Real Life: Being Single and Living in a Balance (part 1 of 2)

What images can you conjour up of a single person? Do you think of a woman with cats? A guy and his dog? A group of women who get together and complain about how there are no good men or how rude men are for not choosing them? Maybe, the tough girl who doesn’t need anything and pours herself into job and being the best at whatever she can, filling the space she’d really like to be filled with the company of a man? There are many images painted of what singlehood looks like. Many of which are not positive. Most of which are far from helpful. Learning how to do life well as a single person can be a challenge as we live in a world where marriage is almost worshiped as the cure all for loneliness and longings for intimacy.

I’m 35 and single. I do desire to share my life with a man, to have a partner in ministry and life. I desire to be joined with someone with purpose and with a desire to make the world a better place. The fact is, I have a desire for something that currently I do not have. With that desire comes a choice and it can be a difficult one.

In this space between, this time of waiting for a desire to be met, I’ve found that there is little wisdom given. Unless of course you want to solely dedicate your single life time to finding a spouse or getting a date, or changing your appearance so you can get a date, or getting the kind of job someone would be attracted to. There are several formulas and ideas for one who seeks to get out of singleness.

But what if someone wants to live in the balance. To live in the place of desire unmet and life to be lived. This space is usually filled with extremes that are often not so popular to discuss. But I believe living in the balance is crucial to one living a good story today and holding honestly a desire they have that has yet to be filled. Below are a few of the extremes.

  • Woe is me vs. Indifference
  • Life on hold vs. Desire on hold
  • Living in fear of the future with out vs. Living in denial
  • Always on the prowl vs. Disregarding the need to actively participate
  • Every conversation is filled with singleness vs. Topics of singlehood are avoided
  • Find intimacy in anyway you can vs. Deny any longing for intimacy
  • Give into sexual desires as a way to achieve intimate moments vs. Suppress and deny all sexual desires
  • Live publicly, loudly and continually in unmet desire vs Live privately and alone and often shamefully with unmet desire

In each of these scenarios it seems that one person is living only out of the unmet desire and the other is living in avoidance of the desire at all. In my experience with people who are single, I’ve encountered both extremes. My question is, isn’t there a better way, a third way. This is the question that I don’t believe is being addressed.

I’ll talk about my thoughts on that in tomorrow’s post. Until then, what other extremes have you noticed when having a desire that has not yet been fulfilled? What other questions do you feel need to be answered?

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