I’m in my 30’s. I’m single. I’m over it. I recently attended a wedding, and during the ceremony the pastor mentioned that, before they met each other, both the bride and groom had been wondering if they should pray for contentment in their singleness. Honestly, that is a thought I have never had. I guess I assumed that, should I be content in my singleness, it wouldn’t be something I would need to pray for. After all, God gives us the desires of our hearts, right? So if I want to be married… I’ll get there someday. If I’m going to be single forever, my heart will change without me having to ask God to change it, right? Maybe, maybe not.
But where is the balance in all of this? Where’s the balance between throwing myself at a guy vs hinting that I’m interested vs waiting for someone who thinks I’m worth pursuing? Where is the line between being content in the waiting and giving up hope?
don’t you love hearing married people talk about being content with singleness? it’s like telling an Ethiopian you were hungry once. it’s not that they don’t know how you feel, it’s just that they have forgotten how not helpful it is to say something like that to you.
do i think you need to pray for contentment in your singleness? no. if you want to pray (and praying is good), pray for your steps to be led everyday whether they lead you to a spouse or not. maybe that way you’ll run right into someone else walking the same path. it is certainly not wrong to also pray for the right person to come along. nor is wrong to pray for contentment in your singleness. asking for that does not mean you’ve given up or that there is no one out there for you, it only means that you don’t want to be so churned up all the time and could use some peace.
the balance in the pursuit and/or being pursued is not all that tough. throwing yourself? no. hinting? no. waiting? no. making yourself available? yes. it’s perfectly acceptable to suggest coffee or strike up conversation or straight up tell him he should ask you out. none of those things are too much in my never humble opinion, but they do require you to be an active participant in your own romantic future. just not in a crazy stalker way.
the unfortunate truth that nobody wants to talk about is there are no assurances of marriage for anyone. that totally blows and isn’t fun to hear or say or even think about, but it is the truth. i wish it wasn’t. even though that might put me out of a job. all you can do is fill your life with things you enjoy, accomplishments that are your own, a firm sense of self worth and hope. never let yourself get bitter or lose hope. easy for me to say, i know. i’m one of those insensitive married people. and a hypocrite when i tell not to pay much attention to those stupid platitudes people like me throw at you.
the answer is whatever allows you to wake up looking forward to another day. if somebody says they have a formula for that, they’re lying and/or lying. but i do not doubt God wants you to have the desire of your heart, so there’s a heckuvalot of hope to be gained from that.
oh so sincerely,
what other advice do you have for our frustrated friend?