Celebrating Singleness

0607_fireworks_green.jpgFor some reason, it’s always on the top of our (me and my friends’) minds. Whether it’s our religion constantly reminding us that we are not fulfilling the full measure of our creation, our family constantly demanding cute grandchildren and fun in-laws, or whether it’s actually an inborn ‘tick-tock’ of the clicking biological clock, rarely does a day go by that I (or a friend) am not reminded of my single-ness.

… And yes, despite my constant dodging of the issue, I have to admit that I am finally getting to the point where I might enjoy someone to share the rest of my life’s experiences with.

But I will say that when this single stuff is all said and done (which hopefully it will be someday), I won’t have regretted a moment of it. I have gotten to know amazing people I would have never known, had career opportunities I would have never taken otherwise, and gone on adventures I would have never anticipated if I weren’t single. I have had incredible freedom to become the person I want to become, shaped by the friends, family members, and clergy that I have surrounded myself with.

I am a little disturbed by the tone of despair that I hear in other singles’ conversations. I think some times we are so caught up in our ‘singleness’ that we forget how incredibly lucky we are. Sure, we all ‘want somebody to love’ as the songster wrote, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that as singles we have the wind at our backs and nothing by possibilities in front of us.

I believe in marriage and family, but it’s no secret that having a spouse and kids at an early age is a lot to expect of someone, and a veritable ball-and-chain which limits the amount of risk your decision making can tolerate. In fact, for every person who has demanded ‘where is your wife?’ there has been someone else saying, ‘you know, I think you might be onto something – take your time and choose wisely.’

When all is said and done, I am right around the national average for people settling down and looking for a spouse. Even though I have never been satisfied with ‘average’ in most areas of my life, in this I think I am perfectly content to be right where I am.

15 thoughts on “Celebrating Singleness”

  1. That’s a great attitude. I wish I could get to that point a little more easily. I’m one of those who kindof despairs his singlehood. Of course, I think that comes partially from the fact that, the older I get, the harder it is to have friends who aren’t a spouse/significant other. All my friends keep getting married and “moving on” with their lives–so I’m missing that aspect of it.

    In any case, good on you for the great attitude!

  2. We focus way too much on singleness. (I can be as guilty as anyone else.) I think age and maturity have made me remember how amazing life is, but it was a long road to get where I am now.

    (BTW I have linked your blog to mine.)

  3. Take your time and enjoy life – it will happen eventually and you can be married for a very very very long time………

  4. I think you’re right in many respects. I consider the time I’ve been given a blessing. It has allowed me to deal with some personal things that I wouldn’t have been able to give my full attention to if my circumstances were different. And! I’ve gotten to do all kinds of cool stuff. (Score!) However, I do want to get to the other part of my life sometime before the Second Coming, so I’m not on quite the same higher plane of contentment as you are at this moment. Maybe if I sit cross-legged and say “Om” I too can become completely accepting of my singleness? But, then again, fortunately, for me, people do not ask where my husband is ever. What kind of question is that anyway? What? Are you supposed to have a “celestial GPS” or something? Odd.

  5. Now all your friends will hate me. But I disagree.

    I do think it’s great when you look on the bright side and think of the positive things that have come from your life. I am not knocking the attitude. There is a great and wonderful thing that a person should have which is being happy dispite circumstances not because of them. And I am glad that you and many you know are fine no matter what. That leads to contentment forever. you know “bloom where you are planted” idea. I think that’s fabulous. Even president hinckley encouraged not dwelling on your marital status and get on with living life and enjoying it. I am not knocking that part of life for anyone. My message is really to anyone that thinks they HAVE to stay single for wealth, to work on their faults first, for independence or for having fun.

