I wanted to tell more than just my stories on this blog; I wanted to get stories from other people – men, women, dating, single, living at home, living not at home, etc. So I recruited some guest bloggers. I’m excited to share Mandy’s story with you today.
The following is an email interview I had with Mandy.
Give us a quick snapshot of your life.
I am a 28-year-old woman living on my own with no roommates—unless you count my precious pet snake Curly Brace. (Bet you never thought you’d hear someone call a snake “precious”.) I’m totally single and haven’t really had a “dating life” for 4+ years.
How does your singleness affect your relationships with:
- Family members
My family treats me like I’m a valuable human being whatever my stage in life. I’ve recently realized how much I take that for granted; I’ve talked to some other single women who despair over how much nagging they receive from family to get married.
2. The church
I get very little either way from the church and feel pretty invisible, actually, like I’m outside of the “normal” circle of family people. I’m sure being a reserved person amplifies the problem, and I need to step out more.
I had a struggle for some years, believing that my singleness was due to doing something “wrong” that God disapproved of. A well-meaning friend once told me that maybe my time of singleness was because “God was teaching me something I needed to learn before getting married.” According to that philosophy, I had to sit on my hands until that nebulous lesson was learned and God brought someone into my life. Fun times.
Recently, I’ve worked on changing that mindset. And God has let me know I’m ENOUGH as I am. A marriage certificate won’t be His badge of approval on my life.
What does singleness make you believe about yourself?
I’m in two camps right now: On good days, my singleness bothers me very little; I just consider it “life”, like a married, divorced, or widowed person has a “life”. I’ve heard so many stories from adults of all ages that have shown me there’s no set way a person’s path should go. The people I envy for their relationships may experience/have experienced loss I’ll never know. Whatever comes my way, I want to be able to look back and see that I lived, I served, and I loved.
Of course, on BAD days I feel like a pariah, and like I should seriously consider a hermit lifestyle since I’m behind in the relationship race anyway. The comments/jokes that friends and coworkers don’t think through (“Haven’t you found someone yet? You’re getting a little old…” “I can’t BELIEVE you’re still single! You’re SUCH a good person!”) also have an impact on, maybe not the way I view myself, but the way I think others view me. It makes me feel like they won’t accept me until I’ve got the bling-bling on my finger.
Do you have any stories (funny, sad, heartwarming, etc.) of something that has happened to you because you are single?
Well, I’ve had two separate people try to set me up with their prison inmate relatives. That’s…really encouraging.
Being alone is hard, and sometimes all I want is for people to acknowledge that and not act like hooking up with any ol’ person will fix it. A couple weeks ago I listened to a woman share her story about how she was single until she turned 35, and one of her statements that stuck with me was: The people who make those thoughtless comments about your single status might just be afraid. They see you surviving on your own, and they can’t imagine what it’d be like to suddenly be in your shoes. That gives me courage, to think I’m succeeding at a life that others might dread.
Amanda lives in Idaho and works as the Youth Services Lead at the Nampa Public Library. Her blog, palpably-quills.blogspot.com covers silly reviews of media—currently the Disney feature films and the Newbery Award books.