It’s such a pervasive lie that it almost always sounds and feels like the truth.
It is promoted by society and culture, movies, songs, novels and well-meaning friends.
This lie that the culture keeps feeding us,
keeps shoveling down our throats through our screens and our movies and our words,
to be fulfilled, to be a success, to be happy,
you must have a significant other.
A boyfriend. A girlfriend. A husband. A wife.
The idea is — you cannot be complete without romantic love.
Get a person!
Don’t be alone.
Happiness is not happiness until it is shared.
Til death do us part.
It’s tricky to write about love or marriage or singleness or what have you because we all come to the table with our own story, our own baggage. We’ve got the history of the people who raised us and the history of the people whose relationships we have either admired or wanted to swing hard against. We’ve got these ideals and expectations in our hearts and in our minds – some well thought out and some deep within our subconscious.
And it’s an idea I am just beginning to learn how to wrestle.
Why is it viewed so negatively – this idea of being alone?
Because I’m certainly not alone, of course. I’m not all alone, despite the fact that I am without a spouse.
In fact, I am so rarely physically alone that it is downright noteworthy when I find myself thus. People comment on it if I leave the house in such a state. While this is still mostly always true today, it was even more so entirely true just a few years ago. My kids are growing up and the clingy neediness of a toddler or a newborn has long since passed.
Why are we afraid of being alone?
Why do we secretly feel sorry for our single friends and pray that they will meet a life long mate?
I’m certainly not trying to declare one state as better than the other here. Marriage vs Singleness. But I think as a culture we do declare one state to be superior – particularly in the Christian culture, we assume that marriage is better than non marriage.
It’s complicated – right?
I liked being married. I liked gigantic parts and aspects of that season of my life. (Some parts and portions I liked less. Marriage is no steady love boat, people.) And, although I would have most certainly stayed married my entire life had the choice been mine alone, I do not hate being unmarried currently. Yes, there are sections and bits of being alone that really stink. And there are bits and sections of being alone that are pretty fantastic. Both. Isn’t that the most accurate view of our whole romantic situations anyway, if we’re honest? Being married is hard. Being single is hard. Life is hard. Being married is wonderful. Being single is wonderful. Life is wonderful. Both.
I’d written out these thoughts here months ago. Flipping them around in my mind – feeling all the ways about it all all the time.
Yesterday I read the following quote by Elisabeth Elliot (for whom my Mosely is named after, Mosely Elliot) and I thought that yes, she understands me. Yes, she has this juxtaposition exactly accurate. (And I appreciate the fact that she is a woman who understands, having been both married and single after her spouse passed away.)
Single life may be only a stage of a life’s journey, but even a stage is a gift.
God may replace it with another gift, but the receiver accepts His gifts with thanksgiving.
This gift for this day.
The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived—not always looked forward to as though the “real” living were around the next corner.
It is today for which we are responsible.
God still owns tomorrow.
— Elisabeth Elliot
It’s the perfect quote for me to finally be able to push publish on these ramblings.
My real life is right now.
Yours is too.