So lately, I think due to April Fools “I’ve got a boyfriend/girlfriend” jokes a few weeks ago, almost as if rehashing Valentine’s angst, I’ve noticed that my Facebook, at least, became temporarily bogged down with discussions of dating, relationships, etc. I could care less, because I’ll keep scrolling if I don’t wanna’ see it. However, there’s one thing that I find becomes a common theme in posts like that that really irks me. “Shouldn’t I have a girlfriend already? I’m a pretty good guy.” “I can’t believe that girl turned me down even after I worked up the courage to ask her out!” “I even asked him out and he wouldn’t even give me a chance, and said he just wasn’t interested at all?”
Totally unrelated complaints, right? Not quite. Take away age, rejection, or singleness being one thing in common, and you’ll notice something else – false expectations. A false sense of entitlement. THAT attitude is what bothers me if people choose to complain about being single. So, here’s my rambling thoughts on the whole “why am I still single, God?” outcry…
Being single can suck. It really can. Key word: “can”. Not “does”. I’m 19. I’m single. I’ve dated before, so I do know how it feels to be in a relationship, and thus can compare. However, currently, I’m single, and I gotta’ say, some days that feels like a freedom, and other days it just seems lonely. Like, “I will lie here moping and singing sappy love songs, wishing for chocolate” lonely. Then my mind wanders back to that all-too-familiar thought that I’m just as guilty of as everyone else. “God, why haven’t you sent me someone yet?”
Here’s the thing. What on earth makes us believe that God has to send us someone? That we are somehow entitled to just sitting here, moping, and hoping for God to send along a Mr. (or Miss, for you guys) Right? It’s that frustrating sense of entitlement, that tends to creep up whenever we handle whatever relationships we do find ourselves in. Well guess what? Hate to break it to ya’ (really, I do, because that means I also have to remind myself of this fact), but you’re NOT entitled.
Yup. Not a great news flash. Nowhere does it say “if you stay a virgin, you’re guaranteed a good spouse”, or “if you never smoke, drink, or try drugs, you’ll meet your dream guy/girl and live happily ever after”. Frankly, nowhere are we even promised we all get someone. Yet, our human pride feeds us this lie that just because we’ve been a “good girl” or a “good guy”, we automatically get a “good guy” or “good girl”, respectively – we just have to wait around for “God’s timing” and they’ll appear in our lives and it’s all happily ever after from there. That’s not how any of this works. For two main reasons.
1) Your obedience to God about saving sex for marriage, or about treating your body as a temple and thus not damaging it with drugs/alcohol/smoking (personal conviction on that matter changes, don’t get your knickers in a knot, because it’s not the point) should NOT be done just to get your “one good spouse” ticket from God. Your obedience to God and your attempt to follow Christ should be led by a desire to just that – obey God and follow Christ. It should be done to build that relationship – your relationship with God – and not just to try and find your version of a “perfect spouse” in this life. Following God’s laws just to hope He’ll bring you that “Mr./Miss Right” as a reward will only lead to pull you away from God, as you idolize “Mr./Miss Right” in God’s place. Wrong end-goal, folks.
2) No matter how “good” you are, nor how well you treat someone, you are never entitled to any sort of “good” behavior from them in return. Girls, you don’t “owe it to the guy” to “give him a chance” just because he “gathered up the courage” to ask you out. If anything, you owe him honesty – and if honesty means you flat-out reject him, that’s best for both of you. Guys, same goes for you if a girl asks you out. Also, just because you may be a “good guy” or a “good girl” (and you really may be), that doesn’t mean you’re entitled to having someone (especially not someone equally as “good” as you) fall for you, just because you’re “almost ___ years old” and you’ve “been single for way too long!” If you’ve ever lusted after someone other than whoever you end up with, then aren’t you technically “entitled” to someone else who’s lusted after someone other than you? Personally, I think it’s good our relationship status isn’t based on what we’re “entitled” to, or all our dark secrets would be out and many of us would end up with some less-than-ideal people.
So no, you’re NOT entitled to having your dream spouse. That isn’t to say God won’t send you an amazing spouse (I genuinely believe that if HE has given you a desire to marry – not just you want to, but GOD placed that desire in you – and you trust His path for that, He will bless you for it with someone awesome). It’s just saying to stop thinking He owes you one. And that’s not just me trying to be bossy or pushy. Speaking from experience, when you stop thinking God owes you a significant other, it’s a lot easier to handle singleness, I’ve found. It makes it more enjoyable. You can spend your time that would otherwise be lost to dating instead learning more about who you are, and particularly following (or learning) where God’s called you. When you get caught up in that, dating becomes one of the last things on your priority list (this doesn’t mean no more lonely days – it happens – just means you have something else to bounce back to). However, when you sit around thinking God, or fate, karma, the universe – whatever you believe in – OWES you that special someone? You’re just gonna’ find yourself running the same train of thought in circles, and it’s no fun. So instead, remember this: you’re NOT entitled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy.