Stigma of Singleness

Stigma of Singleness

When I was in my 20’s, my friends and I didn’t want to be labeled as “singles” we preferred “young professionals”. We didn’t want our singleness to be an identifier. There seems to be a stigma associated with the word “single”, that you’re desperate, and potentially willing to compromise too much, and are too focused on how to not be “single”. Although there are certainly people out there that fall into that category of single, it’s not true of all singles.

Some singles are in a healthy place emotionally with their desires and their single state. I certainly put myself in this categroy. Let me just say it for the record though, it’s okay to want to be married. Although I think most people would agree with that statement, somehow there seems to be this underlying current (perhaps only in the church world) that it’s not ok. We’re often told to be content in our singleness, that we need to focus on God, and that somehow magically when we aren’t looking, then it will happen. I remember hearing this quote in college, and to some extent buying into the lie that there is a formula to it. “God is like the sun, men are like trees. If you stare at the sun, you’ll run into a tree.”

In the past several years as I’ve seen my friend’s love stories unfold, I’ve observed that there is absolutely no formula to it. So read all of the Christian dating books that you want, but just so you know if you follow all of the steps, stand on your head, put your finger in your ear, and “date God” for a year, it’s not going to move you any closer or further away from marriage.

Now keep in mind I’m speaking of the emotionally healthy single, and along with that does come some contentment in where you are at in life. For example, I love my life, I mean really enjoy my life. I have some stellar friends, a great church and ministry, an incredible job, etc. etc. I’m happy, even content, but that doesn’t mean that I’m complacent about my single state.

I do have to find that balance though as does everyone between how much effort I make, and how much I rely on God to provide. I think it’s appropriate to focus on bettering myself as a person, and being the right person, but I also think it’s appropriate to put myself in the right place and be open to meeting single guys. Trusting that God is going to provide the right one for me, if I’m faithful to make myself available.

So for once in my life, I’m okay with being labeled single, as long as you aren’t attaching that stigma to it.