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  • Writer's pictureClaire M. Burnett

Keep Asking Me Why I’m Single…

Updated: Oct 3, 2018

I don’t mind…really!

I confess: this question used to annoy the life out of me. I’d literally feel my ears get hot as I tried to rationalize explaining myself. I get asked by everyone from the cousin I haven’t spoken to in years to the nail technician who barely knows me. I can’t even get a pedicure in peace without hearing “why you no have boyfriend?” It seems like if you knew only one sentence in English, that was it!

With “singles awareness day” around the corner, I started thinking about all of us who’d be ordering take out for one in order to avoid the obnoxious increase in public display of affection. Then there are of course the rebellious few who make reservations for one and stand firm in their love of solitude. Don’t forget about those cuddly and warm anti-valentines day folks.

Now, I’m not here to bash Valentines Day.

I’m just here to flip perspective per usual. Usually on this day, you get exposed and boxed into a couple of different categories. But what happens when you don’t fit?…

I’ve learned that when you’re different, people will box you up in order to make sense of you. They must compartmentalize you in order to process who and what you are.

It’s nothing personal, they’re just discerning how to deal with you. The majority don’t want to spend the energy it would take to figure you out when they’ve barely figured themselves out. Majority don’t have the capacity to understand something they simply don’t understand. Do you want to learn chemistry or physics if you don’t enjoy science? Would you want to learn trigonometry if you aren’t good at math? To learn something that does not come naturally, requires an effort that does not come naturally.

My singleness is like trig in a world of people who aren’t good at math.

To attempt to make sense of me, you’d have to sacrifice time or force me into a box where I don’t belong. You’d squeeze me into “unattractive but sane” or “attractive but needy.” What does not come naturally is for you to call me solid AND single.

We live in a world where to be a “catch” AND single simply does not add up. Where if you’re a guy and I extend my friendship I have an agenda, because I have a biological time clock and my singleness can’t possibly be a gift. Where my male counterparts could be single for a lifetime and never called lonely.

So please allow me to disabuse you of your norm and create a new circle. One that you don’t necessarily need to understand but you’ll have to learn to accept. I am not on your time, I’m on God’s. And if I’ve learned anything, I prefer to be on His team.

Yes. I’m waiting; but not the way you think I am.

Let’s get it straight: I’m not twiddling my thumbs or putting life on pause because he isn’t here. I’m not crying “woe is me” or throwing pity parties when I want someone to bring me food. Let’s be real, that’s more loving than any kind of hug or kiss. The sun still rises every morning and self-discpline requires no team.

Yes, what I want is rare, but not unrealistic.

I’m not praying for a mind reader or superhuman strength. (I mean I may have prayed for these things once upon a time, but that’s neither here nor there.)

You think I’m not single by choice because occasionally my attitude contradicts my actions — yet you fail to realize my actions remain consistent with my words. You think I’m alone because no one wants me. Yet you have not the slightest insight to the amount of “no thank you’s.” You think he’s not here because I haven’t found him, but I know he will find me. You think my standards are my hindrance, but I know this man exists, because I do!

You’re right, I don’t have a lot of options, but when have limited editions ever been mass produced?

You don’t understand me because my singleness is not a show.

I’m not trying to convince you that I have a life or that I’m content with how things are. It’s not selfish or self seeking and I’m not advertising my ASSets to attract a buyer.

You see my clock as ticking, but I see my time as precious.

Something that one day I will selfishly wish I could have back. And it’s not in an ignorant “operate on my timeline” sort of mentality. But a “thank you for the space to grow” one. You’re confused by me because I’m not in a hurry; but I think that “good things take time” makes complete sense.

I get to learn to love my own company. I have time to sharpen my own irons. I have time to serve in whatever capacity I want. I get to learn to be what I pray for. And most importantly,

I have time to fall completely in love with the only person who’ll never disappoint me. God.

What you cannot come to grips with is how grossly patient I am. What confuses you is that I’m not playing by the world’s rules. I’m not here to tell you that my singleness feels like a gift everyday, but I am here to remind you that it is.

So, keep asking me why I’m single and I’ll do my best to present a new box.

I will do my best to reverse your thinking on waiting and change your mind about what it actually means. Waiting is not something we endure in order to get what we want. Waiting is how we grow when we don’t yet have what we desire. It is only wasted time if you let it be.

“To wait upon God is not to sit with folded hands and do nothing, but to wait as men who wait for the harvest. The farmer does not wait idly but with intense activity; he keeps industriously ‘at it’ until the harvest. To wait upon God is the perfection of activity. We are told to ‘rest in the Lord,’ not to rust.” | Oswald Chambers

I’m not single because I have to be, I’m single because I need to farm. I want a feast after it rains, not a famine.


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