Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Post: Being Single in a Relationship-Oriented World

Today I'm posting something that my sister Meagan wrote. This is her perspective that she wanted to contribute to "relationships and dating" week on the blog:

So this series of posts on relationships/dating could not have come at a better time. I went home this weekend for a wedding and got the usual barrage of questions about my relationship status (100% single, in case you were wondering). Like my mom trying to set me up with the latest guy that would be "just perfect" for me isn't bad enough, I had to navigate this awkward conversation: An older gentleman that I have known basically my entire life and really care about came up and said to me that he was just waiting for my wedding invitation. Ok...what?!?! First of all, I am totally single. Not even close. Most definitely not one of those girls that's "talking" to a random guy but they're not really boyfriend/girlfriend, and not one of those girls that's dating a guy but says she's single just because she's not engaged to her boyfriend of four years (newsflash: if that's you, you're not single!) No, I don't even have any prospects on the horizon. And second of all, why is that the first thing he said to me?? Didn't ask me about the new job I just started, didn't ask me how life was in Richmond, nothing like that. Even though he may not have meant it this way, it sure seemed that my relationship status (or lack thereof) was the most important thing about me in his eyes. 

Ok, let me get real. I'm usually pretty cool with being single. Sometimes it would be nice to have someone around to take my car in to get the oil changed every 3,000 miles (ok, I know that's not all they're good for!), but otherwise I like laying around in my underwear watching The Notebook at 11:00 on a Sunday night just because I can. But honestly...if other people cannot be content with me being single then how in the world am I supposed to be content being single?? And when my relationship status is the first question you ask me, it makes me want to avoid you because I get tired of having the same conversation. Don't you?! When there's something to be told, I will tell it.

For any single person, the most dreaded, annoying question that we face is when people ask, "Why are you still single?" I can say with 100% certainty that I am still single because God, in His timing that I know is perfect even if I don't always get it, hasn't brought the right person into my life yet. Thankfully I am not sitting around questioning, "Could he have been the one? Did I let the perfect guy get away?" because I KNOW that's not the case. But what on earth do people expect you to say when they ask that question? "Ummm...I'm still single because the last time a guy asked me out I posted a picture of what our children would look like on his Facebook wall and he mysteriously had to cancel. I'm still single because my seven cats are all the love I need in the world. I'm still single because I pick my nose in public and could win the 'Most Socially Awkward Person of the Year' award." Come on. One time a guy asked me this and I said, "I'm not sure - why do you think I'm single?" He got a panicked look in his eyes and said, "I don't know your life!!" and backed way up. Seriously though, it's the worst question ever. No one who is single because of some overwhelmingly negative quality is going to say that that's why just because you asked. And for the rest of us, honestly, we are just as puzzled as you are.
To wrap up, let me just share two things that have encouraged me as I wait on the Lord's timing:
1. It's better to want something you don't have than to have something you don't want. (Self-explanatory!)
2. When you get married, it will (hopefully) be for the rest of your life. That's a long time! We all have things that we want to do that would be more complicated if we had to take into account another person's wants and needs. Maybe you want to travel, take certain classes, run a marathon, do mission work, or something else. Once you are in a serious relationship or are married, it may become impractical or impossible to do some of these things. So why not do them now? Refuse to let your years of singleness be wasted years.

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