Dear Single People,
Oh, you thought you were off the hook didn't you! After that whole long, drawn-out post to married people, you thought I wasn't going to harp on you. Sorry, not today.
So how's singleness treating you? Are you happy? Content? Are you having fun? Do you know who you are yet? No?
Then you're probably doing it wrong.
First of all, before we really dive in, on behalf of all Married People everywhere, I apologize for how our kind has treated you. I apologize for the set-ups, the blind dates, and the constant asking if you've met "anyone special" recently. It's not fair, it's not right, and it's just downright irritating!
For everyone reading this, single and married alike, hear me now:
SINGLENESS IS NOT A SICKNESS!
If you are single, you do not need to be cured. Singleness is not some aggressive cancer that spreads it's dirty tendrils through your system until it needs to be sliced from your broken, sickly body!
So Married People, stop trying to "fix" Single People. They do not need your sympathy, your clucking, or your balding second cousin. For the love of all that is holy, JUST LET THEM BE!
Ok Single People, back to you. Are you enjoying your time as a Single Person? Because you should be. For most of us, singleness is simply a season of life, and it's meant to be one full of freedom, fun, and self-discovery. So how are you using your time in this season of your life? Your life won't begin when you meet "Prince or Princess Charming." Your life has already started. It's happening right now. So what are you doing with it?
You see, this is the time to really and truly figure out who you are. Do you know who you are yet? Really? Because here's a burning ray of fiery truth comin' right to your brain: You will never know who the right person is for you until you know who you are.
Let that sink in for a moment.
If you choose to marry someone before you really know who you are, you will probably choose to marry the wrong person. And that's a very scary thought.
(Disclaimer: Married People, don't you dare start thinking "Oh! I didn't know who I was when I got married; I must've married the wrong person! I guess I can justify getting a divorce!" WRONG. Nope. You did not get that from me. I believe that marriage should be "until death do us part," and that when you make those vows, you should really give it the ol' college try to make it work. Yeah, maybe you did make some stupid choices in the past, but you can still make your marriage beautiful [see Dear Married People for more on that.] This does not, however, justify staying in an abusive or unfaithful marriage situation.)
So get busy figuring out who you are. And have as much fun as possible in the process! What are your gifts, talents, and passions? What are you good at? What makes you happy? What breaks your heart? You need to know these things about yourself. And don't even try to get into a relationship of any kind until you've figured them out.
Also, if you are dating, are your standards high enough? And if they are high enough, great, but are they unrealistic? Let me tell you the difference, because what I am not saying here is to settle for anything less than the best! (In high school, I made a list of all the things I was looking for in a future spouse that was at least 50 items long, and my husband met every one of them!) Having high standards means only choosing to date someone who is kind, intelligent, motivated, hard-working, considerate, full of integrity, shares your values and beliefs, and is just chock-full of character. Having unrealistic standards means only choosing to date someone who is Italian, plays the harp, leaves a bed of roses in your apartment while you're at work, and will eventually present you with a 3-carat diamond ring on top of the Eiffel Tower. Those things are all awesome, but cut a brother some slack! Even the most fantastic guys can't pull all of that off! Know what things are true must haves, and what things are true deal breakers in a relationship. In fact, I encourage my students to make an ink-and-paper list of their 10 Must-Haves and 10 Can't-Stands. It's great. It's like a shopping list for dating. To get you started, your Must-Haves should probably include honesty, trustworthiness, and a person who is your best friend. And your Can't-Stands should include drug users, people who've been to prison, and cheaters. (These may sound obvious to you, but you would not believe the justifications I've heard from people over the years!) And on that note, it is also awesome to take some time off to just not worry about dating at all! Until you know yourself, there really no point in it anyway. (Plus, less drama in your life is ALWAYS a good thing.)
So Single People, I would encourage you to utilize this rockin' time of your life to its highest potential. Build amazing friendships. Travel the world. Try new things. Get to know yourself. Accomplish something. Revel in the pure girlyness or pure manlyness that is unique to living as a single person. HAVE FUN.
Because here's the thing - a healthy relationship is two whole, complete, content people choosing to share life as a team. It is not two wobbly, sniveling halves of a person looking for completion. Be content. Learn to be completely at peace with just yourself. Because until you reach that state of nirvana, you will never be ready to share your life with another person.
Thanks for listening Single People. You guys ROCK. Now start acting like it!
And just for fun, a weekend phone dump: