I've struggled with whether to write this for a while. I've wrestled with my own thoughts and feelings about this topic. And I wasn't sure I wanted to put this out there for all the world to see. What I'm going to say might upset you. It might even offend you.
I hope that doesn't happen. But I'm not apologizing if it does, because I think things like this need to be said sometimes. No matter what, I hope you'll read this all the way through and give what I have to say some thought. And that you'll share your thoughts on this all with me.
One last disclaimer before I go ahead: I'm not saying everyone does this. I'm not even saying most of them do. But this is something that come up in my life and in conversations on a number of occasions.
So, here goes...
My singleness is not a problem to be fixed.
And it doesn't make me strange or weird.
Just like you, I want to belong. I want to be included.
I want to be missed when I'm not there. And I want to know you well enough to miss you when you're not there.
I'm quite aware that I'm still single and that I'll be 30 years old in three months. The life I have is good, but it's not exactly what I expected it would be. Growing up, I thought I would be married by now. I thought I would have kids by now. But I don't and I don't need you to point it out every time you see me.
Honestly, if I want your advice on something I could do differently, I'll ask. Don't give it to me if I haven't asked. Chances are I've already tried what you have to say I should or shouldn't do.
The story about how your best friend's cousin's daughter found her husband . . . I don't want to hear it. I don't know her. I'm sure it's a great story, but that doesn't mean I should do the same things. Or that they'll guarantee I get married too.
Yes, I would like to get married one day. And I'm doing what I can to meet guys I could potentially marry. Bu there is only so much I can do, because it requires another person.
Those times when I tell you that sometimes I hate going home to an empty house after work everyday, aren't the times for you to tell me about how lucky I am. That I'm lucky I don't have a husband or kids needing my attention and leaving messes everywhere. In those moments when I don't want to go home to an empty house, I'd give anything for that.
And, no matter what, don't quote the verse in Isaiah that says "your husband is your Maker." What does that mean anyway?
Besides, sometime the physical presence of another person is what we need, or what we want. I know God is always with me, but sometimes in my human-ness, I want more. I want a person.
Okay, I hope you're still reading and I haven't completely offended you. I've told you what I don't want, but if I just leave it there, it's not really a helpful conversation. But there are simple things you and I can both do to help each other.
The first thing we both need to be doing is listening to each other without trying to solve problems the other person hasn't asked us to help solve. I will listen to you talk about the good times and the hard times in your life. I ask that you do the same for me. Sometimes we just need to tell someone what's going on in our lives and how we feel. We just need to know someone cares enough to listen. And sometimes after we know the other person has listened, then we might ask for their help.
Second, invite me to group things, even if I'll be the only single person there. If it's a group of people, I'm not going to feel out of place. I'm not asking you to give up time with your spouse or with other couples. I'm asking that you don't forget me every time you plan something.
Your kids won't keep me away either. I get that they are an important part of your life. Heck, I'll even play with your kids sometimes. Just because I don't have kids of my own, doesn't mean I'm uncomfortable around them.
You don't have to do all the inviting. I'll invite you to things too. And I'll be flexible so it works with your spouse and your kids and what is going in the life of your family.
Finally, if you know a single guy you think I should get to know, ask me if I'd be willing to meet him. Sometimes I will be. Sometimes I won't. I'll be honest when you ask. But, generally, the way I see it, it never hurts to allow a friend to help if they can. As long as this is coming out of a friendship with you and it's not the only thing we ever talk about, I'll probably appreciate it.
The honest truth if while my life looks very different from yours from the outside, it's not that different when you get past the externals. I'm a Christian learning to follow God better everyday. I have struggles, fears, and insecurities. I have joy and triumphs. The same as you do. They may not be exactly the same as yours, but we all have them. And we can learn from each other anyways.
Well, that's it. If you've made it to the end of this, I want to thank you for sticking with it. I hope that you aren't offended by anything I wrote. But I also hope you were left with something to think about - whether married or single.
I'd love the hear your thoughts on this.