This is a collaboration piece by Wade-O Radio Team members Rasheda and Mikaela.
With ‘National Single Awareness Day’ aka Valentine’s Day here, I could not let this commercialized event pass us by without expressing my sincerest disdain for so many people profitting off of the idea of love. Ok, just kidding. Valentine’s Day is just a day. If you celebrate by giving your friends candy or if you take your significant other out on a special date, or if you ignore the day all together, that’s fine.
I won’t go on a special rant about why Christians shouldn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day or anything. I won’t tell you about preparing your heart for love from Jesus only. I am not even here to tell you to “Kiss Dating Goodbye.” I am here to tell you that if you are single on Valentine’s Day, that’s okay. If no one decided to call you their favorite for this made-up holiday, it is okay. Know that you’re identity is not found in this man made holiday.
Mikaela and I had a conversation about some of our experiences as single Christian women. Needless to say, it brought about a lot of laughter, questions, and eventually led us to this post. I (Rasheda) expressed to her that I felt like some sort of Queen of the First Date (QOTFD). Meaning, that I will meet someone, we talk for a while, sometimes a few days or maybe weeks, agree to a “date”— a meeting somewhere to talk, then see what happens.
For me, that first date, whether it be lunch/dinner, frozen yogurt, coffee or whatever, that’s pretty much where it ends. I’ve had enough time and conversation to know that I would not like to continue on a path of building a friendship and moving toward a relationship with this person. Very seldomly do I go on a second date, because if I’m not into it, I mean, I’m just not. Let’s not fake it. Spare one another a few bucks, our precious time, and just call it quits. Just being honest. Sometimes you have to just say “No.”
Ineveitably, a few months go by, I will run into one of the “first and only date” guys, and they inquire of my current relationship status. When I say “I’m single,” you’d think I told them I was terminally ill or on my way to jail for the rest of my life! It’s apparently the worst thing in the world. They are shocked and confused. More often than not, I am then interrogated and blamed for my singleness.
After sharing with Mikaela, we realized we had very similar experiences. We both started to believe a myth or few about singleness. Maybe you can connect with these as well.
1. All roads lead to marriage.
If you’re single, your church, friends, family, and postman are probably trying to hook you up. They are playing cupid because they have some type of futuristic knoweledge that your next relationship will end in marriage. Because all roads must lead to marriage. No, actually they don’t. People are so set on meeting someone and immediately marrying them.
Men who are “marriage thirsty” love quoting, “He that findeth a wife… ” in a context that means, “Go look for a wife. Now. Go. Look. Don’t miss her.”
Scripture is now used as a pressure tactic.
Because if you are interested in getting to know someone deeper, that automatically means you have to get married. No, it doesn’t.
I’m not talking about dating/courtship and paths that are intentionally leading to marriage. I’m talking about on one of these first dates, I shouldn’t have to hear about your plans to marry me. I don’t know you! There’s no room to have a growing, healthy relationship when you have to make sure everything is set up toward marriage. Every person you meet and are interested in getting to know does not mean pressure them into marriage.
Overall, that is not a healthy perspective to live by. You will be setting up your heart for failure. Scripture talks about “guarding you heart, for it is the well spring of life.”
2. Something is wrong with you.
I (Rasheda) hear this one a lot, actually. “You’re nearing 30 and you’ve never been married, engaged, or had kids. Clearly, something is wrong with you. You must be crazy.” I’ve been asked if I am a stalker, vandalizer (keyed cars, broken windows, etc), cheater, bad cook, high maintenance, “too radical with religion,” etc.
Because I just can’t be a accomplished, successful, Christian woman and single.
That just can’t happen. There MUST be something wrong.
After hearing it a few times, like all good lies, you start to believe it. I literally one day started to think, “What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t any man want me?” *insert pity party with a soundtrack of slow R&B songs* I also had to realize, I was already wanted, loved, sought after, and claimed. Jesus wanted me bad enough that He died for me. God knows me AND loves me intimately and infinitely. Nothing is wrong with you if you’re single. Not one thing. Rest in that.