    I think that there is a mistake in thinking that everyone must wait to get married until they are older so that they can work on themselves or have fun or whatever. There are a lot of those “issues” that singles think they need to fix first before they marry that will jsut melt away and disappear if a person looses themselves in loving and serving a spouse and eventually children. Giving yourself to someone is the greatest thing in the whole world. And to go through all those difficult things together, having no money, going through school, deciding career and all together as a couple brings a bond and a love that endures often just by history and all that you have accomplished together. Of course I am biased. I did it the “old fashioned way” knowing my husband for 15 years. Being married for 10, having 4 children, (the first not long after we were married and while Scott went to school and we had no money) We did the old way. But am I really that much worse off than those that wait until they’re 29 to get married? I don’t think so. I am really in about the same position that I would be otherwise I believe. Except less kids of course.

    Everyone’s different. Do it the way that fits the individual. I konw nothing is really formulaic.

  6. You’re right. Having opportunities and choosing to remain single is one thing. Being single is another.

    Overall though, that’s spoken as someone who has never had to grapple with the question, “What if it never works out for me?” which is the deep ‘elephant in the room’ question that leads to all the single angst.

    We don’t hate you. We just hate that it all worked out for you so quickly in your life. 🙂

  7. Ah, Samuel…I do share your thoughts on this matter…most of the time. It is great to be able to do all of the things that we are able to do only as single-tons. There are those times though (and the older I get the more often they come) that I come down off of the great experience high and think, “Yet another moment I won’t share with my E.C.” Nevertheless, I am truly grateful for all of my experiences, good and bad, alone or with another, because they have shaped me into the person I am today and I think when all is said and done, we will realize that we couldn’t have learned our life’s lessons to prepare us for what will come any other way. 🙂

  8. Angie I agree with you. I think trying to solve all of your personal issues before getting married is unrealistic. I have found that many of my issues did not even manifest themselves to me until I was married and had someone pointing them out. I find that I am more than willing to live with most of my personal issues, but my spouse is not and I also think I am a better person because of it.

    As far as the “What if it never works out for me?” questions. My only response to that is I feel not all people, but many are not willing to put in the effort to find that significant other, if that is what they are really looking for. Odds are it is not just going to fall into the lap of the looker.

  9. I think bemoaning your single status is not the best way to attract a partner. YUCK. Who wants to marry someone who is making themselves miserable? Have the attitude of a person you would LIKE to meet and marry. Confidence and contentment- while still including dating in your life is the best way to go as far as I’m concerned.

    I say Party ON Wayne. And eventually you will co-host the event.

  10. Yup. I don’t envy you and I guess I can sound harsh being someone that has been so lucky in love. I can’t remember too well what it was like and I though I envy your independence 🙂 I know it must really be very hard. I honestly and truthfully hope that all of you can have what I have because finding the greatest spouse on earth that’s perfect for you is AWESOME!

  11. I would have enjoyed my single status so much more if I had come to peace with it, and that is my biggest regret from my twenties. I spent a lot of time and energy feeling sorry for myself and envying my friends and family (both younger brothers!) for finding spouses first. And I seriously felt at 27 that I was a ‘Mormon Old Maid’. So W.E., I think you’ve got the right attitude – take your time and choose wisely. It’s true that we’re married for a long, long time, and it’s also true that when you choose wisely, it’s fabulous!!

  12. I just love that I fall in the cracks of being “single” and “not single”. I think kids are on the earth to remind us that we’re not supposed to be doing this alone and I’m reminded of that every day. Here’s what I do think though after my long, wise years (ha!): marriage should not be taken lightly and you should take the time to choose someone who will honestly love and respect you through the good times AND the bad (with your equal commitment to do the same). Whoever coined those traditional marriage vows was on to something. If you weigh the rush of nature and badgering parents with taking enough time to be thoughtful and wise I think you’ve got a good timeline- however many months or years that may be.

  13. I guess I should add that my “long, wise years” refer more to “what I would have done differently in hindsight”. I also found that the Institute “Eternal Marriage Student Manual” (found on lds.org) is absolutely wonderful. 🙂

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