Shaking the Single Shame
In an attempt to role model some gut wrenching honesty it’s time for me to make a horrifying public confession…Brace yourself because this is tough to swallow…
I’m single and I'm looking for love.
Why is that so hard for us to admit? Why does it feel so shameful? Why do we feel that, as single Christians, we have to portray this facade that we’re totally satisfied with our life and we’re soooo chilled out about whether someone comes along or not? I think part of the problem is all the baggage that comes with admitting you’d like to meet someone. So, just for the record, here’s a few of the things I’m not saying when I say I’m looking for love (please note this is my list – you can write one of your own!)
- I’m not saying that I’m desperate. I’m actually really happy with my life and I have lots of great friends and a good social life – I just have a bit of space for someone else.
- I’m not saying I’m going to jump into a relationship with the first person that asks me. I actually have pretty high standards although I do try to give people a chance to impress.
- I’m not saying I want you to set me up with the only other single person you know!
- I’m not saying I’m pathetic – why is there something about admitting we’d like a relationship which makes us feel like we’re 14 years old again? In reality admitting that you’d like to intentionally find someone to share your life with is a very mature and brave decision.
- I’m not saying I’m going to try and steal your husband (yes this has been asked before!)
- I’m not saying I’m in a rush to get married – and as a single mum it definitely doesn’t mean I’m looking for a father for my kids. I kick butt at single parenting and I think my life is pretty awesome the way it is.
- I’m not saying that my relationship with God is anything less that it should be (in so far that we all want to draw closer to God) Wanting to have a relationship or get married is a human instinct that goes back to the Garden of Eden when Adam was walking with God in perfect relationship. So wanting a relationship is not sinful and doesn’t take anything away from your relationship with God. He wired us for relationships!
- And finally (I’m sure you can relate to this) it DOESN’T mean every time I talk to another single person at church that I fancy them!
I’m not sure whether the tide will turn and whether it will ever be okay to admit we’re looking for a relationship without the embarrassment and stigma which often follows. So often I get asked whether Honoured is just created to secretly try and set people up in romantic relationships whilst pretending to be a social network. My answer is always… there’s no secret about it! People can get whatever they need from Honoured – just like with all social events! I would love it if some people met their perfect person at one of our events – what better blessing can you give someone? Honoured is not JUST about that, but it’s not a shameful, embarrassing side of it, it’s a wonderful, exciting side of it!
If we can step up one by one and be honest and open about how we talk about this stuff, that’s how the bondage of fear and shame gets broken. There's no need to be prudes when discussing romance and relationships!
We need to be open - especially if you are a leader in the church because you're role modelling how to live an awesome single life. That's not to say we don't have boundaries and we're not entitled to a private life - but we need to model how growing in a relationship with Jesus means growing in maturity, honesty and boldness.
So maybe for this week – if you are reading this and feel on some level that you are hiding your hearts desires in this area or you find it awkward or embarrassing to talk about, share that with a friend – even if you have to print off this blog for them to read so they don’t immediately set you up with the only other single person they know! Let’s not allow shame to rule any part of our lives and let’s start a revolution of honesty and openness!