A while back…uh, okay, a long time ago now…I invited questions from people here. Then I neglected to answer those questions, and it’s too bad, because there were some really great ones.
Today I want to try to answer one of Edarnut’s questions: There seem to be 3 kinds of Christian singles: Single and looking for a spouse, single and dating but not really spouse hunting, and single and not dating. Which are you? And how is the “singles ministry” dynamic between the 3 types?
First of all, as of right now, a few weeks from my thirty-sixth birthday, I’m definitely in the Single-and-Not-Dating category of Christian singles. And to sub-categorize myself a bit, I’m Single-and-Not-Dating-or-Actively-Seeking-a-Spouse-(Though-Not-Opposed-to-Marriage). But that hasn’t always been the case.
Just a few days ago I was going through some old papers and I found some of my abysmally depressing journal entries from college. When I was eighteen, I was certain I wanted to get married. When I was nineteen I even thought I was madly in love with someone who might make me agree to have children. When I was twenty and newly disillusioned with my corner of the Christian subculture of my big State U, I started looking at men I met outside of church. When I was twenty-one, I was desperately and secretly in love with a man who I imagined–no, not getting married to–but meeting again in ten years and having a passionate affair.
Please keep in mind, if you will, that I had all of these feelings and beliefs and odd ideas all before I received my first kiss.
Yep, you read that right. I’d never even had more than the most basic sort of Christian non-relationship*, but I had daydreamed about marrying at least a dozen different Christian guys, and having a torrid affair with a non-Christian guy.
Fast forward to the mid-twenties and I actually started dating, but I was a serial monogamist. I never really got the mindset behind playing the field. The summer I was twenty-four I met a younger guy and fell head over heels in love, and for once it seemed mutual. But he was still in college, and at the end of the summer, you can guess what happened. The relationship ended on my twenty-fifth birthday. It broke my heart, but I was in the middle of a quarter-life crisis anyway; I’d reached twenty-five without having a book or story published. The melodrama of having my romantic hopes dashed had to fight with the melodrama of career angst and self-doubt.
And that’s where I’m going to pause this story until the next blog post. (I promise, I’ll post the rest in a couple days, not a couple weeks!)
*You know what I mean when I say “Christian non-relationship”, right? It’s that torturous state of hanging out with someone of the opposite sex in all kinds of group situations, where all the other members of the group know you like him, and a lot of the other members of the group think he likes you, and the people who know what’s really going on feel superior, and you end up with your heart broken.
What? Bitter? Me? Pssht.