Let me introduce to you the super-single person. Chances are you’ve met one before. They look something like this:
Only one thing missing from this otherwise pristine picture: a significant other. Why? What’s the motivation? Do they LIKE being like that? Read on, my curious comrades, and I will explain to you the secrets of this intriguing condition – the good, the bad, and the strange…and in the wake of any shocking discoveries that you might make about yourself as you read, I will offer some personal advice on the matter.
What makes me an expert, you might ask? Because I myself have, from time to time, donned the cape of the notorious super-single person.
Now, let’s get one thing straight. Not all single people are super-singlers. Many single people may outwardly appear to look just like a super-single person, but there’s one key difference – they admit to and are working towards a realistic relationship. Super-single people…don’t. Of course, there’s also celibates, eunuchs, people who don’t have a sex drive, etc. More power to them…this article is not for them.
The genesis of a super-singler can come in a variety of ways. Perhaps they were hurt in the past by a relationship. Or maybe they felt they needed to better themselves before being in a relationship. So they surround themselves with work, school, organizations, etc. All of this can be quite valid, and actually really good.
HOWEVER. There’s a risk associated with this sort of practice.
When someone has to find other things to devote their time to, they can become so entrenched in those things that they lose touch with Relationship Reality. They’ll never realize it, because they’re too busy living vicariously through rom-coms on Friday nights and adding #57 to their list of Spousal Requirements. Relationships become a simply a notion; a jumbled mess involving fluffy clouds, a picnic on a white-and-red-checkered tablecloth, and the Eiffel Tower. Ta-dahhhh! Super-single person is born!
So, super singlers, here’s my first point of advice: don’t lose sight of Relationship Reality.
Here’s the other kryptonite of super-single people: FEAR. It’s like, if you don’t hop on the relationship bandwagon immediately, it really puts the “intimi” into the “date”, know what I’m saying? Super-single people feel behind, feel inadequate, feel like they don’t want to know how “unlikable” they could potentially be. “Easier to pretend I’m ok without that person than finding out that I didn’t have a chance with them anyway”.
So, second point of advice: tell the world, “I’m SINGLE! COME AND GET ME!”
(I’m sort of joking, but actually, I have a friend who had his facebook account “hacked” by some buddies which left him with a very similar plea on his facebook status…and one week later, he began to date the girl he is now married to. So…food for thought.)
More realistically, just admit – first to yourself, then, if you wish, to some friends – that you’d actually like to be in a relationship. Friends can be quite good at playing matchmaker for you, which might provide you with a good kick out of the door of your solitary confinement.
For those of you who might be romantically interested in a super-single person, I’d say just try to spend time with them and look for common ground. Especially in the realm of life goals, beliefs, etc, and hope that they will see the light.
It’s really fairly simple, so I won’t make this article long – but I do need to balance what I’m saying here, just so you’re not getting the wrong idea.
I am NOT saying a human relationship is the be-all-end-all. I don’t believe any human relationship is. If you’re single and happy right now, ENJOY IT! You need that time in your life…most people need to hear that message before this one. So yes, don’t depend on another human for your value, or sacrifice your core values and passions on the altar of “love”.
BUT, if you let fear, insecurity, and fluffy-rainbowy-Mr.-Right-will-solve-all-my-problems snootiness cause you to deny a desire that God gave you – that will also take its toll. It’s ok to admit you’re not super-single person. There really is no such thing. You don’t have to put on a show. Just understand this:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
This article is a first step, not the whole instruction manual, so what you choose to do with this is up to you and the Lord. If you’re confused by anything else in this article, just take from it this one thing: don’t make a plan for your life that replaces relationships with activities. The Lord did not make us to be alone, and hey – you owe your life the fact that somebody else…wasn’t!
For more advice on relationships, I highly recommend Danny Silk’s Define the Relationship series. I also wrote an article a few years back called Sex, Virginity, Single-ness and So On… which hashes out other aspects of this topic.