I am a single 29 year old who has not had a real girlfriend in almost 10 years. This fact is staggering. There was a time when I boasted about this. I felt more pious than the average bear. Nowadays, I cringe at the thought. It has turned into an enigma. I can’t quite figure it out. The scary thing is that when you have been without something so long, your hopes start to fade. It’s like you get used to the place you’re in. Deep down you want out but you don’t see a way out; in fact, you haven’t seen a way out in a long time.
Then you figure, settling for anything is a reasonable alternative. But being the stubborn soul that I am, settling is just down right wrong. I prefer death by slow cook rather than instant torching. Do you see the perpetual cycle that can ensue? That’s been the cycle I’ve been in for nearly the last 10 years. People look at me like I have 3 heads when I tell them how long I’ve been single. Some people don’t believe me. I probably wouldn’t either if someone told me. I mean, I’m a fairly attractive guy, with a great job, and an outspoken faith. You’d think I would have no problem finding my Queen of Sheba.
The hardest part is that I truly don’t know what the problem is! I’ve cycled between God working my inner demons out to me being too picky to me being afraid of relationships to I just haven’t met “The One” yet. I typically fluctuate between strangely content to borderline obsession with proportional variations in between. I really don’t talk about it too much because it usually ends in frustration; either I can’t find clarity while discussing the issue, or the person with whom I’m conversing suggests I’m being too complicated. My favorite response – especially as of late – is that I really should take my time and that there is no rush. I’m like hello, I’ve been single for the last 10 years (albeit mostly by my own choosing)!
There once was a time when I wore my singleness like a badge of honor. In my mind and heart, it was a bat symbol to God that I needed him to help me find the right woman. I took pride in the fact that I was waiting for God to bring about love in his perfect timing. The stranger people reacted the more I reveled in this reality. It’s difficult now, however, because I’m starting to wonder whether or not that reality was just a fantasy – like the love stories we watch on television.
In life there are no easy answers. I must say that being single this long causes one to grapple with difficult questions like: (a) What would life be like if I were single forever? (b) Is having a family one of God’s promises in the bible? (c) What would Jesus say about not being unequally yoked? (d) Is there really one person just for you? Jesus never gave easy answers. In fact, most of his answers were extremely controversial. I wonder how Jesus would answer these questions! I have a feeling it wouldn’t be what I expect…
If I could offer a word of encouragement to the singles out there I would say in my most lonesome times, I found there was always comfort in Jesus. God always provides a ram in the bush. My rams have been: hang out sessions with friends and family, ministry opportunities, really great church and praise and worship services, working on my car and/or on a project at home. Find yours. While you wait, God has already plotted out your days carefully. There is rest from your burdens along the way; there is hidden treasure to be found along the way; there is peace and joy that surpass understanding along the way; and one day, there will be answers!