Feb 132013 6 Responses

The Single Life And Valentine’s Day

While in seminary I was offered a job as a pastor to single adults. Everyone I asked told me not to take the job.

“Watch Bridget Jones’ Diary and you’ll understand,” some said.

“They are single for a reason,” others said.

I ignored the advice and took the job. It was one of the best decisions of my life. While I was probably useless to them, they were great for me. My wife is prone to say, “single adults are like married adults but more fun.” One of my favorite church goers always told me, “Single women are skinnier than married women because single women take one look at what’s in the fridge and then go to bed, but married women take one look at what’s in the bed and go to the fridge.”

On a regular occasion I have the opportunity to speak with single adults who desperately desire to be married. My heart goes out to them not because they aren’t married but because life is not going as they wish.

Here are a few thoughts if you are single, but want to be married:

Realize happiness and satisfaction are often unrelated to marital status. While studies have shown an initial bump in happiness and life satisfaction during the honeymoon phase of marriage, within two years most report the same level of happiness as before they got married. Marriage does not make a person happy. As a matter of fact, instead of some being unhappy because they aren’t married it could be that some people are not married because they are unhappy. Finding contentment in life is an individual experience, not something given by another.

Don’t expect someone else to do what you are unwilling to do, namely to love you. Do you love you? Do you like you? If you don’t like you, why should someone else like you? If you will only like you if someone else likes you, why would anyone take on that pressure? Relationships are hard enough, but when one person gets their self-worth from another person, the relationship is doomed to fail. Empty yourself of pride, but appreciate who you are. Find your self-worth and offer that to another person instead of expecting to receive it from another person.

Work on your insecurities. Nothing repels a person (especially a man) like insecurity. I recently bought a coke at a convenient store and before I could swipe my debit card the cashier told me she was single and her mother never thought she would have kids. I wanted to run. Keep the coke; keep my credit card, just let me out of here. We all have insecurities. I have enough to work on that I don’t want to take on someone else’s insecurities. Identify yours. Get help from others. Find the lies you are telling yourself and replace them with the truth.

If you want to be married, do something about it. I am regularly asked why God hasn’t given someone a spouse. When I ask them what they are doing to get married, they look confused. If you want a degree, you go to school. If you want a job, you fill out a resume. If you want a spouse, you need to do something to raise the probability of meeting a spouse. Go to places in which you are likely to meet the type of person you might want to marry. Utilize online dating sites, ask people out, study skills which might assist in meeting new people. Do something. If life isn’t going as you wish, do something about it.

Recognize the benefits of being single as much as you covet the benefits of being married. Many single adults envy married adults; many married adults envy single adults. There are pros and cons of every aspect of life. Marriage brings many benefits and some drawbacks. The same is true for being single. While it is OK to long for what we don’t have, it is vital to appreciate what we do have. Every season of life has benefits. Recognize the benefits you experience which others may covet. Enjoy them.

Want a Biblical viewpoint of single adulthood? Watch this:

6 Responses to The Single Life And Valentine’s Day
  1. Whitney Reply

    Thank you Kevin. I needed this. Great post!

  2. [...] Everyone is free to marry another person if they desire to do so. (for more, see here) [...]... kevinathompson.com/happy-valentines-day-youre-not-my-soul-mate
  3. Caleb Reply

    Great points, as usual. And it’s not just guys that get turned off by insecurity.

    However, it seems like often the things that singles are told to do in order to get married many are doing, and have been doing more often than many of those around them who seem happily married: working on things like their insecurities, relationship with God, availability, ability to meet others…etc…

    I do feel a need to have more of the perspectives that KT, and other individuals like him, have on marriage and other issues. And this statement may not apply to him but it seems that many singles do more of the above than those who nabbed great spouses and have great marriages did when they were single. Going from single to married seems to be a lot more difficult for some than others might fully appreciate.

    But still good points. Even those I have heard before I need reminding of, even though I have relearned them many times in the past.

    • Kevin Reply

      Thanks for the comments. It is very important to note that finding a spouse is not a formula in the same way that some people seem to luck into a good job, some seem to luck into a spouse. These are just the lessons that come to mind as people ask. I would love to hear more feedback from those who are single and if these are true or not. I would also like to hear things which single adults get tired of hearing.

      • Caleb Reply

        I think all the points are good, although may be difficult to figure out when it comes to application. I kinda tire of hearing “stop looking and you’ll find someone” although I never tried it so it might work.

        I don’t know if it has to do with luck but with things like personality tendencies that are deeply ingrained and seem impossible to overcome and things of that nature. But I don’t fully understand my psyche or the psyche of others and may be way off.

        You’ve been mentioning reading C.S. Lewis recently. You failed to include his way of overcoming singleness: marry so that your friend can stay in the country.

  4. […] Everyone is free to marry another person if they desire to do so. (See The Single Life and Valentine... kevin-thompson.preview47.rmkr.net/happy-valentines-day-youre-not-my-soul-mate

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