and I’m trying to follow Jesus’ leading in my life.
And I am definitely not someone you should pity.
All this to say, I am not anti-marriage, nor am I going out of my way to stay single, however, if I never put on that white dress and walk down that coveted aisle, I will be just fine. I will continue living my life confidently and securely as a powerful woman of God.