I’m not sure who needs to hear this (going live AFTER Valentine’s day), but it’s perfectly alright to be alone.
I tend to promote family and I push back against those that say someone should NOT have a family. Anti-natalism is a Death Cult philosophy. Children are a tremendous blessing, and so is marriage, despite how both are often portrayed in popular media.
However, these are not things that everyone needs to have to be complete, nor (more importantly) are they things for which everyone is destined. Being single can be a tremendous blessing as well, but either of these statuses being such depends on one’s mindset. It is very easy to be unhappy longing for that which you do not already possess, especially if, like lots of men and women today, there seems to be no clear path toward acquiring what you want.
As a male with a primarily male audience, the man’s perspective on singleness is constantly in my periphery. Men who want marriage don’t just want marriage; they usually want a traditional marriage where both partners are monogamous and (preferably) have not had sex prior to the marriage. And of course, this is something increasingly difficult to make happen. It can be frustrating, as well, because even our churches do not offer an easy way for singles (of either sex, really) to find each other, and then negotiate and matriculate relationships. One thing I hear often is how ignored anyone single past their early 20s is. And so many men go the way of the world, and end up frustrated, feeling empty, or disillusioned with relationships.
I’m less familiar with the female perspective, but it seems to be a totally different sort of frustration. Women are told by the world to be sexual, that their only value is sexual, and as the passive person in any coupling (basically, the person who is always approached or “asked out”), it can be overwhelming trying to “resist” the world’s pressure to put out. The problems with offering oneself up sexually are often understood only too late. Having sex fails to secure the partner the woman desires, and at the same time makes her increasingly less desirable to the kinds of men she would prefer to attract. Just as the man ends up in a permanent holding pattern, the woman ends up in a descending spiral.
I see it a lot in my generation (Gen Y, born roughly between the late 70s and early 80s). We’re a lost generation—A generation of loneliness, raised in daycare and by the TV and thrown into a world where the lessons of our upbringing quickly became outdated. Even now dating has been reduced to swiping on apps and hoping a casual encounter somehow evolves into a satisfying relationship, and those of us who grew up without social media have memories of feelings that were much more organic. You’d meet someone, probably in a class somewhere or at work, experience attraction or infatuation, and then either end up going out or suffering heartbreak. Singular bursts with strangers are bizarre by comparison.
Dating is also increasingly a minefield, so it’s easy to see how that shade of the MGTOW philosophy can ascend. It’s easier to just opt out than to deal with it all, especially given how empty the whole thing feels.
So this brings me back to my point: it’s okay to be alone. It’s just fine if you haven’t found love yet, or even if you don’t see any prospects in your near future. I think in another time more men would be drawn to the cloth, that is to say, either priestly life or monasticism, where their unattached status is a benefit or even requirement. I personally would not say that a priest’s life is wasted because he has chosen celibacy; rather, it is a different and higher sort of calling that compels him. Alas, the rise of secularism has made so many men and women see their lives as a sort of black and white: alone or in a relationship. There is more to people and life than that.
There are lots of advantages to being single. You can pursue your own goals in your own timeline, and you can take many more risks than a married person can. You can move to a new city, or a new country, or take an exciting job and not have to worry about figuring out health insurance and housing for a family. You can live on the cheap and build wealth, or live on the cheap and pursue creativity. It really is a blessing, and it is a blessing that I didn’t always see as such in my long periods of being unattached.
My encouragement would be that you should be open to a family and thus disregard the propaganda left that a family will end your life or that you are certain to suffer through a divorce. But while you are open to the possibility, you should also be content with your current status, because it affords opportunities that are impossible for those of us with the responsibilities of spouse and children to take advantage of.
Spend your extra money on that cigar and enjoy having time to yourself. I wouldn’t trade my time with my children for more time with earthly pleasures, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss them at all.
I’m writing this in the middle of the night because that is the time that I have to work without obligation; for a single person, that time could be any time in the day, not just when the entire house is asleep. I go to the gym “when I can,” not when I feel like it. The freedom of being unattached also means that you are free to improve yourself in many ways.
And I can also tell you that being single is definitely preferable to being in a bad relationship. So while it might be lonely at times, it’s better in the end that you didn’t end up married to (or divorced from) that toxic person who dumped you.
Lastly, be aware that marriage might not be written in the stars for you, and that is okay as well. God doesn’t always give us the life we want. Let us be content learning the spiritual lessons that are presented to us. But do be open to the call and don’t let your heart be hardened by the difficulties of this world and this lonely time in which live. You really don’t know what could be waiting for you.
I am an independent writer and musician. Check out the conclusion to the first Moonsong trilogy, releasing this week!
And of course, read the first 2 books:
Thank you so much for this, David. Really needed it.
Thanks for reading
Well… Wow… I needed this right now.
I’ve never been active on the dating scene (though considering what it’s looking like today, it seems I’m not missing much), and I often feel I wasted my earlier years. I’m only a couple years under 30, but that feeling still creeps in every now and then.
Like you said, being alone has many advantages, but it also makes it easy to fall into sloth, loss of focus, solitude, depression, addiction… followed by shame, regret over time lost… and the cycle goes on.
Of course, marriage won’t solve these problems: so the best thing to do would be to tackle them now, while I can, so I can become good enough to find someone. But when after every small victory my old habits pull me back even further, it gets harder and harder to find the motivation to get back up again.
Anywho, sorry for the word-salad, I felt like venting today. Hope it helps with the algorithm, I guess! ^^’
I didn’t get married until I was just shy of 31, and honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it prior. I had to fix myself first, then the relationship happened and was easy, really.
My wife and I were 30 and 25 respectively when we married, 16 years ago. We first met when I was about 18, but we weren’t right for each other yet. We met again when I was 22 or 23, I think. It still took a couple of years to go from “hey, so-and-so is talented!” to friends, to dating, to engaged, to “To have and to hold…I do.” At some periods before then, I had given up on myself, in a way that is now obviously premature. I did a fair amount of growing up during that time, in the midst of making lots of dumb choices.
What I have learned since is that the growing up was still happening. Growing up became growing into, because few things pull one out of oneself like being part of someone else. I think it’s safe to say that a marriage between unhealthy people will also be unhealthy. That’s not a reason to wait until you’ve got absolutely all your ducks in a row before marrying, because you’ll end up with new ducks anyway, but it is a good reason to make sure your relationship with God and with others are squared away.
I appreciate how reasonable your perspective is. I think that given the reality of the circumstances of our society, yours is the best approach to the subject of relationships that I have seen. There’s a loft grift and outright malicious nonsense to be had out there, so it is good to see genuine, Christian advice.
God bless you!
Thank you! God Bless you.
This was a really well written piece. I appreciate that your perspective is reasonable. There is a lot of grift and malicious nonsense out there on the subject of relationships. I hold similar views to what you’ve expressed myself. It is refreshing to see genuine, Christian advice.
God bless you!