I Will Wait for You – a poem by JANETTE…IKZ
How can single people effectively support each other?
Akirah commented on the last post, saying, “Thinking about women, I think a lot of us would benefit from friendships where men are not the sole focus. Supporting each other in all areas of life remind women that there’s much more to living than finding a husband. So I’d say, find friends who affirm you in all areas.” I think many women are guilty of having a one-track mind, and that carries over to their conversations and relationships with other women. Perhaps we become the people whose first question is “Are you dating anyone yet?” though we dread when parents, clergy, or non-single friends do the same to us. It’s important to express interest in the lives of our friends and not just the love lives of our friends. Show your friends that you care about them as a person. Your friend is not just a “single person” but also an employee (or not – also an important part of their life), a child, maybe a sibling, perhaps a model train enthusiast – many things aside from their relationship status, which describe who they are at this point in time.
It’s easy enough to have a one-person pity party. I’ve had nights where I just laid in bed listening to every unrequited love song in my music library. And when we do talk about relationships with single friends, it can be easy to compare sob stories. We must try not to indulge bitterness toward singleness, though. Some of the earlier response posts mentioned other ways to think about singleness, none of which require bitterness or a negative attitude. Encourage other single people to take advantage of the unique opportunities that singleness offers, whether they are interested in picking up a new hobby or need to discover their value as an individual. Read Redefining Singlehood for an example of having positive and encouraging conversations with friends about being single.
This is the final post in the Single Sunday series, but I doubt it will be the last post on the topic. I encourage everyone to continue the conversation and to think about how you view singleness in your own life. If there is a question you would like this blog to address, post it to the Facebook page or as a comment on any of the previous posts. Continue to share the series with friends and continue talking about these questions. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this series and participated in the conversation!
Do you have any other anecdotes/stories that speak loudly of your experience as a single adult?
I have always been “one of the guys.” As YouTube’s Rhett and Link would say, I’m in the “Friend Zone” (check out the video below for Link’s advice on how to escape the friend zone). They greet me with side hugs. One friend consistently calls me “Buddy.” The guys often talk to me about girls – problems with them, crushes on them, engagement rings for them. They talk about girls they are interested in, but I am never one of those girls.
For example, I remember sitting next to Kevin and Jeff in 6th grade. We would joke around and talk when we weren’t working, and one day the conversation was about Kevin’s recent break-up with Ali (Yes, in 6th grade. I know). He and Jeff were trying to find a rebound girlfriend, and when my name was suggested, Kevin said no. My experience as a single adult seems similar to this childhood experience. I have good relationships with guys, but they wouldn’t consider being more than just friends. I had one guy insist we were just friends when a mutual friend asked him if anything more than friendship was going on between us.
My roommate has had quite the opposite experience as a single woman. She tries to pursue friendship with guys, but they always seem to want something more. She also has a childhood story that bears similarities to her adult experience. When she was 11, she had the rare opportunity to attend summer camp. As usual, there was that one boy at camp that all the girls pine for. He was the typical blond-haired, blue-eyed, all-American boy. All the girls had a crush on him – except for my roommate. One day at the camp swimming pool, Mr. All-American’s friends approached her. “Do you like him?” they asked. She didn’t know what to think. She was afraid they were setting her up to be the butt of a joke. “No,” she flatly told them. After they walked away, her friends ran up to her saying, “What did you do? He was going to ask you out!” But she just wasn’t interested. Even though that experience was years ago, things are still very much the same for her. She just wants to be friends, but the guys want something more.
After my roommate and I shared these stories with each other, we decided to watch a movie. It seemed fitting to end our conversation with When Harry Met Sally, which I had not seen until tonight. In the movie, Harry and Sally are just friends, they talk about relationship problems and bedroom conquests, and spend lots of time together. But the movie asks the question: can a man and a woman ever be just friends? Here’s what they discuss early in the movie:
So can a man and a woman be just friends? I do have guys who are just friends, but I’m sure that the existence of their girlfriends/fiancées helps to keep things strictly platonic. But that’s pretty characteristic for my experience as a single adult – just trying to escape the friend zone. Others are content with being just friends and would prefer to keep it that way, but some people in their lives are making it a little difficult.
What anecdote characterizes your experience as a single adult?
Link’s Golden Advice for Single Guys
2009 Panel on Singles in Ministry with Shaine Claiborne