A Safe Place To Rant

 

I want to try an experiment on this post.  I want you to feel full permission to rant in the comments. Let’s make a safe place where we can be honest with our frustrations without feeling like we are negating our faith by doing so.  Pass this on to friends who this would be cathartic for. (If you just want to rant to me without having it posted and I can try to write you back, contact me here.) 

I am almost done with my book that is about being a Christian single.(Sign up for my non inbox clogging newsletter on the right and you be the very first to receive two chapters from the book! )

Originally I wanted to call my book Pissed Like Hip-Hop:Why Christian Singles over Thirty Have Every Right to be Pissed. It would be an intentional rip off of the brilliantly written Blue Like Jazz, partially because Blue Like Jazz is a great title, and partially because that guy made a lot of money off the book and is single and might be flattered.

I chose not to call it Pissed Like Hip-Hop because I didn’t want to sound like a bitter and mean single person. Instead I called it Getting Naked Later:A Guide For the Fully Clothed, which just make me sound really socially awkward.

Even though I did not name my book Pissed Like Hip Hop, I do want to give myself permission to sound a teeny bit bitter and mean for one little post. I want you to know that I am not only writing this post to sound angry at anyone or at God,  I am writing it because I want to validate every person that is single out there reading. I think we single people need to feel understood, even if it is just for a few minutes

At the risk of sounding like I am ranting, I am going to rant.

If this kind of thing makes you mad, you can go read one of my more Godly posts like this one.

So here goes. Let these words resonate with all of their pity party glory.Let the sentence be as naked as I want to be someday.

Being single sucks.

There it is, folks. The sentiment almost every Christian single person has thought many, many times— especially those of us who are over thirty. For decades, it has not been socially acceptable in our world to articulate that sentiment without feeling like children throwing a temper tantrum about our love lives.

And yet, I just said it. I should get a Dove Award or something.

I had a hard time writing that sentence. It makes me sound unspiritual, ungrateful, and untrusting. In fact, I have been thinking about rewriting it many times since I typed it.

I read a good book this week, one that I wouldn’t have had time for if I had a family, so I pondered changing the sentence to “Sometimes being single sucks.”

I babysat five kids today, and I was as frazzled as a one-legged Riverdancer. I thought about adding, “but having a family is difficult too.”

Finally though, I decided to leave it like it is, for all of our sakes. Nothing softening the blow, nothing added to the end of the sentence. Why?

Because someone needs to say it. That’s why.

Here are a few of my rants. I will just stick to some that are on my mind right now.

-Being single sucks when I  feel like I have been perpetually living the life of a college student for the last fifteen years. I have to find a new place to live almost every time the lease comes up.

-Being single sucks when I see a couple kiss. I know that being married is hard, but so is not having any form of touch except side hugs for the last two years.

-Being single sucks because I am alone many, many hours of the day and I have to work pretty hard to have long conversations with people, like make them food or take them out to eat. I would love to make a meal on an average day and have people sitting at the table with me.

-Being single sucks when a scenario like this happens: an single woman at a bible study lets herself be vulnerable and talks about her struggles with feeling lonely. A married member of the group scoffingly says, “Why don’t you take my kids for a day and I’ll go get my nails done.”

(This really happened at a friend’s bible study by the way. What’s that I hear? A collective borderline personality disorder groan from all of my single friends out there?)

-Being single sucks because dating is not really that fun. Especially online dating.  I really hate small talk and I really hate getting my hopes up and I really hate hurting people, so I would rather have my teeth drilled than go on eHarmony first dates. I know, I know, all you married people! Online dating is the ultimate answer to my singleness woes! I know that there are a hundred men waiting for me in the online dating world! But 14 of those men are showing off their beer bellies with their shirts off (I am serious, I have had those matches). 32 say in their profile that they love to mountain bike and travel when in real life they like to mountain bike and travel via their x-box. And 99.6 of them don’t love Jesus like I do. It is actually a very disheartening process.

-Being single sucks when I equate birthdays with my shrinking probability that I will have children.

-Being single sucks when doing research for my book I found countless articles with titles like, Marriage Does not Solve Your Problems, or How to Stop Postponing Your Life, but none called something like, “Why Singleness Sucks.”

Take this quote, for example, which is a paraphrase of one of the above articles.

“When you are looking for a mate you should try to find a comrade, not someone who will give you ultimate contentment. You should find a helpmate, not a healer.”

I read countless sentiments like this in my research. Here’s the thing: I don’t think that I have postponed my life. I have lived a very full life with the hand I have been given. I don’t think I am looking for ultimate contentment or a healer. I know that contentment is something that I have to work out between myself and God and that I shouldn’t project it onto another person. I already have a healer, and I realize that. But I am longing for a comrade, a lifelong companion, a helpmate, a family, and it hurts that I don’t have one yet. Is there something wrong with that? Are my feelings not valid?

And that, my friends, is where I’m going to end this post.I know you’re expecting more from me, but what good is a rant that ends in something wise? Doesn’t that take away all the cathartic glory of a rant?

Instead I’m going to just thank you for listening. I really do feel better now.

Now I want you to feel better too! Rant away!!

P.S.- I just realized that my last two posts have pictures of someone yelling on them, that they are both children, and that they are both throwing their heads to the right. Maybe I need a little  inner healing work, and need to try positioning my head to the left sometimes when I am ranting.

 

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115 thoughts on “A Safe Place To Rant

  1. Amen and amen to everything you said! My friend and I were just talking about this today in fact! Thank you for sharing your true feelings, (and mine as well)!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks for your rant Kate, I’ve shared these sentiments for a while now. In fact, this week it has been a very real pain as I was told by a pastor that “singles” are not the focus of the church, families are…and if we aren’t on board with that we can go somewhere else…as if we didn’t already feel like outcasts of the family centric church society already. Sorry, there’s a whole other rant in the making there…

    • Yikes! I’m so sorry. Whatever happened to the body of Christ? Nevermind that if singles weren’t the focus of the church most of the apostles would have been kicked out…

      And Kate, great post as usual.

    • Laura this breaks my heart. So sorry. The church is supposed to be a body made up of ALL different pieces. Sucks the pastor has such a closed mind.

      • Wow! I am a married person and my BEST mentors and friends have been single. I know of other religions where you have to be married (esp. as a woman) to be validated, but not a Christ-fearing pastor!!!!

        Well, I guess Jesus can’t be part of that church. Also, I guess Heaven is ruled out, too. Hmmmm….what does that leave us with………please go somewhere where your love and gifts are appreciated.

    • I liked that one ok but I loved relationship week. It was so good- I stole so much stuff from them! Just kidding. Purity weak is good but I think you and I have that lesson down pretty good so far.

  3. My sister shared this blog with me a while ago (we are both single 20 somethings) and I have to admit, this is my favorite entry thus far. Refreshing to hear someone else just say “yeah, I’m pissed about it.” Because there is this perception that if you are unhappy about being single then you are being ungrateful towards life in general, which is so not the case.

    Anyways, big fan of Blue Like Jazz, although Through Painted Deserts is my favorite of Miller’s… and I am looking forward to your book.

    And if I were to rant it would be about how the job market for certain careers has become ridiculously codependent on higher(er) education. I want to work in cultural resource management and I have the chops for it- the field excavations, the museum internships, the lab work. But no one will hire me without an M.A. So I’m going further and further into debt taking classes that require reading obscure 17th century German texts on aesthetic philosophy and have nothing to do with archaeological preservation because someone decided you can’t do CRM work without a master’s…that felt good. Thank you.

  4. Thank you. If I may rant for one moment…please forgive me, it’s late.

    On the one hand, I guess I don’t really mind being single because…God has a plan…I hope…on the other hand, literally every friend my age is married or engaged, and most of my younger friends are dating someone. I’m frustrated that I’ve never had a chance to meet a decent guy (seriously, where are the late 20s-early 30s men? let alone the “right” one? Somehow my life has been devoid of people within 10 years of my age), and utterly terrified of forever being the third wheel in a group of friends. How do I say this to anyone without sounding bitter or jealous? How can they understand how much it hurts when they tell me I’m better off single, because I don’t have their problems? I know relationships are not easy. You try being the last single person you know in a world apparently made for couples. Maybe I am a little jealous that they have a person to (in theory) share their life with. I leave a place, I am alone.

    I am afraid to dream of a family because I am afraid to be horribly disappointed if it never happens. I want someone to wander with me, to dream crazy things with me, to pick out names for children, to build a home with, to just physically be there. I know God IS here, and will be there better than any human, but too many churchy-people with very good intentions have unintentionally guilt-tripped me for not “waiting patiently enough for God’s plan.” Can I please whine about this for one second without anyone insinuating I’ve somehow failed? I’m tired of waiting, and God is not physically here right now. I want a hug. How much longer?

    I am frustrated because I feel like I am stuck drifting, and don’t know where to start to get out of this rut, which has to happen first before I could meet new people, therefore meaning any possibility of a friendship that could become anything more is a long way off. Which is frustrating. And I’m tired of being frustrated with everything. So thank you for reading, I had to let some of this out.

    • Thank you for sharing. I think what I like about this post is that we can all remember that there are a lot of people out there that feel the same way we do. You can rant on this blog any time you need to. It is a safe place. I really with that the church would make safe places for us to say this stuff as well.

