We talk about it in whispers like a dirty secret. You would think that we are doing something illegal, or something immoral. We are careful about what we reveal, and to whom we reveal it. I have struggled with this post at length. I have not wanted to write it, and I have needed to. I have struggled because even though I’m honest most of the time, I am not always honest about this: I am single, and I want to be married.
If you know me well, you probably know this about me. We may have sat over tea or coffee and I have shared it with you like a secret, because I have treated it like a secret.
It's a secret because if you say this out loud, people often think that you are desperate, or idealistic or unhappy.
The truth is, most people are married, or will get married. Most of the people who are married wanted to be married, they didn’t just fall into it one day, or suddenly decide that it sounded like a good idea. Most of the people who will get married some day also seem to want to be married, at least the ones that I have talked with behind closed doors, with our guards down.
Why has it become so taboo to want to be married?
I say it out loud and I have been shushed. I have been told how easy and uncomplicated my life is, that I should appreciate it. I have been told that this is the best time of my life. I have been told that I should take this opportunity to travel or be creative or think about myself, because I will not always have what I have now.
I think that these people mean well, and some of what they say is true.
It hurts when they say these things though. It hurts because they are saying: you don’t really want what you want.
These conversations are the reason that I and many other wonderful vibrant single Christians I know do not open our mouths until we are sure that we are in safe and affirming company. When we are not in that trusted company, we talk about other things that we want, acceptable things: jobs or promotions, homes, cars, gourmet meals, book contracts.
Then, we’ll find ourselves alone together, sipping something slowly and the other things we want pour out of our mouths: husbands and wives and children and in-laws. And for one moment, we are a complete picture of ourselves. For one moment, we are not saying what we think the other person wants to hear, we are not posturing, we are not being hushed.
This is what I ask of you: if you know anyone who is single, please do not shush them. Instead, listen. Maybe they are not one of the ones who are seeking to change their status. But maybe they are. Either way, let them be honest. We have come by our desires honestly, just as you have.