Sometimes being single rocks. Other times…well, it’s less than awesome.
Here’s 5 Reasons Being Single Sucks:
1) Weddings. And engagements.
Though joyous occasions, the act of going to a wedding or a shower can be a bit emotionally draining when you’re single. It’s not that you feel no shred of happiness for the person or couple you’re celebrating, but it can be a stark reminder of what you want but don’t yet have–and may never have. Add in the likelihood of seeing family members or friends who feel the need to ask how your love life is, and it’s a recipe for roughness. They aren’t always so bad, but the potential is there.
2) You don’t have one specific person you can always talk to.
Personally, I’m very blessed to have a lot of wonderful friends and family I can talk to about pretty much everything, and I do my best to appreciate that about my life—but it’s not the same as always going to the same person with whatever is making me happy, frustrated, sad, excited, and any and everything else. Instead of sharing all those things with one specific person, and, in turn, being the one person someone else shares all their things with, when you’re single, you tend to spread them out among a variety of people.
3) Sometimes it’s the little things that slap you in the face and remind you you’re single but would prefer not to be.
For me, it’s seeing couples in the grocery store, working as a team to gather everything on their list as quickly as possible, then helping each other lug it all to the car and pack it in carefully. There’s something about grocery shopping that frequently makes me feel my singleness more poignantly, but it can be brought on by almost anything–a song on the radio, sitting behind a family in church, or the odd memory that comes bubbling to the surface. Slap. The unexpected sting of singleness.
4) Even well-meaning people can make hurtful comments.
“You’re so great, I don’t know why you’re still single.” On the surface, it’s kind of a compliment, but it can subtly unearth the lurking fear that maybe you’re really not all that great, and that’s why you’re single.
“Be thankful, singleness is a gift.” Marriage is also a gift.
“Get right with God and he’ll surprise you.” It seems to imply that all married people have perfect relationships with God, and that there must be some major sin in the life of the single person and that’s why they’re still single. Worse, it reduces God to a sort of cosmic vending machine–Insert Good Relationship With God, Receive Spouse.
(Also, I can’t resist recommending this cheeky BuzzFeed, “24 Things Single People Are Tired of Hearing.”)
5) The not knowing if being single is a season, or forever.
I’ve said that if I could know for sure that I will get married at some point in the future, I could handle it a lot better. But there are no guarantees. For me, this is one of the hardest parts of being single. Statistcally speaking, most people do get married at some point in their lifetime–but not all. I’ve never been one to handle uncertainty well, and not knowing if I’ll ever get married is one of the scariest uncertainties of all.
It’s easy for me to get caught up in the idea that marriage is objectively better than singleness. It’s probably telling that as I worked on this post, the reasons being single sucks came to mind a lot more quickly the reasons being single rocks. But despite the way that culture (and even moreso Christian culture) often seems to prize marriage over singleness, I don’t believe one is better than the other–even though I may sometimes think and act like it. Really, they’re just different.
The point of this post is not to complain about being single (earlier in the week I celebrated it), but to draw attention to the fact that there are upsides and downsides of any relationship status—any phase of life, really. If they’re honest, I think most married couples would say there are things that suck about being married. They’d also say there’s things that rock. There are things that suck and things that rock about every phase, and life is about learning to live in–and appreciate–the balance.
Til next time…
p.s. Are you single? Married? What’s your favorite part of the phase of life you’re in right now?