- “I remember what it was like being single.”
Perhaps you genuinely do. Perhaps your season of singleness was long enough to forever imprint the deep valleys of walking through life alone into your soul. But if you got married at 25 or younger, I don’t think you truly know the depth of the challenges of being single. It’s amazing how quickly the memories become foggy when you have the presence of another person to help you forget.
- “Just be satisfied with Christ, and He’ll bring you the right person.”
Yes, our earthly goal should always be satisfaction in Christ whether we are married or single. But please don’t tell me that it’s as simple as that cause and effect relationship because God doesn’t work in such trite human equations when telling His story through us. He wants our souls to be satisfied in Christ because that’s where we’ll be happiest – not because it’s a prerequisite for marriage (see also “A Spouse is Not a Reward”).
- “I just don’t understand why a ___________ (beautiful, godly, handsome, smart, etc.) person like you isn’t married!”
Again with the cause and effect relationships – more hurtful than helpful. Unintentionally, this statement implies that we’re not beautiful or godly enough to attract a spouse and makes us feel like we have to figure out what’s missing so we can get married. Newsflash: a spouse doesn’t validate beauty, wisdom, godliness or any other trait. We can be all of those things well enough without being married – so you could just focus on complimenting those things and not mention the marriage status part!
- “It must be nice having so much free time as a single person.”
On the one hand, I will say it’s nice having the freedom and independence to make my own decisions about life choices. But my life is filled to the brim with the things I feel called to do because I’m not married. If I were married, I’d probably still do some of them, but I’d be called to devote more time and energy to my husband and kids. We all have the same amount of time – it’s just allotted differently depending on our life circumstances.
- “You must be lonely – I’ll set you up with this great person I know.”
Please don’t assume that my singleness is a problem that needs to be fixed. Indeed, yes, I am lonely sometimes – but my loneliness is a battle I fight with my closest trusted people – and God above all else. It is not a free-for-all invitation to get matched up with people who might not even be suitable for me. That won’t solve the loneliness problem – in fact, it might only make it worse. Thank you for your kind intentions, but please understand if I bow out.
- “I’m sure you wouldn’t want to hang out with married people and be the third wheel.”
I’ll only feel like the third wheel if you constantly make a big deal about my singleness when we hang out. The truth is, I love hanging out with my married friends, because I usually consider both of them to be my friends. I feel loved and blessed when they intentionally include me and don’t make it seem like they’re part of the “married only” club where you need a significant other to join.
- “At least you don’t have to worry about staying up with babies and changing poopy diapers!”
Actually, there are many nights that I cherish my uninterrupted sleep and quiet evenings at home. But I guarantee I would trade those out in a heartbeat for two little arms around my neck and a voice calling me mama.
- “You’re just not trying hard enough to find someone.”
Nothing gives a single person more anxiety than pressure from other people to “make it happen” and that it’s all their “fault” for not being married. Yes, you should probably try to appear somewhat interested in being married and open to going on dates. But also, you should take comfort in the fact that if you aren’t married yet, it’s because God has deemed it’s just not the right time. If He wants you to be married, nothing will stand in the way – and if He doesn’t want you to be married, nothing you do can change it.
- “You’re too picky.”
If I’m about to make the biggest commitment of my life – to share my home and the most intimate parts of my life with another person – you better believe I’m going to be picky. This isn’t like buying a used car that I just have to tolerate for the sake of the cheaper price. No. I know the kind of person who delights my soul, and I have no problem being single if he isn’t one of the candidates for marriage.
- “I’m so sorry you’re single.”
Thank you for your concern, but I’m actually not sorry I’m single. Would this have been my first choice? No. But God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that this was the path I needed to take. And as I’ve explored it with Him, He’s opened my eyes to beauties I would never have discovered otherwise. It’s been difficult at times, but it’s also been rewarding, and it has brought me closer to Christ than I’ve ever been.
So what should you say to a single person?
Tell me more about what God’s doing in your life.
What are your goals and dreams for your future?
What are you working on right now that excites you?
How can I be praying for you?
Let’s hang out!
And better than anything – just be present and walk with us in a vibrant, loving community that is life-changing and soul-edifying. Because that’s really where the beauty is to be found – and that’s where God will do His deepest work in us.
Soli Deo Gloria.