One of the challenges of being single, but looking forward to a relationship, is all the advice and comments you get from your well-meaning friends who ARE in relationships. But I have to say, whether true or not, they’re not always very appreciated – and for some reason, always seem to have hidden meanings.
1. Be glad you have this time to yourself.
Well, I guess so. But God created us to be “in relationship” both with Him and others. And not just significant others, but friends. So whether I’m dating or not, my time is never really for me alone. And I really don’t have any desire to be unto myself. That just sounds lonely, to be honest – and life isn’t about me anyways.
and just as a comment… now that you’re in a relationship, do you miss being on your own? This almost seems to reflect more on you than me. I’m almost more concerned for YOUR relationship than my single status.
2. God must be working on you right now.
Sigh… this is actually my least favorite one. I think it comes from the idea that maybe said single person has a problem they would otherwise bring into a relationship. And honestly, that kinda hurts, mostly because it’s like a subtle way of saying, “there’s something wrong with you.” But somehow it’s okay to say because I’m pretty sure that God is always working on us.
I’d like to think that whether you’re in a relationship or not, you’re always submitting yourself to God’s work. But honestly, when someone says this, it makes me want to ask, “As my friend, I want you to hold me accountable, would you just come out and say what you’re seeing that I should be aware of?”
3. You deserve better or He/She’s not good enough for you
This normally comes when things aren’t working out with a crush. And it’s meant to be a compliment to build you up and make you feel good about yourself. But at the same time, It’s also a “bash” on him/her, which, when you like someone, reflects on your taste. Kind of a bittersweet comment.
And really, when your heart is on the line, it’s no fun to hear people bash the person you have feelings for.
4. Juggling a relationship and school/a job is hard.
This one… I understand that they’re trying to make you feel better… like you’re maybe saving yourself some stress. I mean really, the person who normally says this is the busy girl/guy who has that supper flexible, go-with-the-flow significant other. And in all their busyness, it seems that they still think it’s worth it. So… from the outside looking in, it seems like for whatever hardships come, forming a relationship is more like a worthwhile investment. So it’s hard to really take this statement in and think, “I’m content.”
5. God must be saving you for someone really special.
Ugh… this is the one we tell ourselves all the time and I don’t know, I sure that in His omnipotence, God has a great plan, but… well… normally this one ends the whole, “why are you still single” conversation. It’s that end note placate. And well, it just… okay, it’s not the worst one… but you hear it one too many times and it sort of looses its potency. It starts feeling a little flat.
Sometimes I wonder if people in relationships are trying to tell single people all the things they wish they knew beforehand, but I think they’re missing a very important point. Most single people don’t want relationship advice, or validation of “singleness.” Most of them are waiting for a new stage in life. It's not about "all they great things you can do as a single person," it's more about something that hasn't been done yet. Or even better, wanting someone to be support you in all you do (Besides God, they always seem to bring that one up)
A new season.
Really, I guess… I think most single people just want a chance to TRY.
That’s it. All the placations kind just feel like we’re being smothered. Like our frustrations aren’t valid, or you’re hinting at something.
So REGARDLESS of the merits of singlehood… just pat your single friend on the back when they’re feeling discouraged. Let them vent. And really, they’re just anxious for their chance to try.