How to Cope When You Remain Single after Many Years
- Kris Swiatocho, Cliff Young
- 2016 22 Dec
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
I am a single man, 53 yrs. old. All my life I have desired to be in a committed relationship/marriage with a woman. It has never happened. I have prayed for years and God has not answered. In my waiting, I have made mistakes along the way and sometimes I think maybe that is why I still have no one. But I realize that is probably not true as God says he will remember our sins no more when we confess and turn from them. So what is it then? Why after all these years and countless prayers have my prayers not been answered? I try to go to Christian events where I may find singles, but have never met anyone. I have only dated twice in those 53 years, but it turned out that those people were not right for me. I don’t have women coming up to me or showing interest in me. I am not an unattractive guy and friends and coworkers have told me that I am a nice, kind guy. The desire for a spouse remains strong. So, what is this all about? What am I supposed to do? Where can I go to find someone?
No matter how disheartened we may be feeling in our circumstances, what we are going through individually is hardly an isolated case. Your question helps us all to realize none of us are alone in our aloneness.
I understand that doesn’t help in the personal sense, but we can find some solace knowing there are many thirty, forty, fifty and even sixty-somethings out there who feel the same way….and are still seeking for someone to live life together with.
We may never get all of the answers to our “why” questions, and can spend our lifetime asking them, but I have changed my perspective over the last couple of years. I have tried to wean myself off the desire of wanting to know “why,” but rather turn them into “how” questions for myself.
How am I going to spend this day, week or month ahead doing what God wants me to do utilizing the gifts He has given me?
How can I reach out to others and help them to live a life worthy of their calling?
How can I be the man God created me to be?
How can I put myself into situations where I can meet new people?
I think in the midst of that, you will not only discover things about yourself you didn’t realize (both positive and negatively), improve upon those and other areas, and become a better-rounded person. You will also be “noticed” by those you are in contact with along the way.
What I’ve found in my solo journey is that I have to push myself each and every day to be in community with others. However comfortable it may feel to stay (and commiserate myself) in my own self-managed “cocoon” I have to get out.
It takes sacrifice to become better - whether it’s energy, money, time, prayer or a combination of them all. We have to invest in ourselves in order to make a difference in our lives.
Embrace the life you have not the one you want, and things will begin to change.
As I read this question I hear the many yearnings of fellow single friends saying the same thing. You said you go to many singles events and Christian events and yet no one seems interested or there’s no one to meet. You also said you have prayed and prayed and nothing has happened. When I hear this from singles I have to ask them about how they have prayed. What is keeping you from getting married? Are there any concerns that perhaps are blocking this step? Because if you truly desire marriage and believe it’s God’s will for your life then there might be something blocking this step.
Here are a few steps to try:
1. Find a very close friend, maybe someone who is married, and ask them to tell you the truth about yourself. Do they see anything in you that could prevent you from being married? While we often have friends that say, “you are a great guy,” real friends may be more honest.
2. Write down a list of anything that concerns you about marriage. Take some time in doing this. Our first concern usually has to do with the reality that God has not brought us anyone. But take the time and really pray about your concerns. I did this myself, and the list became very long. Some of the things on the list were: he might snore, what if he has kids or a horrible ex-wife, what if he has a ton of debt, what if he is a control freak, or what if he can’t accept my past failures, etc. The more I prayed the more I saw this huge list of concerns.
These concerns were literally blocking me from getting married. Sure, I had the hallmark mentally that he would come along when I wasn’t looking. But God doesn’t work that way. If you have concerns you haven’t dealt with, they might be blocking you from moving toward marriage. Take these concerns/worries one by one and allow the Holy Spirit to help you deal with them.
3. Tell God that you will accept whatever person he has for you. That you know he knows who you are and what you need. This may mean that she’s chubby, works at a minimum wage job she loves, has 2 kids from a previous relationship, and snorts when she laughs. You see, I think here is the issue. We say we want to be married that we want what God wants, but when it comes down to it, our list of what we want isn’t always what God wants for us. While it is important to have some kind of list, ultimately we have to trust God.
So, are you trusting God in every detail? Are you serious about praying, asking God to reveal anything in yourself that needs to change? Are you willing to trust God to the point that if he doesn’t bring you to them or vice versa, that God IS ENOUGH?
When you get to this point, life is easier. We are only on this earth a second compared to eternity. While I totally sympathize with what you are going through, I know there is more to life than getting married. Spend more time with Him, serve Him, build a community of faithful friends, and see how God will help your heart in those tough times. I know, because I am living it. Here are two scriptures that have helped me:
Psalm 37:4, Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Romans 5:1-2, Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
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Publication date: December 22, 2016