  5. Kate, I just recently found your blog and went, “Hey! I know her!” I was part of the Jesus Kitchen at the Rainbow Gathering for years, so while you don’t really “know” me per se, you might recognize me if you saw me. Anyway, having just lost a relationship that I thought was moving toward marriage, I am back to being single… again… in my thirties, and I have a renewed awareness of how much being single sucks. So I’ll add to your list:

    -Being single sucks when you had learned how to truly be content on your own (at least most of the time), and then ended up in a relationship you felt was a blessing from God and discovered that you were MORE CONTENT, and then ended up single again. It’s hard to rejoice in God’s sufficiency when you have concrete evidence that you’re wired to be with someone and that life really is better that way, even when you had been genuinely happy before.

    -Being single sucks when you’ve been doing ministry by yourself for over ten years, and you’re tired, and you just want someone to share the vision and the weight.

    -Being single sucks when you’ve done everything you can be be healthy and whole, when you’ve learned about what makes for a healthy relationship to the extent that you can offer advice to couples even though you’re not married yourself, when you’ve been as faithful as possible in your singleness–both by living with purity/integrity and by making yourself ready to share life with another person by dealing with your own issues……. and you see other people all around you who are younger and/or more dysfunctional falling easily into relationships and marriage without seeming to have to do any really hard work. (“You will be able to enjoy your marriage more once it happens, because you’ll really be ready for it,” starts to ring hollow after a while, even when I’m saying it to myself.)

    I could go on, but I don’t want to write an entire blog of my own in my first comment on yours. But thanks for this. I think we post-30 singles need some solidarity, and I’m grateful you’re giving voice to what many of us are feeling.

    • Hi Molly! I want to look at a picture of you and remember you- Rainbow gathering people make me so happy! I was just in Minneapolis and saw a few people from Jesus Kitchen. I miss rainbow. I had to miss last summer. What years were you there?

      Thank you very much- especially with that last rant. I too feel like have tried very hard to be healthy and whole. SO hard. I’ve been in counseling for years and have spent probably thousands of dollars on it. I got to al anon meetings for family members of alcoholics. But I still feel like I enter into some of the same patterns and am still living a pretty lonely life. It doesn’t make very much sense to me. I know I was meant for family. I’ve really even tried to make my friends family, but everyone gets so busy, and no one is really wanting an intentional community model like I would love to have. I might move into one. I need family somehow. It doesn’t feel right for human beings to not be in family.

      And the purity one is hard too. I mean, I think it has been a really wise choice, but it is still confusing to understand the blessing in it if you don’t get married. I know it protects you from all kinds of hardship, but it also means never having children. Sometimes I think I would even choose to be a single mom, but the road to get there (going to a bar or something crazy like that) is just something I could and would never do.

      Sorry, I didn’t get very much sleep last night and up early and I always am full of crazy things in the morning. Thanks for writing this.

  6. Great post, as always Kate. You always find the perfect words to express my heart. I’m on the precipice of being a 40-something single (gasp!) so have had the time to have this particular rant several times. And I usually add the qualifiers you were tempted to add. It’s hard. It hurts. And I think it’s good to be honest and get it out sometimes. Thanks for being willing to put it out there!!

    • I just want to say to everyone who posted a reply- thank you! I completely agree as I’ve had all the same things said to me, been on the horrible dates, etc. It’s so hard! I’m turning 40 next month and I have been sad thinking about not having kids. I also just experienced a painful break up. It does suck, especially when you have a strong relationship with The Lord and meet very few men like that, unless they’re in their 20’s or already married. I’m sick of my married friends telling me how hard marriage is and how the grass isn’t always greener. Isn’t being single hard? It’s hard for them to have a lot of empathy when they truly haven’t walked in my shoes. I am also so grateful for what God’s done in my life, making me a better person. I can say I will do much better in marriage now than I would have before. This helps! I’m also thankful He’s shown me when someone isn’t the right person, He’s protected me from so much! But I still want to be married and have kids! I don’t want to be one of those people who’s bitter when it doesn’t happen. Talk about not being attractive, lol!

  7. Wow you said everything I’ve been feeling lately. I turned 40 not quite 2 months ago and I’m feeling the sting of being single more than ever. I’ve tried the EHarmony thing as well and everything you shared resonates with me. I was feeling super alone and hopless last night as I sat on the sofa crying at 10:00, while watching old episodes of Friends so thank you for reminding me that other people really do have the same struggle that I have. Somehow it helps knowing that I’m not alone even though it doesn’t solve the issue. Thanks for being real and having the courage to say the things that the rest of us are feleling.

  8. Thank you for being honest enough to say what I’ve been feeling recently. I turned 40 not quite 2 months ago and it’s been really difficult. Being single does suck and it’s harder when you’re 40 (or at least it feels like it). I can relate to all the things you shared, especially the EHarmony bit.

    Last night I was feeling super angry and hopeless about the situation and reading this post this morning made me realize that I’m not the only one and we are allowed to feel what we are feeling. God knew I needed this so thanks for having the courage to share!

  9. I was at the Gathering every year from 2002-2010. I’ve had to miss the last two years because I started a new ministry that I couldn’t leave yet. Maybe I’ll be back next year, who knows. I almost managed to come to your show in Mpls but didn’t make it, which was a bummer. You should really come back. Maybe you’ll end up wanting to stay; we have lots of community houses. 🙂

    • I do actually REALLY want to move into an intentional community right now. I was just looking on line trying to find a guide for them and couldn’t find anything! What are yours like?

      • It’s the Salvage Yard in Minneapolis (the same community the Jesus Kitchen comes out of). We have a lot of different houses, and they all have different purposes//goals/styles, with varying levels of intentionality. In reality, many probably would not fit what you are looking for (I just always try to get people to move to Minneapolis because I think it’s awesome, and I like to stack it with more awesome people), but there are a couple that might be a blessing for you. One honest challenge–relating to one of the comments here about friend groups getting younger as other people get married off–is that many of the community houses are seeming younger and younger, since not everyone chooses to remain in community after they get married and have kids. I can contact you on facebook if you want to get more details via private messages.

  10. truthfully, i’m in a super vulnerable place with this whole single thing. i grow tired of people in my small groups telling me that i just need to be content. i am content with Jesus, i just don’t know what to do with this desire to be a wife and a mom, and yes, for every birthday, i’m a little more sad that it may not happen for me. ( the mom thing… ) and for whatever reason… this made me cry today. thank you for sharing your heart and it reminds me that i’m not alone in this…

    • “i grow tired of people in my small groups telling me that i just need to be content” I hear ya!! It sucks to be single, and then it sucks more to feel like people are *blaming* you for your unhappiness. I get that a lot – suggestions that I’m not being content…that I must not yet “be the right person in order to meet the right person”…that I need to stop looking…that I need to start looking more…that I need to take up hobbies…that I need to make space in my life. Everyone so full of advice on how to either dismiss or ‘fix’ the situation – when really, all I want them to do is look into my eyes and nod and say, “I know this sucks and I’m so sorry you have to go through it.”

      Which is kind of what this blog post did today. So *THANKS*, Kate, for giving us permission and space to say, “I know this sucks.”

  11. Thank you so much for the permission to rant a little. I agree completely with EVERYTHING you said, especially the online dating.

    I think I hear it at least once a week “Why don’t you try eharmony?” or “Have you tried going online?”. I just want to scream at everyone that says that to me. Yes I’ve tried online dating and no for me it did not work. Every guy was either lying on their profile, didn’t love Jesus or are full out psychos. (No joke went on a date with a conspiracy theorist. I mean completelyl, CrAzY).

    Being single also sucks when all of your friends around you, both younger and older, are all having babies. I have 7 friends that will have babies within months of each other. Just points out to me that my chance of having kids is slowly dwindling the more over 30 i get.

    The thing that bugs me the most about being single is being told to “Hang in there”. I appreciate people’s kindness and support but there is always an underlying since of pitty. I hate that. I mean I am a strong believer that knows the Lord has a plan for my life. I don’t need people around me pittying my singleness. It doesn’t help me or my heart to get through the lonely days it only makes them worse.

    Ok I will stop but thank you for the chance to yell a little bit and for your courage in posting the truth. I love your blog by the way and re-read several of the posts. It is always helpful knowing that there are other 30+ singles out there who understand being surrounded by married people. I can’t wait for your book to come out. God bless you with surprises around every corner.

  12. hai Kate,love your honesty and I am praying for many healthy,joyful marriages to come, because there are a lot of christian singles on this side of the ocean too.

  13. Fun post! I just heard about your blog and I’m looking forward to reading more.
    I believe I’m very good at being single in my 30s, but I agree, there are times it sucks!
    – When I’m invited to a wedding and reply for one
    – When I want to go to an event (especially when there’s a discount on two tickets) and don’t have a date to take
    – When a slow song (or slow skate – yes, I still go to the roller rink at times) comes on and I feel obligated to leave the floor after a brief scan of the room for a potential Mr. Knightly.
    – When I feel ready to adopt or foster but I am cautioned it’s not wise as a single woman.
    – When I strike up a conversation with a new male and feel him set up “I’m not into you” boundaries and I can’t drop a comment about “my boyfriend” to make him feel more at ease.
    – When I tell people I’m single and they say, “Why?”
    But most especially:
    – When I watch fireworks and I want to cuddle!

