I am the Charlie Brown of blind dates.
Not that I’m looking to go on blind dates. But as a single girl with a majority of married friends, it seems that everyone has some ‘Nice Guy’ in their back pocket they expect me to want to try on for size.
But the hilarious thing is that every time someone attempts to set me up with someone, they magically end up in a relationship a few weeks later. For real. This has happened a good four or five times!
Probably my favorite was at the beginning of this summer.
My sister had led on a youth trip and had met another leader she thought I ‘just had to meet.’ After some carousing from her, I agreed that she could give the guy my number… mainly because he wasn’t going to call.
And no, this isn’t one of those I-gave-up-on-the-thought-and-then-just-as-I-lost-faith-the-guy-called-and-now-we’re-married posts. Because I was right and he didn’t call… because honestly, that would have been weird. (Hi, your sister sent me your number via Facebook because she thinks I need to go out with more girls…) But this experience caused me to feel a little pressure from home and from myself.
I love my parents and sister, don’t get me wrong. They want good things from me and want to see my life move forward in whatever way God sees fit. But with talk of this around the dinner table, I couldn’t help but feel that maybe I was missing out on something.
I mean, at twenty-two, shouldn’t I have gone out with more people by now? Shouldn’t I have more guy friends that I haven’t gained through marriage to my girl friends? And then of course the age old question of all slightly socially-awkward bookworm girls everywhere: Is there something wrong with me?
Overwhelmed by a sense of impending spinsterhood and the projected baby-fever of my family (alright, perhaps there’s some hyperbole here…) I asked a friend if she would go to coffee with me. She is a awesome single lady in her mid-twenties and I just wanted to pick her brain on how she handled this kind of pressure.
Talking with her, I was able to wrestle with some of the lies within my own heart, as well understand that those in my life wanting me to look for love only were doing so because they themselves loved me. We worked through my neurotic questions together and I came away with some wisdom and a little more gumption to enjoy where I’m at.
So at twenty-two, is it bad that I haven’t dated a ton? Not really. I mean, yeah marriage is a thought in my mind, but it’s not a priority, like say, breakfast tomorrow or something. I’ve got time and God knows what he’s doing with that time be it dating, marriage, or otherwise.
And I don’t have a lot of guy friends. Should I be concerned? Not totally, but it’s probably healthy to put yourself in some co-ed situations. So I’m trying to get plugged in with the singles group at my church. Turns out about half of the world’s population doesn’t like Pride & Prejudice (ie. men) so I should probably learn how to communicate with them about other things…
So is there something wrong with me? Don’t tell me you haven’t asked yourself this question. It’s easy to ask when the longing is heavy and the loneliness endless. My wonderful friend was able to affirm in me what I want to affirm in you:
You aren’t single because there is something wrong with you. You are single because that is the season in which you are currently placed. Seasons do not last forever. Sometimes it seems like it will, but that is just a lie. You never know what God may have around the corner. That’s not for us to know. Our job is to wait and trust and find joy in where we are, even when it seems like a burden.
You are a beautiful daughter of the king. And that king has planed beautiful things for you, my friend. Be that a relationship, marriage, grand adventures, refusing to become a cat lady… There are endless possibilities and hope. There is always hope.
Alright, so how does this tie into my Charlie-Brown-blind-dating intro? I’m getting there, I promise!
A couple weeks after our coffee date, my friend and I met up again for dinner. She asked me how I was doing with the home/self-imposed pressure.
God has really been working on my heart this summer in the areas of contentment and gratitude and I was able to tell her honestly that I am happy to be where I am. Yes, I would like a relationship someday, but for now I am pleased to be where God has me.
Just as I voiced this, the guy my sister had tried to set me up with walked past the window by where I sat. I watched as he met up with a girl very obviously for a first date. I couldn’t help but laugh and point it out to my friend. Of all the restaurants of all the nights and of all the people. It was just too funny.
And really I could laugh with no disappointment. God knows what he’s doing and I can trust that.
I am finding that I would much rather go on single than be in a relationship I have to grasp and manipulate to make happen. We’ll just see how God responds to that thought.
In the mean time, what are some awkward blind date experiences you’ve had? Any strange set-up hi-jinx in your world?
7 thoughts on “The 3 Questions That Have Emerged from My Singleness”
Oh friend, there are so many things RIGHT with you. I hope you can see that. First off, your humor. ” Turns out about half of the world's population doesn't like Pride & Prejudice (ie. men) so I should probably learn how to communicate with them about other things.” I laughed out loud. Second, that you are focusing on growing and following God's leading (not culture's). And third, among so many, you have such a smart head on those young shoulders. Young! Yes, so young, and so wise. I can't wait to see how God leads you in the next decade.
Beautiful thoughts, Alexis, and so important for many young women (who think there's something “wrong with them”) to hear. Well done.
Amelia, this was so encouraging. Thank you for your kind words, the really mean a lot!
Will I see you at Jot on Friday?
Thanks, Erika! I appreciate that. I figure if I've felt it, probably someone else has too, so I might as well share my experience 😉
Sigh. I wrote something for you… and then, poof! Thank you, Google. So I will try to re-conjure up my initial thoughts for you.
You are lovely all the way through your core. Absolutely not a thing wrong with you. Any lack of interest has far, FAR more to do with who HE is than with who YOU are. Men of the quality you deserve are simply rarer. I'm not single, so maybe you'll take the rest of what I say with a grain of salt. Then again, being married, I understand what a marriage requires (and escaped marrying the wrong one), so maybe you'll see the truth here: It is better to be without a man than to be with the wrong one simply to have one. So while you wait and see what God has planned for your life (and you know He has wonderful things planned), enjoy the unique freedoms and flexibility singleness can have. Travel. Be impetuous. Make decisions and take risks knowing you are the only one affected. Read books and eat lunch without 1,000 interruptions. Some day, you may very well have that husband and kids, requiring you to set those aside, which you will happily do. To everything, there is a season – and its silver lining.
Jennifer, this was so encouraging to read. Thank you for your thoughts and advice. I could take this with a grain of salt, or I could take this as thoughtful words from a woman who has passed this way before and is offering her wisdom. I greatly appreciate your words. Thank you for commenting!
Yes I will be at JOT. Whohoo!!