Friday, February 2, 2007

26 and Single

As a single Christian woman of 26, people always want to know when I plan to get married. By the time my mother was 26, she had been married for several years. By the time she was 27, she had me. I know that when I went off to my school, a Christian college, everyone thought that I was going to leave with two things: A degree and a husband. One out of two isn’t bad, but to be fair, if it were a letter grade, it would be an F.

The problem with being a single Christian woman over the age of 21 is that you start to get The Look, especially from people at church. People start to look at you as though something is wrong with you because you’re single. They don’t know any other single people your age, so they can’t set you up, but they feel instinctively that you should know some single people. And not only that, but these mysterious, invisible single people that you should know and be dating should meet a certain laundry list of required characteristics.

For starters, they must absolutely be Christian. It doesn’t matter that they believe, just that they are. They should also be “pure,” meaning virgin. In addition, they shouldn’t drink or smoke. They should be educated, and they should, if at all possible, resemble Freddy Prinze, Jr. the way he looked on She’s All That before he got that weird haircut. They shouldn’t look at porn. Additionally, they should be interested in all the same things you are (so long as none of them are weird. I mean, come on, you can’t expect a hot guy to role play), they should play a sport, they should want to get involved at church, they should want 2.5 children, and they should make a shitload, preferably in pharmaceuticals or some other career that will get you a house in suburbia with a KitchenAid Mixer and that will someday allow them to donate pews with little memorial plaques on. Probably they should sing, too, so that the two of you can get good, front row seats in Heaven. That’s important. You don’t want to be stuck in the back with all the hippies.

The problem with this list, of course, is that not only is it not anything that I want, it is also not anything that is possible to get. Rich, good looking, Christian singers are the boys my inappropriate dreams are made of, it’s true, but at the end of the day, you can’t snuggle with your dreams. And despite what the people who got married at 21 and are now cooking other people’s food might tell you, snuggling is important. I’ll say it: More important than words on pages out of a book that was written (by men, no less) long before I was around to enjoy snuggling. Possibly even more important than a picket fence or pews with little name tags on them, though I never said it.

I’m pseudo-dating a guy right now, and while the “R” word has been dropped, I am still officially single, and yeah, sometimes he annoys me. But at the end of the day, he thinks the stars shine just for me. He would give me the last vanilla cupcake with sprinkles, especially if I pouted, because he hates to see me sad. If that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is. I mean, there are not many I would give up vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles for. He puts up with all my eccentricities (i.e., refusing to do dishes until the counter looks like it will require a hazmat team to clean it up and the fact that my bathroom sink hasn’t drained properly the entire time I’ve known him). However he has two big strikes against him: He doesn’t read, and he’s not a Christian, both of which are incredibly important to me.

Now to be fair, I am the uber-liberal variety of Christian that got myself censored from Craigslist because no one thinks it’s possible to be a liberal Christian. I take the Bible at its word when it says, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial,” which means that I listen to the first half and take the consequences of the second because life is too damned short not to enjoy it while you’re in your 20s. The odds are high that the kind of guy I am looking for is not out there. I want someone who’s going to push the envelope while still being religious, and I suspect that if that’s what I really want, then what I really want may not be a Christian yet.
I can’t deny that the Bible says not to be unequally yoked, but when it comes to that, I’m not such a good teammate anyway. Maybe it’s time to pull beside someone who at least seems to be going in the same direction for now.

And at the end of the day, if the candidate in question meets all your personal requirements (loyal, owns a Harley, makes good money, cares about his family, worships you and the ground you walk on and probably the mantle and core of the earth beneath where you stand, likes the same geeky things that you like [minus a few key ones that you can win him over on], doesn’t drink [which is better than you’re doing], doesn’t smoke [which is good cause you have asthma], is a virgin [more so than you are], thinks all your personal faults are adorable [even though they aren’t] and just generally makes you feel like a million bucks every time he touches you), then how important is it if he doesn’t meet all of everyone else’s requirements?

And how important is it if he doesn’t meet all of yours? Specifically, if he’s not a Christian, but he’s the closest thing to it you’ve pretty much ever dated even though he doesn’t sing tenor in the choir on Sundays and thinks religion is a waste of time, then do you go with it or dump him on principle? Or do you go with him with glee and resign yourself to heavenly nosebleed seats amongst the hippies?

I’m not sure.

I’m just not sure.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's tough because... if a man doesn't know how to love God... how can he really and truely know how to love you? i have dated guys who were not christian and at the end of the relationship... it was his lack of love (because god is love) that tore us apart...

Anonymous said...

Wow, I thought this only happened in my culture. Nice to know I'm not the only one. Apparently if you are not in a relationship or engaged by 21, you begin to get looks. The age of 25 seems like you no longer have hope. Everyone is always in your business and wants to know if you will be getting married soon. Once I turned 25 this lady told me that she would pray for me to have a husband (as if I really needed that from her). Maybe I'm just happy with the way things are going for now. Wish you the best of luck with everything. It's tough but we gotta stick in there.