    • Hey Laura,
      I’m a bit late to this thread, but wanted to comment on the adopting/fostering line. I’m a 24 year old single foster mom to 3 kids right now, and I am getting my adoption paperwork together. I say go for it. Sure, it’s obviously better and easier to have a partner, but I think the people cautioning you against it are forgetting about the kids out there who are in desperate need of a safe, loving home. My kids all came from abusive and/or alcoholic homes, and they are thriving with me. I read this article a few months back, and loved it. I think you will, too. http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/2009/08/should-single-woman-adopt.html
      Email me if you want to talk. 🙂
      Melissa

  14. Is marriage the only form of companionship? Or the solution for loneliness? Our society certainly projects that image, but our society also isn’t Christian. Sadly our American society is an individualistic one where everyone has to have their own house, own room, own car, etc, and that leaves a lot of room for loneliness. The solution isn’t becoming successful in the world’s eyes, but breaking out of that worldly, isolationist mentality and forming community like the early church. Now that’s the way society was supposed to be! Christians need to get off the whole American Dream portrait, sacrifice their personal dreams, and come together in community, as our true spiritual family on Earth, supporting the singles, taking in widows and orphans, and taking care of those basic needs so we can focus on our more important tasks like spreading the gospel. I doubt those early Christian communities had lonely people, and I commend anyone of you who tries to promote or establish Christian local communities (as I’m trying to do).
    Hilarious post by the way. Possibly your funniest.

    • I mostly agree with your post Miles. I think being single is even sucky-er in this individualistic society and we should be more communal. But I still think it feels like something is missing when I can’t have that kind of one-on-one soul-mate type relationship with someone else sometimes in spite of being surrounded by so many awesome people in community. I think I can learn to share love and be loved in other ways, but I can still long for that kind of relationship with someone. It’s weird to toe that line of realizing I’m fine and complete in God and the community that surrounds me, and still feel like I’d really like that intense connection with another human. I’m not certain how much of that longing is society-driven or innately placed within myself, I just know that I would like that for myself.

    • I totally agree with these concepts–that we need to jettison the “American Dream” and seek true community. Modeling the Church after American culture is an all around BAD IDEA. I’m part of an incredible community without which I don’t think I would have made it this far, so I am totally on board with what you are saying. However, I cannot say that even the best community will eliminate our desire for one specific romantic partner with whom we can share our life. There is a unique form of companionship that comes from uniting your life with someone else’s and a unique part of your heart that responds only to romantic love, which means there is also a unique form of loneliness that can’t quite be quenched even by the most amazing spiritual family. I can have a full life–full of love, full of community, full of companionship–and not be “lonely” in an all-pervasive way, yet still feel a lack. A significant lack. And I don’t think that’s wrong; I think it’s being honest about reality.

  15. Oh Kate. I wish you lived closer so we could hang out. And I mean that in a totally non-creepy, my friends are all married with kids and I feel like most people thing being single is something that I’m supposed to enjoy and that it’s not worth being this upset over kind of way.

    You said EXACTLY what I have been feeling lately in regards to friendships, church life, etc. And instead of bringing me closer to people, I feel like it’s pushing me further away because they either don’t want to hear it or it scares them or they just can’t comprehend or even figure out how to address the situation honestly.

    Thank you thank you thank you for your writing and blog.

  16. dang, I just wrote a awesome response, but accidentally clicked “follow blog” instead of “post comment”, dangit! lol/so frustrated! I need to cool down and try to retype my awesome response, but later, for now I am muy irritated!

  17. This is fabulous. (Participated in the groan after the dismissive offer for the lonely single to babysit)

    Here’s my rant: it sucks that you can’t express very real feelings of vulnerability or loneliness or hurt without feeling like you’re whining or are pathetic. It sucks when you’re married friends act like you’re a super hero for doing things on your own (oil changes, dealing with spiders, living) as if you had a choice. It sucks when there’s a hundred guys on dating cites telling you you’re beautiful and you wonder if you’re messed up bc not a one seems like a compatible match.

    It sucks that there’s nobody to be in your Christmas card picture, no one to agree to that Saturday night card game and hot cocoa, and it sucks to being so used to doing things alone you’re not even sure if you’d know how to do it with someone else, even though that’s what you want.

  18. Agreed and agreed to all, and especially you, Kate. Thank you for the gift of giving us a place to rant, to share the frustration of being frustrated.
    -Being single sucks when your friend living with her boyfriend talks about how awful it would be to be sick and not have someone to get things for you as you sniffle away the last of the cold you’ve been nursing alone for a week and a half.
    -Being single sucks when you go to visit your family and see all of your siblings’ kids and your mom gives you that conversation FOR THE SEVENTIETH TIME about how, when you’re done with your degree, you can have a family, as if that’s something you are currently handicapped from doing, as if that’s something that you should want in order to be normal.
    -Being single sucks when you honestly say you’re okay with being single for right now because you know that you are not in an emotional space that would allow for a good relationship and the people around you condescendingly classify you as too young, gay, or in denial because there must be something wrong with you to be single.
    -Being single sucks when you have to keep hearing from your older friends how good it is to live your life now, while you’re young, as if you have no feelings under the age of 30 or as if relationships mean instant death or stasis.
    -Being single sucks when your friends decide you’re a prude and should be subjected to all manner of outlandish films and jokes because, if you weren’t so uptight, obviously you wouldn’t be single.
    -Being single sucks when you have to rely on a semi-anonymous online forum to truly express the idea that you can be content with being single and still hate it sometimes.

    • That last one cracked me up! Hey I do want to add here that I do talk in my blog and book about it being hard after 30 but I don’t want anyone to feel like I am downplaying their frustration if they are younger than that. In fact, I think the two times it has been hardest for me to not be married is now and when I was 24. All my friends were getting married when I was 24 and I remember it was really really hard. So whenever my younger friends talk to me about their frustrations I never roll my eyes at them. The difficult seasons kind of come in waves. Thanks for sharing!

      • You talk about where you are, and I appreciate that; I don’t feel like you downplay being younger, and I’m glad to hear of your understanding of it. I’m in my mid-20s and many of my friends have reached the having kids stage together; while I myself don’t want kids, it is hard to scroll down my Facebook page of photo after photo of anniversary celebrations and proud moms holding newborns and to know that now we have even less in common. Again, thank you for the space to be frustrated about this!

  19. Being single sucks when:

    You’re 3 months shy of your 30th birthday and have NEVER been on a date (blind or otherwise) or asked out leading you to believe that surely you’re the least attractive woman to step foot on the planet (or at least to the men whose paths you’ve crossed thus far).

    People keep being astonished that you connect your own appliances, assemble your own furniture, set up your own home theatre system, etc as though it’s a CHOICE to do so.

    You’re just plain tired of going through the majority of life by yourself with nobody to intimately share the moments of life.

    You long to be a priority to someone and have someone as a priority in your life. (ie when your parents are deceased and your siblings have their own families on which to focus so theirs nobody you KNOW will just be their for the highs and lows of life)

    You have nobody to fully support your dreams and be invested in seeing them come to fruition.

    You feel like you’re still waiting to find “home”. I still feel in transition since college.

    • I love setting up my own stuff! I built one of my DVD towers, and sure it’s crooked, but I’m dang proud of myself for having done it. You rock for being handy at things!

      And agreed on being a priority. Well spoken indeed.

    • I know the feeling! I’m 32 now, and can count the number of dates I’ve been on on one hand. All of them were years ago. It’s so frustrating sometimes. And I especially understand the whole thing of wanting to be priority to someone/have someone as your priority. Glad to know I’m not the only one who feels like that. This rant was something I definitely needed to read.

    • Kary, internet fist-bump on the “never been asked out” thing. I have multiple guy friends…and that’s it. None are interested, none of the guys I meet are interested, and there comes a point when you start checking to make sure you still only have one head and a normal number of eyes. And I’m only a few weeks behind you on the almost 30 thing.
      Also, totally hear you on the priority thing. I think truthfully that’s one of my biggest points of discontent. I love my family and they love me, but I’m still one of a group (of siblings) and not the main attraction. I have dear friends but if they had to choose between me and their husbands or own families, well obviously I won’t win that one. It just sucks to realize I’m not at the absolute-no-matter-what top of anybody’s list.

  20. Hi Kate

    I love this blog. I’m 25 but never been in a relationship. My mum occasionally makes comments like, “Maybe you’ll marry a…”. When she did this last time I saw her, I said, “Have you considered I might never get married?” to which she looked at me and said, “Yes.” I’m not sure how to feel about this. Glad that my parents aren’t building up an expectation I might not fulfil, or sad that it seems like they’re starting to wonder what’s wrong with me.

    Nothing is wrong with me. I am not a stunner but not hideous, intelligent, love Jesus and interested in many things. I’m also not a flirt, and have always been firmly in the ‘friend zone’ with any guy I have ever liked.

    Being single sucks when you have had a long day (or 5 – I’m a teacher) at work and you have to come home and cook for yourself. And when your relaxing evening involves a film, a glass of wine, and a pile of books to mark, and there’s no one to tell the funny and sad stories from your day.

