Some Thoughts on Singleness

This post is going to be of a more personal nature, more like a journal entry than a blog post.
All my life, I’ve seen the devastation of failed relationships. (I started an earlier blog post with the line, “I never knew my father…” and I could have just as easily done so here.) My mother divorced and eventually remarried. The same is true of both of my sisters. And I knew a man while I was growing up who was so consistently desperate to be married he never paused to consider whether he was pursuing a good marriage. He’s been miserable ever since.
You can tear down, or you can build up. It’s just so much easier to tear down.
A friend of mine sent an old Onion article to me yesterday. It’s written from the perspective of a woman intent to keep her respective man in the friendzone. It’s hilarious, but also heartbreaking – I’ve been both people in that scenario.
I’m writing about this for two reasons.
1) It’s just weighing on me to think about all the people whose hearts are beginning to look like old stickers: torn off, reapplied, and torn off again. Today has been the most emotionally draining day I’ve had in months, and I think it’s because I’ve been thinking about these things. Heartache can cause damage by proxy, it would seem.
2) This started a conversation yesterday about how to avoid this trap. One friend said being up front with your intentions is the best route. (I have tried writing a full post on intentionality. I just can’t ever seem to agree with what I’ve written down). But it occurs to me why I’m rarely up front, myself: I take a very long time determining if people are worth investing in before I do so. How can I be up front when I don’t know if I even like someone? This applies beyond dating relationships to friendships as well. How can I turn a blind eye to the lessons of my past? At what point is caution harmful, like overdosing on antibiotics?
I’m usually open to advice of all kinds. I like to see what people think. I like to know if how I view something is novel or consistent with prevailing wisdom, or if I have a major blind spot. Advice here is beginning to get confusing, though. I’ve been told that I’m too nice; I’ve been told that I’m too much of a jerk. I’ve been told that it takes a while for my really likable traits to shine through, but I’ve seen some people seem to really like me right away. So I don’t know. But I can tell you this: there may be some hard and fast rules to dating, but none of those apply to personality traits. And all the guidance in the world does me no good at all if it fails to incorporate this simple fact: I’d much rather be single than miserable.

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2 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Singleness

  1. I think you should keeping writing here… I feel like your thoughts are not complete. I just have more questions about your thoughts here. Do you feel all relationships end in misery? Have relationships you’ve seen gone so awry that you’re deterred from pursuing one? What about being content in singleness and the truth that, for godly reasons, not all people get married. Is there mostly pressure from the world or your community who find it odd you are single, or are you accepted as you are?
    I’ve had a lot of thoughts on singleness and just the fact that I think the church has done a very poor job explaining purity in light of the fact that some people live most (or all) of their lives single. Why is there such a push to marry? Is it really biblical to encourage it as much as we are?
    And about the old sticker metaphor – remember that in Christ we are new creations. There may be some reality to that metaphor, but it lacks hope.

    • 1) I certainly don’t think that all relationships end in misery. Some are very beautiful things. I am not deterred at all about pursuing one, just ….I don’t know. Frustrated by all the obstacles and pitfalls.
      2) it’s fair to say that metaphor lacks hope. It would have been an appropriate time to redirect to Christ. That wasn’t the axe I had to grind.

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