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Friday, 7 February 2014

Singleness in Today's Society.

If you're on any sort of social network; if you watch TV a fair bit; if you have a girlfriend/wife/partner; even if you get junk mail; you probably know that next Friday is Valentine's Day. Depending on who you are, you may either be looking towards the approaching that day with either excitement or trepidation.

Valentine's Day gets quite a hubbub these days. Being in a relationship is the new cool thing, even if you're quite young. It's not uncommon to see people in primary school dating nowadays. And you get a lot of people lamenting the fact that they aren't in a relationship; getting really quite annoyed/angry/depressed because they aren't with someone.

And you hear the speeches that people give to them - "Oh, being in a relationship isn't that great," "You have so much freedom when you're single!" "You should be so happy!" - typically, given by people in relationships; and honestly, it sounds like they're talking schist. Like they're saying things just to make someone happy. They mean well, but they're going about it the wrong way. It might work for some people, but if someone was saying that sort of thing to me, I'd cheerfully give them a right hook.
OK, probably not, but I'd be more annoyed at them than cheered up.

I'm currently 21, and I've been single all my life. Never been on a date, never kissed a girl (apart from some people who do the kiss on the cheek thing to say hi, which I always find a bit weird). Am I happy being single?
Well, yes and no.

Do I want to be single for the rest of my life - heck no. I'd possibly go slightly crazy(-er than I already am). I like people too much to be myself my whole life. But at the same time, I'm fairly comfortable being single. To say that I love it, that I'm happy with it - that would be stretching it quite a bit. I do want to be in a relationship, quite a bit. But at the same time, it's not something I want to rush into. And it's not something I take lightly. Though, at the same time, I don't have a list as long as my arm of qualities potential girlfriends need to possess.

Now, I know people who have started dating - from fairly young - and are still together with the same person. And that's awesome that they met that person so early on. But that's not how it's going to happen for everybody - it might take you ages until you find someone that you fall for. And even then, the first person you fall for you won't necessarily end up with. If that does happen, you're doing very well.

And, being a single person - particularly as you get older - it can be quite disheartening, both seeing some people that just don't take it seriously and are with a new person every other month, and others your age who are in serious relationships, and looking to get married. I know at least half a dozen or so people born within about 3 years of me that are already married, and by this time next year I can guarantee you there will be a few more.

And sometimes, you feel like you could just try and compromise. Ask that quite nice looking girl that's displayed some interest in you. And maybe it will work out. Every person is different, and I can't tell you what will or won't work for you.

But for me - almost ever since I've been interested in girls (that was about year 9, and this was since year 10, so less than a year gap), there's been someone I've been interested in. Not the same person - I haven't quite been able to manage that - but I know that for me, starting a relationship with one person when I was interested in someone else just wouldn't work. So I've never really gone there, even when I've thought that it was a possibility.

And yes, I get down sometimes. And yes, I'd like to be in a relationship. And yes, I've had enough time by myself to last a lifetime. But at the same time, I know that everything has its time. Right now is the time for me to be single. Maybe it's so I can focus on some other things. I don't know exactly what God's planning. He shows me bits and pieces now and then, but he certainly likes to keep things to himself sometimes.

On that note - Segue! - you probably haven't noticed, but there are some posts that I share on Facebook, and there are some I don't. And then there are some things that I just don't post about. The things that I write up but I don't share, I feel almost a bit scared of what people will think. That fear - among others - is something I'm trying to fight this year.

And, as you're probably well aware while reading this, this isn't something I typically talk about. I'm very tight-lipped when it comes to relationships at all, generally speaking. This would usually be one I definitely wouldn't share on Facebook. Not so much for fear of ridicule or rejection, but more because it's not something I'm as comfortable with sharing with everybody, and you never know who's going to see it on Facebook.

But I'm going to do something radical, and share it anyway.
If you take this as a sign that I'm suddenly going to tell you everything about this sort of thing, however, you've got another thing coming.


  1. I can definitely relate to that uncomfortable uncertainty about the future mixed in with a bit of awkward contentment. I was never super upset about being single, but also never really brave enough to consider dating someone. I had no clue how it would work to live that way.. I guess the main fear is that your courage will be taken for granted and for me personally, it was. Nothing is worse than an unthoughtful and immediate response to an honest and vulnerable invitation. But I guess it's good to learn to deal with that.

    I'm not trying to convince you of anything, this is just how I've gone through and thought about things. I've been in a relationship for over 3 years and I'd gladly take as many hits you can throw to tell you that it's not to 'make you feel better' and to say that being in a relationship demands a lot more effort, energy, patience, forgiveness, hard decisions and sacrifices. NONE of those words should be taken lightly.. love costs you your whole self and who you thought you were and who you wanted to be.

    Disappointments will be guaranteed, but scary thing is that we don't get to choose which things will be the most disappointing. Paul really means it when he says marriage is good.. but singleness better.. The only way I see a relationship shine for God is when both parties are aglow with conviction and love for God, with humble hearts that yearn to share the message of the gospel. There are both secular and christian relationships all around me that simply 'ride the tides' of this world, their endeavours and struggles amount to no end in the glorification of Christ and his bride.. I've had a friend say this to me recently (he got married in January) : a marriage or relationship is basically taking 2 sinners and multiplying all their weaknesses and problems by 2. If you can barely live with your own sin, whether it be sinful habits or simply your love growing cold.. you can't live with another person with the same problems that will only magnify your doubts and struggles. Don't feel disheartened by the negativity though.. marriage was designed with perfection in mind and obviously we are far from that.

    There is much that man cannot do and there are so many things that would seem extremely impossible, but with God we can be capable of ANYTHING. So getting 'with' God on the whole marriage and gospel-mirroring thing must be the first place to start. And I'm far farfarfar far from how I want to end up, and I have noooo idea where my relationship is heading.. A lot of things like to get in the way. In a sentence, it sucks not knowing what will happen or what to do next.

    After being in a relationship for 3 years, I'm still feeling that uncomfortable uncertainty and awkward contentment, but not so much as "should I be in a relationship or not?", but rather, "what steps do I need to take to make this grow rather than decay?"

    Sorry for the massive text dump! Let me know how you think, especially if I've said anything out of context or incomplete or simply absurd and childish and unhelpful.. I'd love to catch up and chat. I don't do enough of that nowadays.

    1. Definitely agree with what you're saying there. Particularly with the 'multiplying weaknesses' bit - I think a lot of people (and me too, for a while) think that a relationship is a great way to solve all your problems. It doesn't. You're just in a relationship, with those problems.
      Thankfully, I've never had my courage 'taken for granted', as such, but I've never shown much to take, either.
      Definitely agree that being in a relationship is harder and more difficult than being single. Won't argue with that. But at the same time, I'd say it's more rewarding if you can make it work. It's just a lot harder to make work. It's like you multiply the good, as well as the bad.
      Yes, I'm well aware of my shortcomings. Thank goodness God's there, because otherwise I wouldn't be!
      Definitely. It's something you always have to work on, whether you've been in a relationship for 3 months, 3 years or thirty.
      And that's all good! I'm a bit of a dumper too, more often than not. Attempting to change that, do OK sometimes. Catching up would be good :) I've got a fair bit of time these days, so you're more than welcome to send me a message when you're free and we can organise something.


Please, tell me what you think. I'm not psychic, and I want to know :)