Singles and marrieds
In a person’s lifetime, most people go through both seasons: being a single person and being a married person. I remember when I was single, I’d look at married people and think to myself, It must be nice to not have so much energy directed to the pursuit of finding a spouse. You already know who your “someday” man or woman is. You see them every single day.
I had my fears about marriage of course , but it was a world I felt was so different from mine.
Now, on the inside looking out, I realize marrieds and singles aren’t that different. We all fear things, though the fears are somewhat different. We all long for things, though the longings are different. So fears and longings are there nonetheless, regardless of the season, there is no escaping these things.
When you’re single, you long to meet the one.
You long for the simple comfort of nights sitting on the couch, flipping through channels, sharing a blanket. You want to know this attractive person wants to be with you forever and without any judgement, they are the keeper of all your secrets, all your fears. You don’t want to go through another heart shattering break up.
You don’t ever want to hear him say, “I can’t do this anymore,” again.
You don’t want to be with a man and wish you were with another.
You don’t want to wake up on Friday morning having seen him three nights earlier, wondering why he hasn’t called or at least texted.
You want to wake up and pull her in close, and have her shampoo hair smell lingering in the air… every single day.
You’re tired of women going after the bad boys and hardly even noticing you’re alive.
You’re tired of spending your Friday nights online, desperately trying to connect with someone.
You want the stability of commitment.
You want this atmosphere to raise a family.
And you want all the Christmas cards and silly holiday traditions that come along with it.
And most likely, you will get that. According to this article, the “percentage of people who have ever been married by the age of 55: Both males and females: 95%.”
All this seems wonderful, and all this IS wonderful, but all the single men and women reading this, I want you to know that being married isn’t without longings. When you’re married, you will never go through a new relationship unfolding again.
And those all too comfortable nights sometimes makes you long for the thrill of the beginnings:
The first glance when he was just a stranger who caught your eye.
The electricity that floods your body as you try to focus on the movie, the welcomed distraction in the form of his arm touching yours.
The first kiss, stolen in the middle of the movie.
The first time you smell him, and all you want to do is steal his sweatshirt and sleep with it.
The nights you forfeit sleep, when time stands still, and you pull all nighters.
The side of your face so warm from the heat of a phone because you’ve ignored the fact that you’re probably developing a massive brain tumor to make this never-ending conversation possible.
The mornings you walk into work completely disheveled and don’t give a damn because you know your face is flushed and beaming and all you can do is smile at that belligerent customer.
But maybe that one didn’t last. Or maybe you found out you’re not the only girl in his line of vision. Or maybe you find out you’re only the girl in his peripheral.
The singles fear…
When you’re single, sometimes you fear you may be alone forever. What if he/she never shows up? You think, I will die alone.
The marrieds fear…
When you’re married, you fear your forever will end. What if they give up? Maybe they will die. Maybe they will leave you and run off with the secretary/gardener.
So you’re still left with the same fear.
I will die alone.
The difference when you’re married.
But it’s a different kind of terror when you’re married. I know singles have their hardships, believe me, but there is always that hope, that distant feeling that prods you to believe as long as I’m alive, it could happen for me. And if it doesn’t, you get used to being by yourself.
When you’re married, that hope has been fulfilled, and every day you spend with your other half, it gets harder and harder to imagine a life that doesn’t involve them.
And death isn’t just a fear. It’s a guarantee.
And if we’re talking about someone leaving you instead of dying, there’s a greater chance that a married person will divorce (50%) than a single person will stay single. (5%) (Source)
So at the end of the day, singles have something to hope for with statistics on their side, and marrieds have something to dread because death is guaranteed and divorce happens to about half of marriages.
So next time you think that a married person can’t understand your longings and your fears and you are tempted to covet or envy their season in life, remember marrieds lived that season too, and now we have a whole new set of similar yet different fears and longings.
The key to happiness for everyone
The key to happiness whatever your season is, whether single or married, isn’t always to get what you want, it’s to WANT what you have.
Contentment for the married
If marriage is what you have, cherish that security, but look for ways to bring excitement- do novel things together, meet up at the restaurant on date night instead of going together, make out like teenagers for a change instead of just skipping to the main attraction.
And embrace the present. Don’t dwell on the future– scary things could and will happen, but right now that future only exists in your mind.
And don’t dwell on the past— you HAD those beginnings, and you have stories to tell your grand kids. But the present is the place to find your joy. Learn to appreciate the security, stability, comfort, and companionship you have.
Contentment for the singles
If you’re single, cherish the excitement of the unknown.
When you don’t know if she likes you, when you don’t know if he’s crushing on you as hard as you’re crushing on him, when you don’t know what makes her eyes light up, when you don’t know if he thinks about you at night before he goes to sleep, cherish these unknowns.
There will be a time when you feel you know everything about the person you love, so right now, when there are question marks, there is also excitement.
Don’t fast forward these fleeting, thrilling moments because you seek security and stability.
Women, don’t rush into the physical.
Don’t rush into emotional territory.
Be a tease! Make him wait. He will appreciate you more, and you will allow both of you to enjoy this part of the ride longer.
Remember, as the woman, you will always hold the reigns to how fast or how slow everything moves along, especially physically.
Embrace this role, be empowered by this knowledge and pace it out so everyone has a chance to enjoy those ever fleeting moments.
All those scary, exciting, thrilling moments when things are up in the air, when you don’t know if he feels the same way, when you don’t know what his lips feel like against yours, it’s a roller coaster ride, it has it’s ups and downs, but DON’T rush through any minute of it just to get to the end goal of finding that “someday man.”
Because you’re going to miss this stage when you’re sitting at home in your sweats, your hair in a knot, your makeup washed off, and you look across and see your spouse and feel like there can’t possibly be anything you don’t already know about him. Embrace the unknown. Don’t be so quick to know everything and understand everything about this new man.
And don’t be afraid to smile at strangers. Your job is easy. All you have to do is make an effort to look your best, make an effort to get in positive social settings where you meet new people, make eye contact with men, and smile. Don’t over complicate things. If you’re complaining that you can’t find a good man and aren’t doing all of the above steps, then you’re not doing your part.
And single men, don’t deprive yourself of those awkward moments when you feel as if her saying no is going to wreck you. Because I promise it won’t. And I PROMISE it will get easier. And some men have even admitted they LOVE going after women. It can actually be fun.
But it takes you getting through the hard part- doing it over and over and over and over again. And she’ll say no. And the next girl may say, “Hell no! Not in a million years!” And then the next may say no. It’s going to hit you like a ton of bricks at first.
But eventually, eventually, the blow isn’t going to knock the wind out of you.
One day, you’re just going to shrug and say, “Well, you can’t say I didn’t try. I hope I at least made you smile today. I know you made me smile.”
And THIS time, you’re going to mean every word you say. And you’re not going to walk away feeling defeated. You’re going to walk away with your head held high because even though it was another no, it was MONUMENTAL.
Those girls may not have changed their response. But something greater changed, YOU DID. You overcame your fear and you realized through experience that women are just women. Amazing. But they don’t have the power to ruin you.
And you cling to this one hope, that all you need is one. ONE to say yes. ONE who actually gets delighted that Wow! This guy notices me! And I promise she’s out there.