    Mostly I’m contented. But sometimes I get frustrated. I’m sure to many of you 25 seems young – and it is – but when I say I’ve never been in a relationship I also mean I have never dated anyone, had a guy express any interest in me, or ask me out.

    Pity party over for this week!

    Thanks, Kate 🙂 You are appreciated in the UK!

  21. Singleness sucks when you finally find a social circle of people you can relate to and be honest with and then you have to start over from scratch three years later when they all get married, have kids, or move. It also sucks when your social circle keeps getting younger and younger while you keep aging because those are the only people available to hang out with.

  22. HAHAHA! And agreed. Especially on the shortage of hugs (after a year in Latin America, the lack of physical contact in the good old U.S.A. bothers me) and the weariness of maintaining ministry and purity and emotional health. I would like to mention that a former pastor once told me, in a discussion on eharmony, “Well, God says marriage is a gift and it is better to marry than to burn. So if He leads you to online dating, that’s fine. But the question is, is it God? Or are you like Sarah with Hagar, trying to come up with a better plan?” (I have been blessed, by the way, to be in churches who love and value singlehood and work to provide community and family, so this was NOT a negative comment in any way).

    And just coming home from an embarrassing/entertaining dinner episode, I would like to add
    – When a strange (possibly drunk?) older man comes up to you in a restaurant, leans over the table to wave, and says “Hi, Lady!” then has the waiter bring you coffee. And the best refuge you have is that you’re sitting by the pastor’s wife with the 6’5″ pastor across the table to protect you from physical harm. And you have to admit to the entire table that it isn’t the first incident of this sort from people who are slightly off their rocker. (sorry, that was fresh on my mind and really quite funny).
    – Also, when you have to try to explain to your family that just because someone technically meets “the list,” the fact that you have nothing, absolutely nothing, to say to the guy kind of eliminates him as a marriage partner.
    – When you sit with two close married friends who are discussing the forgetful habits of their husbands and they have to add, “But she knows what it’s like ’cause she gets to help keep up with our stuff, too.”
    – When your mother “adopts” grandchildren in the neighborhood and your dad wonders who will run the ranch when he’s gone since you haven’t provided the expected son-in-law.
    – Then there’s those times when you’re caught alone in awkward situations. You know, the kind they tell you to avoid once married in order to avoid gossip: one on one situations with people working on your house or your car or giving you a ride or helping out at church. But how do you avoid them when only you are around?
    – When, because you’ve surrounded yourself with family, you become the confidante for teenagers in “like” and have to wish you had a friendship with that much trust.
    – And – MY FAVORITE OF ALL – when, because you love kids, you go birthday parties for all the community kids turning 13 and are asked by each new person, “Oh, how nice for you to come! So how many children of your own do you have?” (this also happens at children’s ministry activities, 4-H meetings, etc.

    It is Friday night and I am a teacher. If the sentence structure is bad or the logic lost, forgive me. There’s my rant! 🙂

  23. I want to rant, but this is a hard one, even anonymously.

    I’m nearly 40 and single, and because I was raped repeatedly as a child, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to marry, however much I want to (and I do want to), and in spite of years of counseling. What’s hard about this is that I am currently living with my mother, having moved home to care for my dying father. She enabled the rapes then forced me to be silent growing up, and once I was able to confront her as an adult, told me she wasn’t sorry. God has closed every possible door to me leaving home since my father passed, and I’ve struggled so much with forgiveness, which I had thought I achieved, until I moved back home and had to live with her.

    What’s **really** hard about this is that my brother recently said to me, “You’re going to take care of Mom for the rest of her life, aren’t you?” (she is becoming elderly and is disabled) as though I had no hopes and dreams for my life, or any right to have hopes and dreams and to try to achieve them, though apparently it’s perfectly okay for him to have a spouse and children and a career that he loves.

    It’s hard enough being dismissed by strangers because I am single. Being dismissed by family is something else entirely. I don’t understand what God is doing, and I don’t know how to accept it.

    I feel like such failure as a woman, a survivor, and a Christian.

    Maybe this was too heavy for your blog, and I apologize if so (you can take it down, or not post it or whatnot), but it was nice to get it out, even if just on paper, as it were.

    • Of course I am not taking this down. We need to hear your story. Other people reading it need to hear your story. I have had abuse in my past as well but not as bad as yours.It can be debilitating but it can be redeemed!

      I want you to look in the mirror, look in your eyes, and listen to God say “you are so so so strong.” He is amazed by your strength. You have built a beautiful life from a rubble heap of pain. you have cared for people that aren’t cared for. You have been strong fro them… you are inceredible. Believe it.
      ]]
      Failure is not the word I would use here, it would be “conquereor! “I now it doesn’t feel that way, but iy’s true. You are living the best life you can and God sees you and is so proud of you. Failure as a survivor seems like a contradiction in terems…..if you survived, you didn’t fail.

      Sweetie, I wish I could give you a hug. You have been through so much and have kept fighting for the good. Hang in there kid! It will be allright!

      • Also, I may be out of line here, but my counselor says often that you don’t have to be a victim when you are an adult. What I mean is, if you don’t want to live with your mom (and it sounds very hopeless and difficult to do so) you do not have to. It’s your life and your choice. When you are young, it’s too hard to say “Mom, you can’t make me be silent.” But as an adult, you do have the right to say “I am not required to do anything. It is my life, not yours.” I know that sounds impossible, but if I were you, I would get together with a counselor and consider this. I’m sorry I have to put this up here this way but I am just really feeling for you and don’t want you to feel like you are helpless in this. It is nice to hear people’s words in here but I really want to see you rise up to not have to be in this situation forever.

    • Dear anonymous friend,

      My heart ached reading this. And I so agree with Kate: Yours is not a life of failure. YOU are not a failure. And while we’re not in the same place, and I don’t even know your name, I want you to know that in my heart, I am sitting with you, like Job’s friends before they started yapping away with unhelpful commentary. One can mourn with those who mourn with being in physical proximity, so here I am, mourning with you. But I am also hoping and dreaming with you. Because you do have the right to hope and dream. Jesus came that we might have life to the fullest, and while I will admit to being very confused about what that looks like sometimes, I know that living in despair is not it. So I pray you will have the courage to hope, and even if you can’t right now, I’m sitting here hoping for you. You’re God’s daughter as much as anyone else is; so you have a right to a beautiful life as much as anyone else. In fact, it is your promised inheritance! I pray you experience that, and that you see God’s goodness “in the land of the living.”

    • Oh anonymous sister–for your courage to speak this here, I thank and applaud you. I wrap you in the only comfort I can give from our different places, that of prayer. Betrayal of that level is so indescribably hard, and to continue to live with it in that way is every day a new wave of pain. I am so sorry for what you have been through, what you are going through, and how it must seem that God has left you there.
      In no way are you a failure, dear heart. I pray that God reveals His plan to you in some way, but in the waiting you are being intensely strong, inspiringly patient, and awesomely loving. Forgiveness doesn’t mean erasing what was, and I hear and support your struggle with it. it is an ongoing process, I think, because we are not God and we ache with the memory of pain as much as the presence of it. I think I speak for all of us assorted and invisible ranters here in saying that we do not dismiss you, will not dismiss you, and stand with you as you find the strength God has given you to stand tall in the face of those who do. May the light shine with the morning for you, beautiful one, as the night draws to its close.

      • Hi anonymous friend. I thought about taking this thread down simply because I’m afraid you’ll have too many people giving advice and none of us are counselors so none of us should be in a place of advising you. I do want you to consider there is a way out but I would never want to put you in danger.

        Please go to dancinginthedark.com which is a forum for people in your situation. There are other people to talk to and I think there are even counselors you can chat with.

    • To echo everyone else’s comments here, you are in my prayers. I’m not in the same situation but I am in a situation where “I don’t understand what God is doing, and I don’t know how to accept it.” I wish I could give you a hug.

    • I agree with Kate! You do not need to live with your mom! God does not necessarily call you to that. Boundaries are good. Although, I am not sure if you’ve heard Joyce Meyer’s testimony. She was raped by her dad till she was 18 and her mom turned a blind eye. The Lord challenged her to take care of them in their later days. Her dad asked for forgiveness and got saved before dying. Joyce was led of the Lord to do this though!

      I too, have a similar story. I was molested by my dad and uncle till I was 11 and it has affected my whole life. My step-mom enabled it all, so I understand that. Two years after being saved at 17, I was able to forgive my dad. I talk to him and see him here and there and it’s amazing how God has healed me of bitterness. I’m able to love him with the Lord. We do not have a close relationship, but I pray that he gets saved and one day prays for forgiveness. He has yet to ask me for forgiveness or admit to what he did, but that’s OK. The Lord has been my daddy for 23 years and has healed me of so much! I wouldn’t be here today without Him! There is hope!

      I was also verbally abused by my mother everyday of my life. I have forgiven her and only recently gotten over the bitterness. God has healed our relationship and she is closer and closer to accepting the Lord. Boundaries has been a good thing to have with her as well, although I am not perfect in this. It is hard though and God hears our prayers and our cries. He is a good God! I have come so far with Him over the years and am so grateful for that! Of course, I do wonder why the greatest desire of my heart is not fulfilled in being married with kids when I am turning 40 next month, but I have to trust Him. We’re in the same boat there! I want to encourage you to keep pressing into Him. It’s OK to be angry and upset though, He can handle that. I’m praying for you and just know, it’s going to get better!!!!!!!!!!

