One of those pre-birthday posts where I whine about being single

Soon, I will be thirty-two years old.  Wowza.  How in the world did that happen?  I mean, theoretically I understand that every twenty-four hours the earth does a pirouette around the sun and eventually that adds up to a long dance.

But still.

Usually every time January 17th rolls around I re-evaluate the year that just flew by, and I usually feel pretty bummed about all that I haven’t accomplished.  This year, I’m trying to celebrate all the joyous events that came about in 2013: it was another year of OCD being under my heel, I got my first book deal, I won the Katherine Paterson Prize, I started blogging for the OCD Foundation.  That’s exciting stuff!

Still single.  Always single.

I know thirty-two is not that old, but please remember that I both went to and now work for a Christian college.  Do you know what that means?  “Ring by Spring” is the [only half-joking] tagline, and all these little virgins are running around dying to have sex.  Again, I’m only half joking.

I’ve watched nearly all of my college friends get married.  I am the only unmarried roommate (of eight) from my Moyer Hall days, the only unmarried roommate (of something like 12-14 [it was like a revolving door]) of my Lodge days.  I have watched high school freshmen grow through their high school years, graduate, come to Northwestern, fall in love, and get married under my nose.  I blink, and they who were once children are wearing white and saying vows.

It’s okay.  Tonight it’s okay, at least.

It helps to have a book deal.  It almost feels like an excuse.  (This is the first Christmas in a long while I didn’t get asked if I had a boyfriend … we talked about the book deal instead.  PRAISE GOD.)  I know I don’t need to have an “excuse” for not being in a relationship … but sometimes it feels that way.  Just being honest.

In the nearly eleven years since college, I have learned vicariously through my friends just how difficult marriage is.  (Like, really, really hard.)  I’ve watched friends go through difficulties, separations, divorces that shatter my heart.  I am glad I didn’t marry young.  Not that it is wrong to marry young, but I’m such a very, very different person now than I was in college.  And I’m more emotionally stable, slower to anger, quicker to administer grace.

Anyway, to summarize this, I wish I was in love.  Heck, I’d settle for just having a crush on someone who wasn’t a fictional character.  But I’m also okay (tonight, at least) and not wasting my singleness.

jackie is single

23 thoughts on “One of those pre-birthday posts where I whine about being single

  1. Can I borrow your “reasons [I’m] single” chart? And give you s hug because, seriously, I escaped to the East Coast where is normal to be unmarried at my age but you have to go through the crops of Northwestern students as they enter as wide eyed fish and leave for years later with a rock on their left hand. You are awesome.

  2. Okay, I don’t want this to sound the wrong way, I love my husband and kids, I really do, but sometimes it can be really annoying having them, like when all I want to do is sit down and write and all they want me to do in that moment is something different.

    Anyway, don’t worry, Jackie, just keep praying. It is better to wait for the right man then giving up and marrying the right one.

  3. I remember hearing one of my slightly older married female Christian friends say she had been so so sad and disappointed that she was not married – this was how she felt maybe 16 years before – that she prayed about and decided to be the kind of girl she felt God would have her be, for her future husband. It worked.

      • Jackie, I shared it as it was told to me, a friend’s experience. I was not suggesting, as I think you may have thought, that it has been your experience.

      • Oh no, I didn’t take it that way at all. I took it that you were saying it was good advice … and I think it’s not. I think it’s deeply flawed reasoning on your friend’s behalf and a wrong way to look at life and God.

      • I dont recall my saying it was good advice, nor did my friend tell me she advised it. She told me as it was, in her experience. I related it as such. It was your choice to deeply disagree with the statement, albeit with due respect on your part.

      • I may have misread/misinterpreted what you wrote, but to me, it read that she tried to become the kind of woman her unnamed future husband would want her to be. I just think that’s faulty. We need to focus on honoring God and drawing near to him, not on trying to make ourselves into a perfect future wife.

        I am a whole person on my own (with God)– no man will “complete” me. Christ has already done that. I just get really sensitive around those ideas.

  4. Oh, but you’re so beautiful, articulate, funny and true. It happens differently for everyone jac’, You are in God’s wonderful plan, watch and wait for that special someone he has chosen just for you! I married young (21) to my high school sweetheart, marriage has never been hard for us. No, we are not perfect and flawless just very compatible & blessed to be chosen for each other. Sometimes we don’t know till after the fact, why God works out relationships for some and not others, or why some are 20 years old and others 50. Rick showed up when I was a meer 15 years old. He’s the one who taught me about Jesus, I thank God everyday for this man He put smack dab in from of me! I am forever grateful.

  5. …………….And your viewpoint is yours to own. My friend -as have I – continued to honour God and draw near to him, over the last 35 years since she related her story to me.

      • TOO MUCH SOCIAL PRESSURE ON WOMEN. Then we internalize it and feel compelled to find answers to our single status. When you think about it, the idea of a woman needing to be in a married state is old fashioned. Perhaps it stems from the time before liberation when a woman did not have the same opportunity we have today, to build a career and financial independence. Women today have the option of adopting or using a sperm center to have children with or without marriage. They can have sex if they so choose with or without marriage. A woman does not require a husband or to be “in a relationship” to be happy or complete or fulfilled. In my opinion a women needs to develop herself personally and financially. The financial independence gives her options and shields her from dependency. Development of the self provides an inner fulfillment that is hers alone and to share with others as she chooses.
        If I had a daughter I would tell her how important it is to invest in herself. It is this investment that will actually provide for her. I would encourage her not to berate or put pressure on her self to find a husband. Do what she is happy doing, find herself and be herself. When it is meant to be it will happen. If and when it does she will have much to offer an other person. Her part in the relationship will not be based on the neediness of finding a husband, emotional or financial dependency, but on genuine friendship shared values and visions. As many folks have experienced after the initial surge of chemistry, sparks and feelings of being in love your friendship and commitment to that friendship is so very important especially when other priorities in life take your attention and energy.
        I hope Jackie that when the 17th day of January rolls in you will once again celebrate your life, all your wonderful accomplishments, dreams and choices for the future. May you have a very happy birthday.

  6. Yep. You got me thinking on this one. I love the graph, so true (j/k). How could i respond? I’m a dg junkie, so I jumped to the following: Marshal has some good stuff quite in line with your comment above (well said by the way), this was encouraging, plus add “write book” to #4. We’re excited for you and your book. I’m excited also to see where God brings you. Thanks again by the way, I found a post on 14 free ebooks in my search that i’m excited to read.

  7. That’s pretty much the same feeling I have on my birthday, but usually it’s ‘I have no friends because I’m a hermit’. 🙂

    You know, I do have a 34 year old brother who is single…. 😉 (only half joking)

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