She sent me an email sharing how the transparency in my blog had inspired her own openness. After a few “hard and force you to process your feelings” questions and a couple of rough drafts later, this fell into my inbox. I hope you find her honesty as refreshing as I did. Let’s show our guest writer some love!!! I love you girl. Hugging you tightly!
Please hear me clearly – I’m not pointing to anyone else’s experience. I’m pointing to the time in my life when I willingly kept talking to a guy who explicitly told me that I was pure entertainment for him; a plaything.
Someone who made me feel confused: insecure when he derisively made fun of me, yet expressed words of care that I longed to hear.
My desire to be desired made me swallow back the part of me that knew he was a jerk.
I adjusted my speech and held back my genuine thoughts to try and limit any negative responses. It was exhausting.
I began not liking who I was whenever we talked.
I don’t want that for my life. So, if I keep focusing on “how I’m single,” will I eventually do whatever I think it takes to end that status?
A status which may never end?
What if I never get married? Is who I have and what I have in my life enough?
And part of me is tired.
I was recently on the phone with someone who saw a photo of me and mentioned it was a beautiful picture. They then asked, “Why are you still single?”
In the past two years, the only people who have expressed any romantic interest are two middle-aged men, both of whom sent my internal alarms blaring.
And, anyone I’ve been interested in, hasn’t been interested in me.
So, it is what it is.
I’m tired of people assuming I’m not being open, without explaining to me what being opens look like. I don’t turn away from friendships with men, I speak to strangers, if someone were to ask me out to coffee (and I feel safe), my answer is yes.
It’s not like men are coming up to me left and right and I’m swatting them away with the skill of Sloane Stephens.
It’s that men aren’t coming up to me.
When I’ve asked how to “be more open,” I’ve received the following responses:
- Don’t turn people down when they ask you out. (Done.)
- Don’t walk around with a scowl. (I smile a lot!).
- Make eye contact with people. (I do that too. Which is why the aforementioned men approached me).
- Be more proactive…after all, it’s 2017. (I’ve gone speed-dating and tried online dating).
When my friend asked why I was still single, part of me wanted to scream!
The academic in me wanted to provide a PowerPoint presentation of all my experiences to date. The “shrug; it is what it is” part triumphed.
A friend of mine says that God once told her, “Saying no today will make tomorrow’s yes even sweeter.” When I look at the beautiful, complex, yet committed and honoring marriages around me, I am encouraged to hope for what I believe is to come (for me). And I genuinely celebrate with people whose wait has ended. I legit feel that when one of my friends gets engaged, it’s a win. Like – “GURL! I know how hard the struggle is out here in these streets! I’m so glad you found a good one!”
Seeing the pain that others around me have gone through as they navigate disappointment in the midst of a challenging relationship (or breakup) also cautions me to wait.
I wait, yet I’m so aware that I’m single.
Being so aware of my singleness bothers me, because I don’t want that awareness to dictate my actions. I don’t want to be so focused on being single that I knowingly accept something hurtful to fulfill my desire for companionship.
Recently, I read an article that asked me..
What would I like my life to look like if I never got married?
It’s an important question because nowhere in the Bible (at least to my knowledge) does God promise marriage on this earth. My relationship with Jesus is supposed to be the source of my contentment, joy, love, and wholeness. I often feel that way. And I know in my mind, based on God’s Word, that looking to a human to give me the love that only Christ gives will lead me to disappointment.
If I know it, why doesn’t that always feel like enough? I still have this longing to be desired and pursued. To be secure in knowing he’s interested in me. That he’s willing to take risks for what – and who – matters to him.
To build life with someone.
To be seen.
I can only take it day by day.
I thought I had an unshakeable, unchanging answer to how I felt about being 27 and single. (“I’m so content with where Jesus has me right now.”)
There are days that statement rings true for me.
And many days where it doesn’t.
And then other days when I’m so busy I don’t think about it.
Why am I still single at 27? Well. Maybe I’ll start here: I’m not 27 and single.
I’m a musician. I’m an entrepreneur. I pursue justice in health.
A friend. A sister. A daughter.
And I’m 27.
PS. Let’s show our guest some love…Comment! Comment! Comment!