A couple of weeks ago we heard from two people who are single in the 30s.
Here’s another interview.
What is a book or tv show you enjoyed in primary school? Why did you like it?
A hard question, too many to choose from! But one that links the two – when I was in grade 7 I was flicking the channels one Sunday evening and stumbled across a show about a feisty & witty woman with 4 sisters living in the beautiful English countryside. Yes, you’ve probably guessed it, it was the (now) classic BBC 1995 Pride & Prejudice TV adaptation. I was sucked in from that moment, and when I found out it was based on a book I knew I had to read it…and so began my love affair with Jane Austen & classic English literature.
I think with the TV show I was attracted by the whole package – the costumes, the scenery, the country houses (who doesn’t fall in love with Pemberley?) but especially the storyline, the characters & the dialogue. It picked up well what I then discovered in the book – Jane Austen is a master in the study of people in all their follies & foibles. And I must admit, I am a bit of a romantic!
Give us a quick overview of the details in your life event?
I’ve been single since the day of birth to my current 33rd year. I’ve never been married, been engaged or had a boyfriend. You could say I’m an expert in singleness, lol.
What’s it like?
I think most of the time it’s pretty good – I’m busy with work that I enjoy, I’ve got friends and family to love and be loved by, my time is mostly my own to choose how I will spend it. Sometimes though it’s hard – I have always desired to get married and have children, and there are times when I’m really sad that that hasn’t happened. Weddings, the birth of babies, Mothers Day – I rejoice in these with friends and family, they are wonderful, but they’re always tinged with a little sadness. But probably the hardest thing with being single is the underlying sense that I’m just that: single. Alone. When I go to church, I go alone. At gatherings of family or friends sometimes I’m the only single, so all those couples can reinforce that I’m alone. When I have to make decisions, in the end they’re up to me.
What was a helpful thing someone did at that time?
Friends who have invited me over to their normal family dinner & evening hangout in front of the TV. Friends who invited me to their daughter’s end of year dance concert. The guys I work with coming over one day to clean my gutters and do a few other house maintenance things.
What was an unhelpful thing someone did at that time?
Friends who began dating, or got engaged or married, who suddenly no longer talk to you or include you in their social events. Being asked, “So why aren’t you married?” Church language where family nearly always = nuclear family rather than the body of Christ. Women’s events that are nearly always about being a wife or mother.
What would you want the people around you to know?
Firstly, singleness isn’t something to be rescued from. It’s not a disease to be cured of. Jesus was single and the most fully & truly human ever. Marriage doesn’t make you an adult. Secondly, as with anyone in a different life situation to your own, it’s just about being mindful of the single people around you. Notice them and include them. Older singles can especially fall through the cracks in churches, when most people at that age are in the life situation of marriage and children.
What ways could we love you in your present season?
Say hi to me at church and invite me to sit with you. Ask me if there are things I need help with. Invite me over. Tell me when are good times I can invite you over. Include me in normal family activities. Don’t let me wallow in self-pity! Remind me that God is always sovereignly good and I am never truly alone.