      • I also agree with Kate. Perhaps God has clearly asked you to take this on, in which case I’m sure none of us would presume to know what God has said better than you do. And perhaps he has something spectacularly glorious ahead that he will bring about through your obedience and willingness to be there. But unless God has specifically told you to live with her, I think we would all agree that while forgiveness is necessary, forgiveness and ongoing relationship are not the same thing, especially when that person is unrepentant. You do not have to continue to be the victim. But whatever you choose, we bless you and pray for deep freedom in Christ.

      • I’m so sorry, hep237, that you were hurt like that. I’m glad you were able to forgive them. I hope I can find that soon as well.

    • Dear Anonymous,

      Please consider not living with your mom. Forgiveness is a process and not a one time deal and reconciliation is a desired result, but it sounds like she did not take responsibility for her part in it (or sin of omission) and, therefore, she is not open to really being reconciled, if that makes sense. However, we still have to forgive as believers. I’m slowly reading a book regarding offenses and forgiveness titled Bait of Satan by John Bevere (yep, it is by a charismatic minister) since forgiveness is a process and one I tend to think I must be bad at when I have to go back and re-forgive (if that makes sense) because past feelings get stirred up. Hope this helps.

  24. Thank you, everyone, for your kind thoughts and support and for validating this experience I am going through.

    Please believe me, I have tried, and continue to try, to move on with my life. Prior to moving home, I had recently graduated with my Master’s in a field that I love. It has been nearly three years since I graduated, and I cannot tell you how many jobs I have applied for. I have had one interview that did not result in a job. The rest… when I did hear from the employer, it was to tell me that (in nearly all cases) over 250 people applied for the job, and though I was well-qualified, they hired someone with a Ph.D.

    We live in such a rural location that, after my father passed, it took me nine months just to find *any* job, and what I now have is not in my field and pays less than what I was making in my early 20’s (but I am so, so thankful just to have a job that I really can’t complain). My financial situation will not permit me to move out on my own, even to just stay in the area. Nor will it allow me to afford counseling, not that there are any Christian counselors within any kind of reasonable driving distance (and my faith is so fundamental to my existence, all of my attempts at counseling with non-Christian counselors has failed… they don’t get it, and I don’t feel like I can be honest about struggling with Him).

    I do not regret moving home. It was absolutely God’s will for me, and I wouldn’t have traded caring for my father for anything. I believe in God’s sovereignty. I have done everything in my human power to leave and move on with my life, but it seems that God wishes me to stay here. I also believe that the servant is not greater than his Master, and if God, in pure love, can crucify His Son, then He can ask of me whatever He wishes. Unfortunately, my heart is not nearly as logical as my head, and quite frankly, I vacillate between being really angry with Him and feeling a great deal of despair (as when I posted my original comment). Again, in my head, I know that He brings nothing into our lives except from love and in order to make us more like Christ, but that doesn’t help when I see all my hopes and dreams unrealized, and feeling like they will never be realized. I just don’t know what He wants of me, and don’t know how to accept it, and clearly, part of me doesn’t want to. And my heart has always had a hard time believing that He loves me.

    It’s just hard to see everyone else’s dreams come true while being dismissed for even having dreams.

    I love this blog…. I feel less alone. And I really appreciate the opportunity to rant and be honest. Thank you, everyone.

    • It might be helpful for you to connect with Career Services at the university you graduated from… I work at a career center and we often do distance work with alumni. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

  25. And dear Anonymous prayed for friend,

    Return, too, to 1 Peter. Our hope is in heaven. Our hope is beyond here, now, and is for eternity, when we WILL live as the Bride of the Savior.

    Blessings to you.

  26. Katie, thank you for your blog. I shall make my rant short.

    As a singleton and an extreme couponer, I don’t like the fact that, whether intentional or not, restaurant coupons discriminate against single people. I often dine alone, usually when I am on the road. Almost all the restaurant coupons are for buy one meal get one free, or so much money off two dinners. Rarely do I find a coupon that is for half off one meal.

    I decided to make the best of it, and when I’d eat out with a two-meals-for-the-price-of-one coupon, I would eat the one meal at the restaurant and get the second meal to go, put it in my upright freezer, and defrost it at a later date. However, the coupon powers that be caught on to me. Now the restaurant coupons I get are buy one meal AND TWO DRINKS, get another meal free. All I can say is, “GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  27. Katie,

    Thank you so much for your concern, and for the website that you recommended (it’s dancinginthedarkness.com). But please don’t worry that I will be addled by all the advice! 🙂 I am very discerning, and know how to take or leave what people say, and I know that everyone who has posted has posted with a kind heart and very good intentions, and everyone has spoken truth. And as I mentioned, I have had the benefit of several years of counseling. I’m just not in a place (geographically) to receive it regularly at this point (though I could call my former counselor on the phone if need be). So please don’t worry. I am not in danger. I am not self-harming or suicidal or in a hopeless mental place where I think I will *never* leave this place. I have good friends in real life and a great deal of support from them. I just needed to vent in a moment of despair, and felt safe enough to do so here. And for the past four years, I have worked as a crisis intervention volunteer for those who have been sexually assaulted, so I am well acquainted with the danger that can exist in such situations, and I can assure you that I am not in danger.

    Thank you again for your support and concern.

  28. I am back! Sorry for my earlier frustration in regard to my comment Kate, ha ha ;.) I just dont like typing out comments and then them going way (you can delete my previous rant if you wish).

    I just turned 30 last weekend and am still single. Dealing with this can be hard. I hate to place a link here, but I also dont want to copy and paste my whole blog as a comment. Being single is so very tough and aggravating. I talk a lot about what this means for me as a male and also as an introvert living away from family and friends while right now in a good but temporary hospital chaplain residency (I think that was a run on sentence, ha ha).

    http://daniel-single-me.blogspot.com/2012/10/turning-30.html

      • Thanks Kate! I feel the same way coming to your blog. For a while I was keeping up with a site called Boundless online and through FB (it is a singles blog run by Focus on the Family) but I kept feeling everything written there was so nice and not enough real going on, not enough grit and struggle. Plus, I feel from that Boundless and from church in general a lot of times, that I am seen as not whole or deficient because I am single (not married). I do not feel this way (always) and wish more married people would extend their friendship out to singles, instead of separating from them (both socially and in terms of Sunday school classes and “singles” ministries).

  29. Hi,
    I’ve gone through times when i’ve really not enjoyed being single, loved it, and neutral towards it.
    Loving it now.
    Firstly, celibacy. It’s not about repression of sexual energy / desire. But about having sexual energy TRANSFORMED / CHANNELLED, by Divine grace, into new forms of energy: physical, intellectual, emotional, creative and spiritual.
    And having sexual desire transformed into desire to love God and neighbour, and a zest / fire to live life to the full.
    Secondly, intimacy. Through living close to the gospels, the will of the Divine, and real, mystical prayer, it’s possible to experience real, spiritual connection with the Divine. To the point of ecstasy of the soul, like Teresa of Avila. Everyone can be Teresas of Avila to a degree.
    Thirdly, companionship. There is the spiritual companionship of God. He’s in us! Literally, in a spiritual way (not just a nice idea). And Christ’s angels, non carnal beings, and so celibate, too, are literally very close to us, too. Jesus was celibate. We couldn’t be in better company. As was Mary his mother, and many other saintly people.
    Fourthly, what to do? Single people have more opportunity to be creative in how we serve God and love others. I mean a father has to get up everyday, and work to provide for his family. A mother might, also, work. But she knows she will have to change so many nappies per day. Days can be similar (in a good way). God gives single people, perhaps, greater opportunity to be creative about how they serve others. After work, you’re more free than married people with families, to help people on the street, charity work, or to keep an eye on some old uncle, or the old lady across the road. An infinite amount of different opportunities to serve others. More time an opportunity to build up a close and exciting prayer life with the Divine. To allow God to light one up, to be on fire, spiritually. And more free, of course, to pursue arts, interests etc ..
    Best wishes, God bless,
    Ed (UK)

  30. Well first let me say how much I love reading the comments after the blog, almost as much as the blog itself lol. Secondly I love this idea of ranting. So here goes:

    First off my mom just passed away 3 weeks ago. Can I just say what the junk. Seriously. Its still all too fresh. And unbelievable. And to tie in how this sucks as a single, well, I have been realizing how much it sucks to not have a wife or significant other right now. Or kids. They will never know who my mother was. They wont know her smile, or her laughter. How she would have been an AMAZING Grandmother/mother in law.
    Theres that.
    And about being single.
    I am an assistant director for a christian theater troupe which happens to be an awesome group of friends. I have watched as one by one our leadership team has married off or paired off and just in the last few months some of the couples have started to move on to child #2. CHILD NUMBER TWO!
    I havent even dated and they are already working on their second child. How does this happen? I am 29 heading into thirty and havent even been on but a few dates. And let me just say while Im at it- a date only qualifies as a ‘date’ if both parties are in agreement that it is indeed a date. A lovely female friend of mine has been insisting that we dated for a few months when in reality we didnt. She might have been thinking so but that was not the case.
    Ahem.
    Sorry that got both personal and trivial.
    Singleness sucks when any lady friend you are hanging with automatically gets viewed in your families eyes as the one.
    Singleness sucks when you get a gym membership and work and work your butt off to lose weight and buy new snazzy clothes and get all dressed up on your day off just to realize wherever you go its by yourself. Even the lost weight is for no one but yourself.
    Singleness sucks when you are a extremely creative and artistic guy and the two comined (being single and artsy) translates into being gay for most people. Im not even effeminate, but being so artsy and sooo single must mean gay. What the junk people!?
    Singleness sucks when females look at you like something has to be wrong with you to be so old and single.
    When you start to look at the girls younger than you just because the ones your age are either married or not interested in the least.
    When you start to look at girls who you are not interested in because there is no one else and then question whether you are being narrow minded when you solidify your disinterest in them.
    Singleness sucks when you are a cat man and worry about growing old just you and your cat and no one else (honest to goodness it is a fear).
    Singleness sucks when you start to question whether Gods plan is for you to marry or not because there is no one…of course realizing that the problem is not Gods calling you to be single but that there is no one is equally heartbreaking.
    Singleness sucks when….oh heck, singleness just sucks.

