Listen “Linda”, if I see one more article/blog etc telling single people how to get married, how to snag a good guy/woman, how to prepare for their “soulmate” or any of its family members I think I may scream. Not just any scream. A scream so loud it will be heard around the world. Ok, I’m being dramatic, per usual 🙂 but, let me explain. I have been on this journey of being single for a little over three years now and as a twenty-someting divorcee, I wholeheartedly appreciate great advice about how NOT to go down that road again. HOWEVER, can you, married people, imagine how it must feel to constantly see articles for yourself, telling you in so many words, to get married.
I imagine that you can ,being that you too were once single yourself. I honestly see a lot of this in the Christian community. Let’s address that. Paul, argubaly one of the greatest followers of Jesus, was single himself and advises singles to remain this way:
“I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do.” (1 Cor 7:7-8 RSV) Paul continues later in verse 35 “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” (1 Cor 7:35 RSV).
For those who are waiting to have sex until marriage I know not everyone, (very few I’m guessing), has the gift of remaining celibate while unmarried so I do understand people are advocating it’s better to “marry than burn”, Paul’s words too. It’s far more complicated than that in my opinion but, I get it. I have no doubt that these married people have very good intentions and are simply sharing the lessons they have learned in their relationships and subsequent marriages. However, these articles also tend to have an underlying tone of assuming that everyone wants to get married, and not only do they want to get married, but they are dying to be married. I guess some might think, well, if you don’t want to be married, keep scrolling. You do not have to click on the article etc. Sure. But as I asked before, can you imagine, as a single, how one must feel to constantly see articles telling singles how to get married? How to snag a guy/woman etc? Here’s a couple of memes about how I feel about that:
Not only do these articles tell single people to get married, they are often, in my opinion, geared towards women. Not surprising as society in general pushes this as well. Men, “sow your royal oats”. Women, wait on a “good man” to rescue you. It’s pratically part of every Disney story. I’m going to touch on this very briefly and just let Nigerian author and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speak for me on this, because otherwise, we’ll be here all day.
“We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men…
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes.”-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Now to continue with this constant barrage of articles telling single people in general to get married. I ponder..so if I do not want to get married, say tomorrow, or even a few years from now..is there something inherently wrong with me? Is it bad that I want to focus on becoming grounded in my career before I figure out how to get a guy to marry me in a year? Is it bad that I would rather travel as much as possible before becoming a mother? Because in my mind, that is the immediate next step after marriage.
I just want to figure out how to become a more mature and responsible adult on my own first before figuring out how to join an entire other life, and later, their family etc, in that equation. I do acknowledge I may be a bit biased being that I’ve been on that rodeo of marriage and back again. So I’ll reiterate that the advice is needed and very much appreciated on my end. Still, I would like to see a BALANCE in these helpful articles on the goal of marriage and just as helpful articles on how to be a GREAT single person. This post is my attempt to do my part to fill in the gap. Maybe I am just overthinking it all. What do you think? Let me know.