I’m going to get real honest here, lay it all out there, because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I’m 34 and single, and that’s not always easy. Sure I get to make my own plans, spend my money how I want to, no strings to tie me down, etc. But the truth with a capital T is that it sucks. Life wasn’t meant to be lived alone, there is a reason God put two people in the Garden of Eden. We are to learn and grow, procreate, and become more like Christ. Theoretically, all that can be done on your own, right (procreation=sperm banks)? But there is something about sharing a life with someone that refines us, rubs the prickly thorns and edges off of us. Two people from dissimilar backgrounds come together and make something new, together. Yin is not complete without Yang.
And yet, it is true that you can’t expect someone else to complete you. You can’t rely on someone else to validate you as a human being. This is what I’ve been told anytime I comment on how I’d like to meet the right man, I’d like to be married and raise a family. To be honest, it feels incredibly invalidating to be told that I should be satisfied with being single, that I should feel complete and whole on my own. Being complete on my own isn’t the issue, I’m enough on my own, that is true. I’m a complete human being, with just as many strengths and faults as the rest of humanity. Just don’t tell me that I need to be happy being single, that I need to be ok with it. My happiness doesn’t hinge on my relationship status, but it would be NICE. It would be nice to spend my God-given talents in the way they were meant to be spent.
I feel like everything about me what designed to be a wife and mother, but I feel like in admitting that (in a feminist era) is to relegate myself to a subpar desire. Perhaps it’s growing up in this era where I’ve been taught that I should desire power, prestige, career, money, and recognition – not home and family. Perhaps I’m an anachronism. I need to be honest though. I never wanted a prestigious career, nor power, nor worldly recognition. I’ve always only wanted to nurture the lives of my own family. That is what I, Heather, was designed for. I’m a naturally empathic person, I care so deeply for others, I love nurturing and caring for other living things (partly why I’ve always had animals or worked with animals), I have a big heart with a lot of love to give, seeing other’s success bring me so much joy, seeing my friends and family happy brings me immense joy. Other’s have told me I can use those innate qualities for a different career, but that’s not my desire. At all.
It’s kind of like how someone can be born into this world with innate desires and talents for composing beautiful music. Their drive and desire matches their ability to compose discordant notes into sweet melodies. So what does this have to do with me? I feel like Mozart without a piano. I have the symphony in my head, but lack the instrument to bring it to life.
So while I am a complete person, whole on my own, my desires are unfulfilled. I should be able to proclaim that it sucks without the world telling me I shouldn’t feel that way.
Then there are the people that tell me marriage is hard, and doesn’t solve anything – I understand this all to be true, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. I’ve also watched plenty of marriages fail; I don’t know what to say about that. We all have our agency, and sometimes people make really shitty use of that agency. Well, to be honest, we ourselves make really shitty use of our own agency. Anyways, having never been married, I can only compare it to having a horse. Stay with me here, I know. I grew up with all sorts of horses, none of them were my picks. I got hand-me-down horses or ponies, rescued horses with problems, and even a free-lease thoroughbred for a short while. Finally, when I was 25, I bought my dream horse. She was exactly what I wanted, but not perfect. She was very green (untrained) and needed a lot of work, but the qualities I wanted in a horse were there. She was willing and trusting and confident and kind – what more could you ask for? I had her for about 6 years before unfortunately having to sell her. But those 6 years were the best in all my horse ownership because 1) it was the horse I wanted and picked, 2) the horse had the qualities I sought for, 3) the horse taught me so much more about myself than I taught her, 4) we had some really fun adventures, 5) we had some scary and difficult times together. Non-horse owners will not understand the relationship that develops between horse and rider, but it is very much like a relationship. You have times where you piss each other off (every horse owner will understand what a pissed off horse looks like, lol), but in the end you still love that horse and wouldn’t trade it for the world (even if you threaten them with the meat truck).
I think I’m just rambling now, but I needed to get this out there. It’s ok to not be ok with being single. Que ABBA song “Take a Chance on Me.”