Anonymous said...

hmm...didn't think that there was anyone else like this...except I'm a 25 year old roman catholic male just taking it one day at a time.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of funny how sitting alone at my apartment after work one night and googling "26 and single" can lead me over to this site. Turns out that's pretty much what I am. I may not be the best looking Christian guy in the world, but I still laugh and smile as often as I can. I'm working on my second college degree so I suppose that makes me educated enough. I'm not much into the night club / honky tonk scene. The place is usually full of half drunk people, the beer is expensive, there's a lingering cloud of smoke in the room and the cover bands are so bad that I wish I had been born deaf.

I typically don't go out of my way to talk to other women. Odds are they're already seeing someone, married, or just plain don't find me attractive enough to even give me the time of day. So I just avoid the awkward and potentially disastrous situations and keep my thoughts to myself. I'm a bit of an introvert and I don't mind being alone at all, but every once in a while I'll think about my situation and realize that it really is kind of sad.

Ah well, gotta keep on living, right?

Good Luck!
=)

Anonymous said...

Woa- I cant believe that i typed 26 and single and came across this link. :-) Nice to know there are others out there too. Yeah i agree with the intial writer. However for me- even though im Christian he has to be in the same faith. Which is pretty depressing- as there are some really nice guys that have asked me out- but since they dont share the same faith... The scary thing- is that theres going to come a time when these guys stop asking you out.. Its such a sacrifice- I feel that im losing out. Theres so much of surfing and gyming and working late that i can do to fill up my time... aaaarrrgh thats life hey

Anonymous said...

So I'm glad I'm not the only 26 yr old guy whose single. Sometimes it fells like you're the only one. I wonder if there are any sinlge people, who have remained so their entire lives?

Anonymous said...

lol. i dont know how i got onto what u wrote or the site, but i'm a christian guy, 26, pretty good looking :), faithful, a virgin, had a lot of friends and potential girls but pushed them aside to try and remain a virgin til marriage :) i have a good job which i've worked unbelievably hard for (its actually my 4th job, moved across different companies still in the one job), with my own place (live alone). so its funny. we christian guys (well me) still exist - how the hell do we find you :)) anyhoo i'm not sure what i'm going to do either, maybe try and find a nice girl who's perhaps not a christian, but as good as u can get. so, interesting :)

Anonymous said...

How do us Christian girls who are not virgins, and have made too many life mistakes to count, find a decent christian man? I've improved my life in recent years but still find myself single. I'm attractive and have a successful career. I'm wondering what the problem is and where I can find the answers? I've also found that settling for someone who doesn't share your faith ultimately does not work out.

Anonymous said...

Like a few others, I also googled "26 and single" and this is where it led me!! It's becoming SO hard to keep up hope and be patient as a single Christian.

I'm 26, attractive, athletic, well-educated (working on my Masters) non-smoking, hardly ever drink (is that a big deal?) but no I'm not a virgin.

I was not always committed to following God and surrendering to His will for me. In fact, I was in a relationship for over 5 years during college and was engaged to be married, but broke it off because my fiance was not a Christian and was not willing to attend church regularly, participate in Bible studies, etc. Sometimes I regret breaking it off, but I'm still hopeful that God has the right man out there for me.

Anyway, I'm just glad to read that I'm not the only one out there!! :) Good luck to everyone!

Anonymous said...

I have loved Jesus, but he is the only one I've loved. And now I'm single at 26. All day I pray for Jesus to bring me my love my one true love...but still I wait. Just yesterday I heard that Jesus was to be deported... Should I follow him to Mexico or wait it out here hoping that my one true love will show?

Ha..you...you thought I meant Jesus like the make believe, swear on the bible guy...that's funny.

You are 26 and Single for a reason, but if it is because of your partner's "lack of love for god" it is quite possibly because you are nuttier than a snickers bar. No one with half a brain believes in that shit. If you are looking for someone intelligent that also believes in an organized religion no wonder you can't find someone...they don't exist, pick one or the other.

That's all u get from me. Therapy costs money u know...

Anonymous said...

Nice to know I am not the only one. :-)

Anonymous said...

haha, I also Googled 26 and single. So glad there are others out there. Even though I am not a Christian girl I enjoyed this piece very much.

Missy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I also googled this as I'm "26 and single"... wow. Kind of sad but kind of encouraging to read that there are others...

Kieran said...

Ok so another google find here:

A little introduction: I am 26 Single, Male, educated with Degree and a stable Job and income.

I'm not a virgin, so guess that cuts me out of that equation.
I consider myself without religion, but with strong morals.

Reading the above posts, i have to ultimately agree with one of the posts near the bottom.

Intelligent people, those with degrees or those interested in reason and logic, seldom find it easy to relate to someone who follows an organised religion. because of the obvious conflicts of reason and logic that religion creates.

