OK, it’s time to get personal here. It’s not that I’m complaining … well, OK, I’m complaining a tiny bit. I just need to vent a little. When I say this, I speak for my twenty-something unmarried crowd of kindred spirits. *deep breath*  HOW DO I HANDLE ALL THE WELL-MEANING MATCHMAKERS OUT THERE?

Perhaps I should give a little background. I’m 26 and unmarried. I have many other friends, both male and female, coming from the home school world who are around my age and also unmarried. For those folks, this is background enough! They know where I’m going with this. For those of you are not in this demographic, I will spell it out as clearly as I can:  Singleness is an awkward time for us!

Although we men have (hopefully) been encouraged since early in our lives to treat women with respect and chivalry, nowadays a public act of chivalry causes people to approach you and say, “So, *wink, wink* are you guys an item? Well, ARE YOU?” And women, who might happen to be on the receiving end of a public act of chivalry get rushed immediately afterwards as well: “Does he LIKE you? Well, DOES HE?” And if you happen to be friends with the other person, it becomes difficult to have a normal friendship when each action is being constantly scrutinized for romantic overtones.

This is not a new phenomenon. Eight years ago at my small Christian college, I was somewhat slow to pick up on the fact that if you walked across campus with a member of the opposite sex within a 15-foot radius (whether you spoke or not), you were considered engaged by dinner time. Chivalry wasn’t even  a factor. I was quite surprised to discover how many people I had “dated” by the time I graduated – especially since I didn’t date!

Need another example? This is a doozy. I was attending a post-election function last November in Washington, D.C. A bunch of Regent University students were riding a bus from Virginia Beach to attend the event. For some reason, I couldn’t ride the bus on the way up, but I happened to find a friend-girl (my buddy Dale-the-Drummer’s term for a female friend who is just a friend) here at Regent who was driving up a little later. This was wonderful, because I was really tired and I wound up sleeping most of the three-hour drive to D.C. As we pulled up to the hotel ballroom where the event was being held, she parked the car and we both got out.

Now, this was a very nice event, so people were really dressed up and we were no exception. I smiled and started to joke that it probably looked like we were going to the prom or something. Just before I made the joke, I turned … and bumped into Mike Farris! Seeing his meaningful, questioning look, I had to launch into the full explanation, which boiled down to “She’s not my date, just my ride.” That pretty much set a pattern for the rest of the evening: I ran into MORE PEOPLE that night that knew me. Sheesh! Bless their hearts, I’m sure all of them were waiting for wedding announcements. Don’t hold your breath.

After a highly technical, elaborate, and comprehensive survey conducted by yours truly,  I asked some friends what they thought.  I have come up with just a few of the more common incidents illustrating these matchmaking attempts. [Plagiarism Alert: I stole the line about the survey from Ben Domenech.] Now, I can’t say that ALL of these have happened to me … well, actually, yes, they all have!  

1.      The “we’re married or engaged or courting and you should be too!” phenomenon – This one has particularly come to my attention because of all the weddings I attend. When two people are married/engaged/courting, they tend to want to be around other couples and do “couple stuff.” (I realize I’m being somewhat stereotypical, but just go with me.) Therefore, it becomes their solemn DUTY to fix their friends up with each other so that they will have other couples to hang out with. Resist the urge! I want to give kudos to all of my young married/engaged/courting friends who have invited me to dinner without conveniently happening to *wink, wink* “have another old friend in town for the evening.” *wink, wink*