Thursday, February 11, 2016

I Don't Need a Dessert Created for me Because I'm Single

I've started and stopped writing this post a hundred times in the last couple weeks. Deleted it all to write something new. Deleted the new to rewrite what I'd written before. I wasn't even sure I was going to post this for others to read.

Until I saw today on Facebook that Dairy Queen has created a blizzard for single people on Valentine's day.

I had to go back a few times to read it, because I wasn't sure I had read ti correctly the first time.

. . . a blizzard . . . 

. . . for singles . . .

. . . for Valentine's day???


But, as I read it, I realized they appear to be serious about this. And, even if this is some kind of a joke, the fact that they would go this far with it is just as ridiculous.

Can just put this out there?

This isn't what those of us who are single for Valentine's day are looking for. (At least not most of us.)

We don't need a dessert created for us.

We don't need to have businesses doing something different for us just because we're single on a day when relationships are front and center.

We don't need pity from those who feel our lives are less than on Valentine's day just because we're single.

We don't need our singleness emphasized on a day that can already be more difficult than others simply because there is a focus on love and relationships.

So, if that's what we don't need, you may be left wondering what we do need - not just on Valentine's day, but really every day. The truth I've discovered is that what we need isn't too much different than what most of need just as people, whether we're single or married. The nuances might look different for single people, but it all comes down to the same thing.

We need to be defined by something other than our singleness. Yes, we're single and that has a big impact on every aspect of our lives. But it's not all that we are. Just as those who are married are more than just someone's husband or wife, or those who are parents are a mom or a dad. My being single is just a part of who I am. Please don't define me only by that label.

We need to know we're not alone - that we belong somewhere. That we have family and friends around us who care, who love us, who encourage us, who listen, who will call us out when we need it, who will push us out of our complacency.

We need to be treated like normal when we go to restaurants by ourselves. Even if we forget it's Valentine's day and show up by ourselves - just treat us as you would any other customers. We need to know we're not going to be treated differently just because we show up alone. (And for some reason, outside of a quick middle of the work-day lunch this seems to be seen as strange by many.)

We need to talk about life with you like you always do with other people. Don't avoid talking about your spouse and kids with us. We feel more weird about our singleness if family is a subject you avoid, than if you just talk about your family as it is. For us, our family situation may look different, but we still want to talk about family - yours and ours.

We need you to understand that some days we'll handle being single better than others - especially if we still have a desire to be married one day. Some days, I'm okay with still being single. Some days, I'm not so okay with it. I don't need you to pity my situations, but sometimes I just need someone to hear me say I'm not as okay with it today, and not try to tell me why being single is better or give me advice about how to find someone.

I'm sure I could make a long list to go with this, but I think these are the important ones. And I think the truth is that most us, whether single or married, need:

-to be known for more than just one part of who we are

-to know we're not alone, that we belong somewhere

-to be treated like others in any situation we find ourselves in

-to have conversations about all of life with people, not have certain topics avoided

-to be listened to when things are hard without being told how to fix it all

It's really as simple as needing to be known by people and to know them. A need that God created us with.

But, please, whatever you do, don't create something that you advertise as being for single's on Valentine's day. That doesn't help anyone.