I have dated plenty of girls, many of them Christian, many of them not. Either way, when i thought a relationship was evident, the expectation that i completely abandon my own ideals, my own beliefs to be with them, has always arisen.

i cannot and will not accept anything less than an equal partnership, and trust in each other's point of view and beliefs. Anything else wouldn't be a basis for a relationship anyhow. And i wouldn't expect another to give up their own beliefs for me either.

Really, the problem is this: No one person out there is the right one for you. Abandon that preconceived notion implanted in your mind since childhood. That person simply doesn't exist.

Ideals are great, and an effective way to aim toward your idea of perfection. Learn to be more realistic in your approach to any partner you are pursuing. Otherwise you will simply end up alone and unfulfilled.

Choose someone you are happy with, and make the best of it! Otherwise you are choosing to be miserable.

Ultimately the amount of growth in your life, and the amount of self-satisfaction will increase when you have a partner you can learn from, and teach new things too. So finding that person with all of the traits on the list isnt going to happen, but maybe things on the list can be added later, with the participation of both of you.

Good luck

Melody said...

I am yet another of the Google users that found "26 and single". I'm currently working on my Master's degree. I'm a Christian girl that has made mistakes and regrets, and yet continue to live according to the promises that God has for me. I am still a virgin, but that's about all I claim.

God can forgive you of anything you have done, and not one of us is without sin. Therefore, before making an impossible list for "the one", be aware that the "right one" may have had some bumps and trials along the way, but at THIS point in their life, God has forgiven them, and so should you. If you are both heading in the same direction, with the same passion and stance, then what can stand in the way?

If God is for us, who can be against us? I try not to dwell on the fact that I am single, but rather be thankful for not being stuck in the wrong relationship, and able to focus on my relationship with God now. I believe he puts it on our hearts to want companionship, and keep the hope that someday my "prince" will come. If not, to God be the glory in my life!!!

Anonymous said...

haha, I also googled 26 and single. nice to know im not alone. im not christian but i enjoyed the post none the less because i face similar conflicts. my take on it is this...if the creator has put us on this earth with clear purpose and direction the least we can do is adhear to the best of our abilites to His instruction. even if that means making some tough decisions like ending a relationship if both parties are not on the same religious page. it may not seem as big now but it can and most likely will become an issue down the line...especially if you desire to have children. just keep your faith strong and trust that He has your best intentions at heart...

A Muslim Girl said...

So I am yet another addition to the google finder list. You know just through these comments and reading the post gives me hope. I'm currently 26, a muslim and yes getting the hard time from my family and friends. In the past one year, my social circle has changed drastically as I gave all my married friends a piece of my mind once they kept nagging me about being single and bragging about how wonderful it was for them to get married right after college!

I like the people in my current circle as they accept me for who I am and don't judge on account of still being single. I'm an artist, pretty nice looking and confident too. All I can do is wait for the right one to come my way and I am in no hurry to find one. I have faith in Allah and I know he'll send the right one across to me when the time is right. Till then I am going to live and enjoy with all that I have.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across this blog by googling. My thing is I worry about losing the great friends I have. Almost all my friends are married or in a serious relationship and I'm afraid of losing them because I'm not in a relationship. I haven't been excluded a lot, but it only takes a few times for a single person to be excluded to feel bad.

At the moment being single doesn't bother me, as I'm happy and still recovering from a nasty breakup (email breakup, blog post on me being a terrible person out of the blue). Still, it's the occasional, oh I wish I was in a relationship and more so others that complicate it.

Anonymous said...

Im glad there are others like this out there. I'm 26 and single and was actually married for three years. I want a husband and kids someday-- a big busy chaotic life. I'm christian but i dont go to church. I really believe in Jesus' teachings though, I cant help but see what He says is truth. At the same time this saddens me because according to the Bible I shouldnt remarry. I've screwed up my life this early on. There's no reconciling with my first husband either. He was abusive on many levels including physically and mocked my belief in God. I don't love him. I want a husband so bad-- a good nice, funny person who thinks outside the box and is a bit of a free spirit like me-- but after two very serious relationships and multiple less serious ones i realize we need to share the same values. But i dont even know if its right for me to be with anyone, and i keep praying that if it isnt-- please take this desire for a family away from me. I feel so hopeless about ever finding someone who is into me-- im too quirky for a lot of people and i dont even bother flirting anymore. Its gonna be a trek through a long, lonesome valley for a while with me... Ah well, maybe i'll start playing music instead.

God said...

I'm in the total same boat as you. 26 and single. I used to struggle with the whole "should I date a man who does not love God" scenario because all that I could find in the church were super uptight men or socially awkward brothers. Neither attractive. Outside the church, the men were fun and more open, but as I dated them I felt a spiritual loneliness because I knew that he could never understand my passion for Him. I've decided that I only date Christian men who are regularly involved in church (a good sign that he is dedicated), but also I need his character to be so strong to challenge my own. I recently had a bad experience with a guy I dated inside the church. I gave up on my idea of happily every after and now I'm just pursuing God. Honestly, not looking for it or thinking about it is probably one of the best things that I have experienced.