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differently difficult: the toughest things about singleness

  • February 4, 2014
  • By Happy
  • 4 Comments
differently difficult: the toughest things about singleness

What is the absolute hardest thing about being a single Christian?  Well – if we all had to sum it up collectively, we’d probably have to go with, “Um… being single?”

There are likely actually hundreds of answers to that question, dependent on age, gender, culture, personality, and other circumstances; even in my own life, there have been different things at different times that have felt difficult that at other times haven’t been difficult at all.

For some of us, it’s finding a way to live with the tension of wanting something that God seems to be saying no to, while trying to be content with where we are in life.

For some of us, it’s figuring out how to be friends with someone of the opposite sex without wondering if there should or could be something more – and when (or if) to cross the line from friendship to dating.

For some of us, it’s dealing with feelings of rejection.  We’re the ones who weren’t wanted.  And these feelings can be magnified when there are parties or dinners or other events from which we’re excluded because we’re not married or don’t have a date.

photo courtesy of ©Depositphotos.com / toxawww

photo courtesy of ©Depositphotos.com / toxawww

For some of us, it’s working through the weird paradox of emotions we feel when our friends “finally meet ‘The One.'”  We’re ecstatic for them.  They’re our friends, and we want them to be happy.  At the same time… we kind of wish it had happened to us, and are therefore the slightest bit jealous.  And then there are all the changes this will mean…  *insert paradoxical emotional overload here*

And for some of us, it’s coming home at night to an empty home.  Sleeping alone, eating alone, making major life decisions alone.

All of these are things you might have guessed.

 

But here are two more that might surprise you:

For some of us, it’s not being able to date people who aren’t Christians.  I know, shocking, isn’t it?  But depending on where we live and the demographics of our churches – it can be seriously difficult to even find someone we’d want to date!  There are a lot of really nice people out there who aren’t Christians – and sometimes that whole thing about being unequally yoked feels like a yoke of its own.

And for some of us, it’s going to church, and being surrounded by awesome, amazing, happy families – and not having anyone to sit with.  There are snapshots of family life all around us, sermon after sermon targeted at marriage and family life, children’s ministries full of life and laughter.  And sometimes the longing is just too much for us, and we end up feeling lost, alone and forgotten – in the very place we should feel most found, loved, and valued.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  

More to come.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime – singles: I’m sure I haven’t touched on everything.  What’s the hardest thing about being single for you?

And if you’re married: what is one thing you can do to help your single friends navigate the things in their lives that are tough?

Please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

By Happy, February 4, 2014
  • 4
4 Comments
  • Audrey
    February 4, 2014

    Nail on the head, Happy…And for some of us, it’s going to church, and being surrounded by awesome, amazing, happy families – and not having anyone to sit with. There are snapshots of family life all around us, sermon after sermon targeted at marriage and family life, children’s ministries full of life and laughter. And sometimes the longing is just too much for us, and we end up feeling lost, alone and forgotten – in the very place we should feel most found, loved, and valued.

  • Happy
    February 4, 2014

    Thanks for commenting, Audrey! It’s so hard, isn’t it? I had a really tough time admitting that, actually, so I’m glad it spoke to you. The last thing I would want is for anyone who is part of an awesome, amazing, happy family to feel like I think they’re causing me heartache. I know it’s not intentional. But when it’s so built into our culture that the “ideal” Christian life includes getting married and having kids, it’s not surprising that we feel (and sometimes really are) left out. (Side-note: married people aren’t the only ones who don’t think about what our Sunday morning experience might be like. Even some of my single friends have walked right past me to sit by themselves somewhere else. Why do we do this?!)

    You are not alone in your experience. And if you’re ever back for a visit, I will gladly sit with you!! 🙂

  • Happy
    February 4, 2014

    p.s. I neglected to mention at the end of this post – I am again indebted to the awesome singles who agreed to be interviewed for the majority of its content. Most of them requested to remain anonymous, and in the safety of that anonymity shared some truly vulnerable thoughts. Thank you, friends!

  • Steve Yi
    February 5, 2014

    Loving this series!

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Meet Happy

Thanks so much for visiting Simple Felicity! My name is Happy. I have an amazing talent for misplacing my keys, a deep appreciation for whomever looked at the coffee bean and thought, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I roasted this?", and road trips to Michigan are pretty much my favorite.

Simple Felicity is, at its heart, a blog based on the unshakeable belief that happiness really isn't all that complicated. Sometimes finding it can be - but happiness itself is pretty simple, and it's often found in the simplest of things: good food, good books, and good company. So those are the things I write about, along with a few other things that really matter to me, including faith and femininity.

Contact me anytime at simplefelicity7 (at) gmail (dot) com! I'd love to hear from you.

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