    I hope that wasnt too long. But it was cathartic. What an awesome idea friend!

    • Sorry to hear about your mother passing. I turned 30 last week and part of me feeling depressed was thinking about how when my parents pass, who will take care of me. Normally it is parents, siblings, or children. As of now, when they pass, it will just be me and my siblings. I will have no spouse and no children. That thought made/makes me sad.

      I too struggle a lot because I obviously like to write, read, play board games (Scrabble, Chess, Uno, Phase 10). Include those nerdy and sensitive things and it makes me wonder if my disinterest in sports makes me seem less manly.

      I also can sense some animosity towards females here in your reply, for the way you feel you have been treated. Please dont let your past dictate your future, in regards to relationships. After a few bad years, I struggle with this myself. It is very hard not to stereotype when it seems like similar things always seem to happen because of the females one has hung out with or dated in the past. Once I knew I had baggage I was a bit angry that now I have baggage to work through… I just dont want my own baggage to keep me from meeting or pursuing someone wonderful because I have become so untrusting or pessimistic.

      Just some thoughts…

      • I appreciate your thoughts friend. Its good to know others are listening. I can relate to your thoughts as well.
        Who knows how the female psyche thinks lol. I suppose what some deem to be less manly others have to find attractive…right? Maybe all of the ‘good ones’ are taken, good being those who prefer a man who loves creativity over sports.
        And there is no animosity from me, frustrations maybe, but not animosity. Those are two entirely and distinctly different things. While the word frustration can have broad connotations to it, animosity is a limited word. I was replying in the more broad sense of frustration. I admit I was hesitant at first to refer to the opposite sex as the opposite sex because I know that ambiguity is less formidable than a pointed phrasing. But I went for it anyway. I hope I didnt make any of the females commenting feel the same way as you did because I harbor no ill will towards any females in my life, both past and present. I was simply venting.
        I would argue here that if any of the ladies had referred to the source of their frustrations as men then I too would be inclined to feel a sense of animosity coming from them. But these ladies are smarter than that and they understand how labeling can be limiting and defining, even if one doesnt wish to be defined in that way.
        Anyways I just wanted to clear the air! Thanks once again!

  31. Kate, I just want to say thank you. Thanks for this blog in general, for this post specifically, and for providing a safe place for us to share our own frustrations. It’s incredibly encouraging to see other people put words to things I feel, yet never have the chance to express.

    I’ve been reading all these comments and have had to stop every few minutes to cry. On one hand, it’s a relief to know I’m not the only one feeling this way sometimes, but on the other it’s hard to know that so many others are the recipients of such thoughtlessness and that they experience such heartache.

    Anyways, thank you. Also, thanks to all the other commenters for your honesty.

  32. This may be the most insipid, meaningly comment you get. But girl, I wish I knew you in real life so I could give you a big ol’ High Five. You deserve it.

    I have posted on my Facebook telling my married friends “Back off, and don’t you dare tell me to Enjoy My Season of Life.”

  33. I hate the fact that married people say they wish they had my freedom. The reality is that I don’t have time to use my freedom because I have to do everything. I realize it’s all for one person (me)…..but I have to do it ALL. I work 45-55ish hours a week, do college classes online, teach Sunday school, and lead a small group. On top of this, I have to cook dinner, buy groceries, wash dishes, change the oil/brakes/whatever in my car, write a budget/pay the bills, fix the shower, clean my apartment, take out the trash. And when I’m sick? I still have to do everything on top of going to the store/pharmacy to take care of myself.
    I don’t have any kids of my own. But since my older brother is deployed, I spend several hours a week with his kid so that his son still has a male figure in his life. So, I’m kinda like a single father who has his kid every weekend.
    To add to it all, I’m active duty military myself. I now have to plan my move from Florida to Seattle. One week after I arrive, I deploy to the Persian Gulf. This means I have to plan for X # of months finances in advance because I won’t always have Internet to pay bills online.

    Being single also sucks when people dismiss my *ahem* biological desires by stating, “it can’t be that bad. You’ve never had sex [or even had a first kiss] so you don’t know what you’re missing. I point out that a newborn baby screams for milk it’s never had. Just because I’m a virgin doesn’t mean my desire for sex is lessened. In fact, I know the desire on a deeper level than those who don’t have to fight it. I really want sex.
    Thanks for letting me rant.

    P. S. I like that you pointed out the 99% of people on dating sites don’t love Jesus like we do.

      • This is like a real conversation. Anyway. I am glad I’m not the only one who thought of the time thing. I know “significant others” take time, but so does doing everything for yourself! I might cook complete healthy meals if someone else would change tires for me. Or I might wash my car and change my own oil if someone else wanted to clean my house. I don’t really mind doing lots of things, I just don’t want to do all! things. And do you know how hard it is to fill time while your car is being worked on when there’s no one to give you a ride to/from the mechanic’s? And the bills thing – my poor parents still have to take care of all my finances, etc., when I travel, which is kind of strange. Freedom is completely relative.
        Loving Jesus is what makes it livable 🙂

    • Yes! Thanks for this! I often have to explain those same things to married friends and they don’t get it. Yes they may have kids & a husband to take care of, but they also have kids & a husband to HELP with the housework, cooking, etc. We singles have to do it all (plus make time to date!)

  34. – Being single sucks when you are terribly lonely but struggle to know how to talk about it in a way that doesn’t make people think you are desperate enough to go out with any single Christian of the opposite gender they know, even ones you are really incompatible with or not remotely attracted to.

    – Being single sucks when you find yourself in funny dating happenings/first kiss/how I met my partner themed conversations and have absolutely nothing to contribute and you just have to smile and nod as though you know exactly what they are talking about, all the while secretly hoping noone notices you haven’t said anything.

    – Being single sucks when knowing everything doesn’t solve anything . I know all the true things about God’s sovereignty and goodness. I know about the high statistical odds of getting married at some point. I know that marriage can be hard and relationships can’t ultimately fulfill you. People have told me these things lots of times. I may have read more on the topic than many people have voluntarily read on every non-fiction topic combined. But still, knowing it all doesn’t cure the lonely ache and certainly hasn’t gotten me into a relationship.

    – Being single sucks sometimes when you are surrounded by happy couples (and the excessive amounts of material on the topic of their coupledom posted on facebook) but lack that kind of love yourself. I am usually sincerely happy for people getting coupled/married/engaged but it does make the loneliness sting a bit harder

    – Being single sucks when you get comments from your parents like “lots of my friends have grandchildren!”

  35. Thank you, Kate, once again, for posting a blog that so succinctly sums up how I feel.

    I have a lot of married friends who tell me that marriage is “hard”. And I am divorced, from a very troubled and painful marriage that ended pretty badly. So I know it is hard. But the weird part? Let’s be honest here (and maybe this will help all of those married people to quit giving singles advice!) I think the desire for marriage and family is actually BIGGER than us. You know why I think that? Because almost INSTANTLY after the divorce papers went through from my divorce ( a divorce that happened for very good reasons though I was not the one who filed….the Lord used it to set me free from a very bad situation) I wanted, for no sane reason I could discern, to get married again!

    I was TERRIFIED of getting married. And yet I deeply, painfully longed for it. Longed for a companion, romance and children. Even though I had just spent several years and invested the best of myself in marriage and it had not worked out. The conflict between these dueling emotions was intense.

    I also want to state to the comment above that single people don’t have THAT much free time, How right you are! I am often very busy with doing things for myself that a husband might do. But most tellingly, I am often busy helping my married friends with children. I live in town with my sister and two nephews, whom I adore. I have spent so many happy evenings and weekends taking care of them and playing with them. However, after spending 5-20 hours over the course of a weekend helping my sister to bathe, potty train, diaper change, play, walk, discipline, feed and entertain them, I walk away feelings sad. I feel sadly that I do not have my own children on whom to lavish this attention. I am doing this for someone else’s children. I go between feeling grateful that the Lord has given me this opportunity. And sorrow that I feel like I am playing a supporting role in other peoples’ lives. I don’t feel like the star of my own story. There. How’s THAT for a pitty party!?

