When Singleness Kicks Into Survival Mode
- 2003 1 Oct
"So, have you met someone special yet?"
While this seemingly innocent question is always asked with the best of intentions in the most polite manner possible, it's still the question dreaded by anyone who's single. Your palms become sweaty, your heart starts to race, and if your answer is indeed "no," you begin searching for the best and most clever answer.
When responding, you almost become your own publicist of sorts, touting your most convincing pitch in precise press release form. "No, I guess it's just not the right time. I'm just taking some time out for me right now and focusing on work, hobbies et el." And after you've said that-usually very unconvincingly-you think "Gee, I really get tired of giving this sorry answer. I wish something would just change or that people would simply quit asking." After all, it wouldn't always seem so bad to be single if we weren't constantly being prodded and reminded of this unorthodox, undesirable status.
But is being single really as undesirable as we think? Can our "press release" answers to family and friends really come from an authentic place of contentment in going solo until the right person comes along? I've been pondering this question a lot lately. Sure, when Sunday morning rolls around, and I end up going to church by myself in a sea of happily married couples with adorable children, I really feel it. Or when I'm out on a Friday night with my girlfriends among the hand-holding, kissing-each-other in-public couples, I feel it. But for the most part, life without dating isn't really that bad. And in some cases, it's more drama-free than when I am dating.
While it feels like a pat answer when I'm feeling particularly lonely, being single is a time for figuring out who you are, what you like and who God wants you to be. When I think about how I was when attending a Christian university and wanting more than anything to be married at 20 like everyone else, I thank God for his foresight in not giving me what I thought I wanted at that moment. There's no way I was ready for it. No excuses there, just honesty.
Instead of the more well-rounded person (and I don't mean weight-wise, mind you) I am now -- the person who spontaneously moved from Minneapolis to Nashville to achieve my career dream of writing for CCM Magazine -- I would've been exactly like Julia Roberts' character in Runaway Bride. Something that always stood out to me about the movie is that women are often a lot like Maggie Carpenter. Even I was someone whose likes and dislikes often mirrored whatever man I was interested in at the moment-whether that was true to myself or not. And ultimately by story's end, she even realized she had to figure out what she liked and didn't like and pursue her personal and professional dreams to effectively function on her own before being ready for a healthy marriage relationship.
So while I still get frustrated at those nosy types who ask me the dreaded "So have you met someone special yet?" question, I'm beginning to understand that for the most part, they're just trying to make conversation. I'm still young but am at society's "right" age to get married, so of course they're going to ask. And one day, I know the answer will be a different one.
But in the meantime, I have the unique opportunity to grow and accomplish the dreams that God's put in my heart before all the joys and hassles of having a permanent roommate begin. And that's a press release statement I don't have to cringe about making.
Christa Farris currently lives in Nashville, Tenn. where she serves as the Editor for CCMmagazine.com, the Books and Music Editor for CCM Magazine and the Managing Editor of Special Projects for Salem Publishing.