It’s been a weird few weeks. A few weeks full of, catching up with old friends, essay-writing, sermon-preparing, working and writing. One thing that has struck me, is how many people I know who are dissatisfied with singledom. People who see that little heart connecting two names on Facebook and sigh, wondering when it will be their turn. People who love their friends to pieces but get a little bit annoyed every time they mention their other half. Sometimes, I count myself among these people. I look around at the love and couple-ness and sigh.
But I also feel privileged to have friends who invite me to their wedding and allow me to be a part of their love for one another by sharing their hopes and dreams for their lives together. It excites me that God has made these two people who just ‘fit’. Who want the best for each other and delight in the strange foibles and oddities of each other.
It would be so easy to be bitter and impatient and frustrated with singledom. It’s easy to wish it away and not pay attention to it because we have our eyes on stalks looking for possible partners.Yet, there is a lot to be learnt about love when you are single. To learn that you are a whole person without an ‘other half’ is an important lesson. Surely being in love, should allow us to better become the people were made to be. That the unconditional love of another person can help us see ourselves in a different light. It should not make us into carbon copies of our partners. It has the potential to encourage us to be more true to ourselves – not less so.
And if we can begin to learn while we are single that one day, the parts we despair of the most, can become the parts that give another hope – it might just make the love we have later all the stronger.
Some people are called to singledom, but I do not believe that it is a better or worse state than being part of a couple. Both states give enormous insight and both call for enormous courage. The courage to hold yourself up and not let bitterness eat away at you. The courage to allow someone into the deepest parts of you.
I’m not saying that singleness isn’t hard sometimes. Of course it is. But so too is being in a relationship. They are just different.
We were created for relationship, but we have also been created as individuals.
Let us make the most of both.