    I will say though, I am enjoying at this exact moment a few perks of singleness. For those of us who have commented about having to do things for themselves that they would normally ask a spouse, yes sometimes that is painful for me. But often there is a huge amount of satisfaction. Satisfaction in learning a new skill. Something that my exhusband would have rushed to do but would have left me feeling confused or helpless about a part of my life. He recorded music at home the entire time I knew him, and a few times recorded me singing or playing music but did let me really get to know the equipment. There is such a satisfaction and a really deep level of competence that comes with knowing how to do something oneself. And there is a much bigger difference between relying on someone because you trust them, and relying on someone because you have no choice.

    Right at this moment I’m having a sense of humor about being single in my thirties, so I’ve been considering getting a series of professional photos of me and my cat, haha. I figure I might as well embrace the stereotype!

    • Thank you so much for all of your posts. I am married, but have MANY single friends. I LOVE THEM!

      I even get tired of this world/some Christian churches which are all about “just my family” and not a BIG, HUGE church family.

      But most of all I want to say thank you for being honest about the things that we as married people say that JUST SUCK!

      This blog has also helped me to know what to say.

      I had a horrible incident happen at a Bible study where a single woman was suffocated for sharing her lonliness, and because of this blog I was able to stand up for her in a helpful way. (I truly believe.)

      I am shocked at how many other times I have brought up this struggle of singleness in other Bible studies (I left that one because the woman never came back and I was so horrified….I truly still believe I was helpful, just the leaders did not know what to do with this one woman who was just….let’s say not full of grace and truth.

      Anyway, when I have so many singles feel like they have a voice again.

      Please, please marrieds take heed to this honesty. Look at your single friends, give them LOTS of hugs (I need to work on this), and say, “That is hard.” Please practice. You do not need to fix their problem. You do not need to pity them. They are probably more spiritually mature than you and you probably (like me) have a ways to go. In this culture to remian celebate and single is a beautiful, but hard road. Stand with them quietly. Cry with them. Celebrate with them.

      Anything I left out?

      I will never again say, “You just need to be content.” I will never again say, “Well, try a blog.” Honestly, I think the best response is, “That is hard.” and then a long, beautiful hug.

      Because I need your conversation. I want your voice. We need it!

      —The Now (Hopefully) Educated Married

  36. Thanks for posting so honestly and beautifully. As a married person who has greatly enjoyed being deep friends with many single women, it is so good to hear from your heart.

    I know I’m usually afraid to acknowledge how hard it can be, because I don’t want to add to the idea that marriage is wonderful and solves all a person’s problems. When I was a mom with young kids, everybody acknowledged it was a hard season– and I got a lot of help both practically and emotionally. And just because someone agreed it was hard didn’t mean they were saying it wasn’t God’s plan. It was just a hard part of the plan. And I so much want to say, “I’m sorry singleness is so hard!” to my friends.

    I also agree with strange two-sides-of-the-coin ideas that 1) Marriage and children is what we were designed for, therefore the longing is bigger than us, and 2) that only Christ frees us from the dependence on marriage and family to give our lives meaning and joy.

    It is a sorrow and love that come mingled down. I pray for you, and each of my friends, that by the supernatural power of God, through this sadness and struggle, you would experience the love and joy of Christ now and for eternity, in a deeper way than you’ve ever imagined.

  37. Can I add some non-ranting commendations? And I don’t know how to say this inoffensively, or gently, so I’ll do my best and risk offending you.

    But I admire how you have walked with God as a single woman.

    I’m afraid to fall into the cultural trap of saying that marriage is wonderful, and will fulfill all our desires. But I’m guessing you already know that isn’t true. I’m afraid of echoing the messages of our culture that say that meaning and joy is only found in marriage and raising children. But I trust that you have a deep sense of the meaning of your life, and the joy, that come through Christ. I’m afraid to say that marriage is the ‘norm’ when Jesus himself wasn’t married.

    But a friend’s rant recently reminded me of the pain of singleness. When my kids were young, everyone understood it was hard, and they weren’t afraid to say so (and help me!). But sometimes, we are afraid to say that singleness is hard.

    I admire your ability to hear God’s call directly from Him. My calling has come through my husband. I’ve wondered if I would have ever been willing to submit to God’s call, if it wasn’t for the flesh-and-blood husband who wouldn’t be ignored. It is always far too easy for me to not spend time with God when He’s saying something that I don’t want to hear!

    I admire you for your fight for sexual purity, fighting against your very biology, and of course, the advertisements and temptations of the modern world. I’m afraid that without a physical husband at home, I would have succumbed to the physical and emotional temptations.

    I admire your perseverance in your faith, when compromising any one of a number of levels would have fulfilled your natural, God-given desires.

    I admire how you are committed to Christ and to the passions of His heart. I’m afraid to that I would have walked away from my faith entirely, if not for the accountability of my husband. Sometimes, his faith has kept me walking until mine was renewed.

    I admire you for truly living your life with Jesus. It’s hard for me, living overseas, to be surrounded by people who don’t ‘know’ me in my own culture. It’s hard to be living on my third continent, having left many dear places and people behind. Yet my husband has been there. My heart aches for my single friends, who have traveled to the ends of the earth, and carry the experiences and memories alone. I can only pray that each of you would feel His presence in every place, in every moment. and know that every trial has been seen.

    I commend you for walking by faith, in singleness. I’m guessing it’s not by choice, the singleness part. But you have chosen to walk by faith, trusting in God alone. I trust that your reward will be beyond what you’ve ever imagined.

    I pray for you with tears, that God would make Himself real to you every day as the bridegroom who has chosen you, calls you beautiful, and loves you. I pray that knowledge would become more real to you than the anything you hear or experience in this temporary world.

  38. Thank you Kara… what a thoughtful and encouraging word.

    *Rant*

    As a single women I am frustrated by my continual battle for hope in Christ alone. It feels like the chance of meeting a godly man who wants to be with me is fading away with each passing year.

    Two weeks ago I had a non-Christian male friend profess his love to me… I regularly try to be cautious not flirting back with men in the non-church/Christian world who seem interested. This sounds like it would mean Christian men are interested too, but not so much! It is hard during the dry seasons that no one pursues and it is hard during the seasons when all the wrong men pursue. I am exhausted and weary of this… where are the godly men who pursue the godly women at church, in small group, etc.?

    I have read book after book, listened to sermons and podcasts, sought mentorship… I have been praying for my future husband for well over 10 years. I am at the point of realization that I can’t DO anything differently I just need to trust, but it doesn’t help when I share my struggle it seems like people try to “fix” everything.

    I am sadden to know that there is a good chance by the time I meet my husband I will be past my prime (sexually and in my physical appearance)… I will never be my husband’s young, hot wife.

    I am tired of my own whining and complaining too. I am so blessed… I would easily list blessings after blessing, but I feel stuck in my endless circle of pity.

    I am not sure God’s calling and how he wants to use my gifts and talents… it seems so clear to me that my longing for the role of wife and mother clouds my vision and sense of purpose for my life. I am not sure how to seek him with this because the “noise” the desire to marry creates in my thoughts.

    *End Rant”

    “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46:10

  39. I think the worst thing about being single in the US at this point in history is all the guilt, shame and hopelessness people try to lay on you for wanting what you want.

    Like I mentioned in my earlier post, the desire to have a family, fall in love, be married etc is primal, and much bigger than us. I know many women (and men!) who say they have deeply desired to be married and have mate from their earliest childhood memories. This is something built into us the same way we long for a sunny day, a delicious meal, meaningful friendships etc. Only even bigger than us because it symbolizes our deepest needs for intimacy and significance and the most important way we will express that with another human being in this life.

    This reminds me of the verse that says that “in the last days they will be without natural affection.” I feel that the callousness with which we treat these desires for marriage and intimacy would be reflective of that. s But as believers we should not fall into this trap! We were told to “honor marriage” as a blessed state! So many of our fears about marriage come from the influence of the world which teaches us that marriage is boring, not worthwhile, a trap, and likely to end in heartache and divorce. Things can go wrong in any marriage, but overall marriage is a blessed thing for most people most of the time. We have let our fears and worries overcome the blessings the Lord intended for us in marriage.

    And if we cannot honor marriage, how will we then have natural affection for the children that arise from these marriages?

    And because God intended for marriage to symbolize HIS union with HIS bride, the church, of COURSE we want it. God has put eternity in the hearts of man. so we have an infinity capacity for love, relationship and intimacy, just like him. And at this time, the whole universe is geared up, breathless, anticipating, on pins and needles, desperately awaiting the moment when the church and Christ are united in eternal extasy. Such a heady, sexy image. And yes, desperate. And yet when single people in our culture long deeply for relationship, we look down on them as “desperate”. We say that word with a curl of our lip, a sneer in our voices. Then we cut them out of the good social circles and don’t introduce them to the choice dating opportunities because we look down on that neediness. It isn’t cool, and reminds us of our own fears of inadequacy.

    Christ is not afraid to be inadequate without his bride. he longs for us. He was so desperate for us that he was willing to DIE for us.

    And yes, marriage does NOT fix one’s problems and brings MANY challenges. But rather than timidly and mournfully reminding single people that “well, marriage sucks, so you really should not look forward to it very much. Why don’t you just quit wanting marriage and enjoy being single and free?” This does not really seem like the appropriate solution.

    Rather, we should pray that the married people have successful relationships and experience untold joy and excitement in their marriages so that we are inspired and hopeful.

