Christian singles are among the most frighteningly driven individuals one could ever meet. They want marriage more than any other group of people I’ve ever encountered, and they seem to expect it just as much as they want it. Why is this? Why Christians? Why the need? The desire? Is it the search for fulfillment? Is it part of some social expectation? Are singles scared of facing their own realities on their own? What about living attentively through their emotions and circumstances without another intimate person to care for them and be there with them? Is it spiritual?
Any way I slice it the single life seems to be a state of going instead of being–that it is treated more like an on-ramp/off-ramp between two roads: one being marriage and the other being a dating relationship. It’s just a means to an end. Even Christian dating books (and I bet you can imagine how many of those there are) suggest singleness to be a productive time for finding out what qualities you do want in a mate so when you do marry (and according to them, you will and should) you will be ready to make the proper choice. Or they encourage you to do the best with your circumstances that you can. Grow, if you can. Spend time on yourself, if you can. And for goodness sake, try hard to forget that you’re all alone and should be married making babies right now. If you can. And most likely, you can’t.
So what’s the big deal about singleness? Why do I suddenly feel the pressure to go looking for a mate? Why do I give in to the pressure? What good will it do to treat this stage of my life as an on-ramp to something worthwhile when it can simply be worthwhile on its own? Can I just be here and do my thing without making it a special project? Is there a reason why I should treat my singleness as a frightening anomaly that must be dealt with and handled and studied?
Since when is being single a project? It’s not. It’s just a part of life like any other. It’s not even a label or a curse or a reason to make a special Sunday/Sabbath School class to gather all the single freaks together into a little pen and then tell them, “We’re not pressuring you to get married. But until you are, we’re going to shine this spotlight on you and give you tips on dating and being the best wife/husband you can be so when you do date someone we can check up on you and give you more seminars and books and surveys and tests to make sure you’re doing it right. And then, well… you’ll be great because you’ll finally be married. Not that anything’s wrong with being single. Hey you, get back under the spotlight! We’re going to play the name game now…”
The single life is just life. Deal with it or be eaten alive.