I mean, I could blame a lot of other things, I suppose; Hallmark, married friends, hormones, chocolate, chick flicks….but I really think it’s just the time of year.
You know what I mean: Valentine’s Day.
AKA, Singles Awareness Day.
You know how Valentine’s Day got this new nickname? Of course you do. It was so dubbed by the single, bitter masses who don’t like having their status rubbed in their faces every February the 14th.
I really don’t consider myself bitterly single—at least the majority of the time—but there are days. Like Valentine’s Day. Now, I have at least one friend who argued with me adamantly that V-Day is not just about romantic love, that’s it’s not just for couples. There is some truth to this; however, that’s just not the way it’s painted for the most part. Just as Christmas has largely lost its beautiful, deeper meaning in our materialistic culture, so Valentine’s Day, too, has become focused mainly on romantic love.
That’s really not so bad; it’s just that it always seems to come right around a time when I’m already struggling with issues connected to my singleness. Recently, for example, I was reading some articles on Boundless, a Webzine in affiliation with Focus on the Family. Overall, it’s a really good resource for people in their twenties; but their preoccupation with marriage frequently alarms me.
I think marriage is a good and honorable thing, but I don’t think it’s for everyone. And I think far too many people rush into it today as it is. Their view is that most people ought to be married, and those of us who are still single in our late twenties ought to consider what we could be doing to head toward marriage. At first, I was affronted by these assertions. Then one night, I took some time and read their articles directed toward young single women like me. At the end of the night, I was frustrated and rather depressed. You might think articles titled “Finding a Husband” or “Pulling a Ruth” might be very helpful; but unfortunately, they weren’t for me.
Ultimately, I came to kind of a startling conclusion. I sat and thought about what it is that’s really important to me right now. I realized that as much as I’d like to be married someday, it’s not at the top of my priority list. If it was, maybe the advice offered by Candace Watters might have been more helpful. But for several reasons, that’s just not my main goal right now:
- I don’t really feel ready for marriage. I don’t know if anyone really is ready for everything marriage requires, but I think at some point I ought to be on my own and providing for myself before I “settle down.”
- My deepest desire right now is to use the gifts I have in writing and relating stories to reach people and help them connect to God. That this was a deeper desire even than marriage kind of shocked me; but it’s true. I have to be faithful to what God has given me and how He made me.
- I really don’t think that any of the guys I know right now (and there aren’t many who are single and my age) are “for me.” I’m pretty picky, and not just superficially; see my post on Singleness. I’m not totally closed to the idea; I just don’t see it happening.
- I’m not desperate enough. I don’t mean this to sound disparaging. But I know I would have to really be desperate to use an online dating service, or to start “networking” with people who “might know somebody” for me (as Boundless suggests). And I’m not. I don’t want it so badly that I’m willing to use whatever resource is necessary, and maybe that’s my problem.
- But I really feel that if it’s going to happen for me, then it’s just going to happen. I don’t mean that I wouldn’t have to do any work, just that my work wouldn’t be in the “finding the man” department. Why do I feel this way? I don’t know, except that many of the important things in life have just "happened" without me seeking them out (college, and most of my jobs). Is it too fatalistic? Is it too naïve? Maybe.
The good news is, no matter what I feel about Valentine’s Day or Singleness or Marriage, God is in control. He is the one I ultimately answer to for my convictions, so if I’m wrong, sooner or later He’ll show me.
Until then, I’m going to try viewing S.A.D. as something positive: I’m single right now, but not necessarily forever. My awareness of my status could be of its temporal fleetingness, and a reminder to use my time wisely (as opposed to pining over something I don’t have). Maybe some V-Day down the road, I’ll be viewing it through different eyes and revel in the celebration of romantic love.
Or maybe not. Only Time will tell.
|The Keys to Your Heart|
*In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved. (Why should I have to guess?)
You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.
*You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic. (Or never date them in the first place.)
*Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.
*Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage something you've always wanted... though you haven't really thought about it. (No, girls never think about marriage.)
In this moment, you think of love as something you don't need. You just feel like flirting around and playing right now.
(Don't know if all that is entirely true, but it was fun anyway.)