    And the unmarried should most certainly NOT be worried about the difficulties of being married. After all we are told not to worry about tomorrow, because today has enough troubles of its own. Today, just work through the difficulties of being single, and trust that when the worries of being married arrive, you will have God and a loving spouse to work through them with.

    I wonder how many marriage problems and divorces we bring on ourselves because of our worries and fears. It’s like a self fulfilling prophecy. My father and mother met in their senior year of high school. a year later my mother led my father to Christ, and the year after that they got married at the age of 19. My father once stated “Well, once I decided I wanted to marry your mom, I didn’t even worry about it! I figured I have Christ and he’s got everything under control, so I just figured I’d jump in and it would all work out!” How refreshing when compared to today’s attitude that one must have a college education, a down payment for a house, extensive therapy to exorcize one’s childhood demons, a series of Sozos, couples’ premarital counselling, pornography accountability, compatibility tests, 1.5 years of courtship, asking the girls father’s permission, and another 1 year engagement before a couple even THINKS of getting married? NO WONDER so many of us are single well into our 30s!!

    Then for another story of this ilke, my grandparents met when my grandfather was 18 and my grandmother was 20. Six months later almost TO THE DAY, they got married, and were HAPPILY married for 57 years. They joked around like teenagers about the day they met, when they knew they would get married (by the second date) and all the little thrills of their first years together. So much for “Single Life Workshop” to teach people how to have relationships.

    Maybe more of that faith and innocence in life and God and relationships is what we all need.

  40. Maybe if you girls dropped the church thing guys would think that you weren’t uptight & not going to put out without a wedding ring. Then you could have a boyfriend, who might marry you, & if you still wanted something spiritual in your life you could read “The Secret” or maybe watch “Eat, Pray,Love”.

    • And end up with someone like you, who doesn’t want to be with us unless we “put out” first? And who not only doesn’t share our most cherished beliefs but also doesn’t even honor us enough to say, “I don’t agree, but I respect you for living out your beliefs”? Who instead trivializes our faith and suggests we just chuck it in favor of sex? You’re right, what have we been thinking!

      But in all seriousness, do you realize that what you are saying boils down to the fact that you (or, “guys”) are more interested in sex than in us as human beings? I think I can speak for the majority here in saying that–even if we were fine with having sex before marriage–that is not the kind of person we would want to be with. If someone wouldn’t be with me unless I slept with him, I’m not interested (regardless of my ethics relating to sex). I want to be chosen because someone sees who I am and values me, and if they only “love” me if they get physical pleasure out of the deal, I’d say they don’t actually love me, since love is other-oriented, not self-focused. Besides, for most people reading/contributing here, our faith isn’t just an addendum we tack onto our lives so that we can feel spiritual. It is the foundation of our lives and can’t just be traded for some pop culture “spirituality.” I know many people in our culture live that way, but it’s not really an option for us.

      P.S. Perhaps you were trolling. I kind of hope so. But unfortunately, it’s an effective way to troll because there are guys who actually think like this. Luckily, there are also guys who don’t.

      P.P.S. If I was too snarky there in the beginning and was rude, I apologize. Or, Kate, feel free to delete.

      • Unfortunately, a guy who does not share fundamental values like waiting until the wedding night is much more likely to also not want to wait for other things. Namely: Through trials in marriage and not having an affair, through an unplanned pregnancy where abortion is not an option.

        It might seem like as long as you both are attracted and can be friends, it’s enough. But another problem that I didn’t think about until I was seriously considering marriage is that many Christians truly believe in giving 10% of their income to the poor and raising their kids in the truth of Christ.

        To give all that up for sex is just not a good bargain.

  41. I have ad several people ask me: “Have you looked into freezing your eggs”?

    It’s one of the most offensive+heartbreaking things people can say, and I’ve heard it from my mom (!!!) and male friends (!!!!) amongst others.

    (1) WHY ON EARTH would I want an invasive procedure ‘up there’ when I haven’t experienced any other kind of contact there?

    (2) Freezing eggs is EXPENSIVE and I don’t want to be a single mom, so what, you expect me to spend thousands of dollars on a vague hope?!

    (3) So I freeze my eggs- and I’m in my mid-30s. I don’t think it’s very responsible to have kids much past age 45 anyway. So what’s the real point? It’s still a huge gamble if I’ll meet someone in that timeframe, and if I do, then the eggs still in me might still be good anyway?!

    (4) Do you think I don’t trust God?

  42. Ok, here’s my rant.

    I’ll admit I’m still mad at God right now. My first relationship ever was when I was in high school. He ended up being abusive. I didn’t date again for six years. I also became a Christian during that time, so I did the whole “let Jesus be my boyfriend” thing.

    By the time I hit my mid-20s, though, I was again hoping SOMEONE would ask me out (because good girls don’t pursue guys, you know!). There were a couple of the “socially awkward” types that did, and I was always willing to go on a few dates to get to know someone, but none of that panned out to anything, because we really did have opposite personalities & such. Then I met a guy at church who I served in ministry with for several years. I completely fell for him, and he obviously enjoyed the attention, because he was always inviting me to things and sharing deep discussions with me…. but he never asked me out on a date. I spent weeks and months begging God to either move him do to something, or to take away my feelings for him. Finally, after three years of this, I finally just admitted to him how I felt. He told me he thought I was great, but God was calling him to singleness. A year or two later he moved overseas, and promptly married a national girl.

    Fast forward another several years where I wasn’t asked out on dates by anyone. I finally feel I’m at the “content to be single” stage and am actively involved in moving forward in ministry. I’m a missionary, and was working on the last stages of support-raising before heading overseas. Then came what I thought was “the one”. A mutual friend set us up under the guise of “hang out with my friends!” then left us alone to talk. We BOTH told the other we were only looking for friendship, not a date. But in talking about missions & other things we shared in common, we ended up spending tons of time together, until our friends asked us if we were actually dating. So we did.

    I need to put a little context in here: this relationship was difficult for me to get into, because he had a very outgoing, forceful personality, which triggered memories of the abusive guy in HS. It took me nearly two years to prayerfully get myself past those automatic reactions that compared the two, often unfairly. They were very different people.

    I also wasn’t sure about the timing of this, so me and my accountability partner spent lots more time in prayer, and what I eventually we concluded was that God was leading in this direction. Now the guy was from a different mission agency, so I had to put things on hold until we figured out who was transferring where, etc (we ended up both leaving our agencies & selecting a new one together). We got engaged and were planning our wedding for last year.

    Then everything fell apart.

    I caught him lying to me several times, and upon further investigation, found out he had been hiding a pornography addiction, as well as a return to alcoholism (he had been sober 5 years when we met). When I confronted him, everything else blew up. He became more abusive (just in different ways) than my first boyfriend! He cancelled our wedding via text message while I was at work only a few weeks before the date, moved in with a coworker a month later, and spent nearly six months sending me almost daily hate-mail via text, email, or notes on my door. I tried to get a restraining order but wasn’t able to, and he finally quit (hopefully!).

    All this from another Christian who is still active and successful in ministry.

    So now, a year later, I’m just getting back to where I was before him. I’m working again on getting to the mission field (starting over, it seems, since I lost several supporters for taking so long). I’m off the depression meds I was taking, and I’m starting to recover, slowly. It seems harder, now, because I really felt God had been leading in this relationship, only to have it turn out worse than everything before. I still had areas that had not been healed from the HS boyfriend as well as the ministry friend that led me on, so it had been difficult to trust to begin with. Getting knocked down a third time after believing God led me there has been the hardest thing to deal with. I would love to meet a decent guy one day that shares my calling, but I’m afraid to try again. I want to trust God with my love life, but it’s hard to do when it feels like He’s let me down several times already.

    And then you add in the comments by well-meaning people that are just salt in the wound.
    * “It’s good that it happened now instead of after you were married.” – Nice way to invalidate everything I’ve gone through, just because it hadn’t happened a few weeks later
    * “God was just protecting you.” – Then why did he lead me there in the first place?
    * “God has someone else for you” or “You’re still young, it will happen!” – Except that I’m in my 30’s now, and women outnumber men as much as 5:1 on some mission fields, and the ones that do go there single are often guys just out of college that are married within their first 5 years. Plus try to tell that to the hundreds of single women missionaries that retire still single. Yeah…

    There have been some good things, I know. I’ve turned my grief into writing, and have published a chapter on the topic in a book that came out last year (“Stories From the Heartland” is on Amazon & Noisetrade!). My church family and I grew closer, as they were the ones to take over my reception hall last-minute and turn it into a completely non-wedding-related ministry party (plus help me with the bills). I also have more compassion for the girls our church deals with in our strip club ministry, as most of them have dealt with abuse.

    It’s just been a really long road and I’m already exhausted… and still single.

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, even if it’s really long. I just picked up your book and am enjoying it! Have a blessed day!

    • Thank you for sharing this. What a shocking story! I am so sorry you have had to walk through this. I pray that you are able to wrestle when you need to wrestle and find serenity when you need to find serenity. This is a good example of a time where it is better for friends to listen and acknowledge your pain rather than give you any cliches or pithy statements. Know that you are a strong, strong person no matter how weak you feel and that God holds you in your suffering and has also suffered with you. Bless you on your journey. -Kate

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