A guy had approached me (Mikaela) at work one day and asked me how the items in his hand looked. If they were appealing and would fit him well. I told him, it’s whatever you feel comfortable in. He then continued to say, “Don’t you dress your man? What would you have your man wear?” I politely told him I didn’t have a man. And in his disbelief, he said, “Oh, then something must be wrong with you. You must be crazy.” Umm, pause! How did I become a crazy person within four to five seconds of you and I just meeting?
It’s interesting to think that when you’re not doing what is the so called norm, of being in a relationship, than you are wrong. Nothing is wrong. God just sees it fit for me to not be in a relationship at the moment. If that’s an anomaly, I’m content with that.
3. You need to do more…
You’re single because you don’t dress like ______. If only you knew how to dress for your shape (ladies)… If only you knew how to wear a suit (men). You’re single because you don’t wear your hair/makeup like _______. I don’t know why you don’t wear makeup (ladies)… You should get this haircut/facial hair (men).
Actually, you don’t want to be in a relationship if you have to be someone you aren’t. There’s no need to do something, wear something, be someone you’re not. People may have your best interest at heart when they offer suggestions, but being you is not bad. If being you means you’re single; be single.
Ladies, if heels, make-up, accesories, purses, and curls aren’t your thing, that’s fine! Guys, if suits, beards, waves, and athletics aren’t your thing, that is fine! Be uniquely and authentically you! Your relationship status shouldn’t change because you’re now being someone else. You can’t maintain that facade. Don’t even pick it up.
4. Your standards may be too high.
Of course it’s my own fault that I chose to make the Bible my standard and not accept anything less. That’s why I’m single. If that’s truly the case, I will remain single. I know that I am a daughter, chosen, loved, and known by God. I know that I am worthy of His best. I know that He already has given me His best. I know that He loves me and won’t ever stop loving me. Why would I accept behavior from someone that contradicts everything my God, has already told me? Duh! My standards are high because they are supposed to be.
I’m not talking about the shallowness of phsyical or financial standards. “Tall, dark, and handsome with a 6-figure bank account and foreign car.” Yeah, those are ridiculous standards and this may not be a myth if those are your standards. I’m talking about standards of character. It’s not too much to have standards and expectations of respect and godliness.
Base your standards on biblical principles. If someone says they are too high, they aren’t the one for you.
No matter how attractive and great they are, be grateful God blocked it.
5. You must be lonely and unhappy.
This guy asked once about how long I (Rasheda) had been single. I told him, and his words were,”Wow, you must be really lonely.” Now, if you know me, you know that I had several things to say as knee-jerk reaction to his statement. I swiftly ended that conversation, but what he said stuck with me. I began to question if deep inside I was really lonely because I wasn’t in a relationship. Maybe he was right and deep down I was lonely, but had been lying to myself this entire time.
However, my identity isn’t in my relationship status with a man. Because I don’t have a boyfriend, fiance, or husband does not equate to loneliness. Singleness and happiness are oxymorons if you let some of these people tell it. It’s impossible to be single and happy because a relationship solves all problems and brings a multitude of only kicks and giggles. Because singleness is looked at as the bottom of the barrel, the most unfortunate position, happiness cannot be associated. Such a lie!
Singleness is such a beautiful state of freedom. It’s not a lesser status than marriage; just different. Embrace singleness! You can be happy and single. You can be excited and joyful about where you are and flourish in your singleness. It is possible. Be content in where the Lord has you.
The Lord has you in the position you are in, as a single person, to help grow you and prepare you for a possible relationship in the future. He’s working on your character. He’s working on your ability to be content in Him. In that season of singleness, dedicate yourself to God, as he prepares you. With being single, your time is not split. Because of it, you can be more engaged in serving the body of believers, spreading the Gospel, and maximizing on your singleness.
We hope that identifying and dispelling these myths was helpful. We are not looking for sympathy or apologies on behalf of the male race for these bad experiences. We are grateful for identities in Christ, knowing who and whose we are. It is sad that so many of my brothers and sisters are down trodden about their relationship status. There’s so much more to life than a romantic relationship. Singleness is not the end of you, and these lies do not define you.
This Valentine’s Day, and every day, only believe what God says about you. Only trust what Jesus has done for you. Only put faith in who you are in God’s family. Don’t believe myths of singleness. They are just that. God knows you and still loves you. There’s nothing you can do about it. Celebrate and rest in that.
Enjoy your singleness. Laugh with us at bad experiences and please, share yours!