In Others’ Words: Reality (Guest Post by Meagan Williford)

CAFS quote about time and plans 10.9.13

 My novel, Catch a Falling Star, asks the question: What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan? My heroine, Kendall Haynes, greets her 36th birthday wondering “Just what exactly was she celebrating?” Her life is good — successful — but not all her dreams have come true. Specifically, happily ever after has eluded her.

Today’s post is written by Meagan Williford, a reader-become-friend. We’ve chatted back and forth about Catch a Falling Star and the realities of being single, and I invited Meagan to share her perspective with you. 

I’m Single. Say What?

I am not nor have I ever been married, engaged, or divorced. I am not currently dating anyone. As a single woman in my late twenties, I have been the recipient of numerous comments about my love life (or lack thereof). Being a somewhat older single, I’ve fielded some interesting comments from well-meaning people who really aren’t trying to make me cringe.

Things You Should Never Say to a Single Person

  1.  “Tell me why you’re single again?”
  2. “You must be too picky. That’s why you’re not (dating/engaged/married.)”
  3. “Don’t you think it’s about time you started looking for someone to date?”
  4. “Maybe I should help you find someone.”
  5. “You will find love when you least expect it.”
  6. “Oh, you’re looking so good! You must be engaged.”
  7.  “You are next, right?” (Said at a wedding reception)
  8. “You are looking too hard. Just wait for love and it will come to you.”
  9. “Just remember that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Even though these comments are usually not said with the intent of being hurtful, they still are. I am blessed and have awesome people in my life, but I also want to fall in love and get married one day. Sometimes it’s difficult not to take these comments to heart. Is there a reason I’m not married? Maybe I am too picky? Do I care too much? Should I change something about myself?”

Therein lies the danger of these comments: They make me doubt myself.

It’s frustrating to hear people try to rationalize my single status with these surface comments. Just once I would like someone to go beyond the surface and tackle the difficult aspects of relationships. There is no set formula for finding love. Reading relationship books and following steps will not guarantee love. (Actually, if you’re like me, you will just want to throw the self-help book out of the window!) Many times it seems easier for some to find love while others wait – for what feels like forever – to meet someone. And online dating? Despite what the commercials say, it is not successful for everyone.

As a Christian, I believe in the truth of God’s love. I believe God has a plan for my life. (Jeremiah 29:11) I believe that He loves me, and He is in control. (Romans 8:28)

No, I don’t know why I’m not married yet. And on most days, it’s okay that I don’t understand. Maybe being single isn’t something that needs to be rationalized. By accepting this as my season in life, I’m able to learn and grow, embracing the truths that God is teaching me right now, where I am and who I am: a single woman in my late twenties.

In Your Words: What would you add to Meagan’s list of “Things You Should Never Say to a Single Person”? How did life not go according to plan on your way to happily-ever-after?

Meagan Williford picture rsz cropped Meagan Williford, age 27, is an avowed bookworm who loves Christian fiction. Dee Henderson and Janette Oke were two of the first Christian authors that she read, and she’s been hooked ever since! Meagan enjoys traveling, and the top places on her to-visit list are: Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Wyoming, Germany, Australia, Greece, and Italy.

 

Things You Should Never Say to a Single Person Click to Tweet

Let’s Not Be “Rational” About Being Single Click to Tweet

Singleness: Doubting Myself or Trusting God? Click to Tweet

Read the first chapter of Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt! Click to Tweet

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. October 9, 2013, 6:37 am   /  Reply

    You are soooo right!

    I was single until I was 41 – and had no long-term or short-term relationships. No one asked me, however – I suspect that my single status was taken as a given (and as a blessing to women) because of my line of work in mid-adulthood and the rather chilling aura it gave me.

    What people did ask was, “Why do you have so many dogs?” (I had seen more than enough death, and wanted to stand for life in some way, so I took in strays.)

    “You should reduce you canine population.”

    “How much does it cost to feed them?”

    And so on. These folks didn’t mean well. They wanted to pick me apart in smug superiority.

    And that, I fear, is what the “singlehood questions” are all about. I don’t believe these people want to help or console, Meagan. I think it’s a one-upsmanship game that they’re playing.

  2. October 9, 2013, 7:29 am   /  Reply

    Meagan, thank you for sharing so honestly about this topic. I met my husband at 27, and we married shortly before I turned 29. Two years before that, I was invited to 11 weddings. In one year. I had to really seek God’s peace and ask for His perspective when I was single and wanting what they had. 🙂

    Your list covered a lot of what I heard as a single. People don’t always know what to say, and so they say the easy, rather than the thoughtful.

    I loved your closing thought: “By accepting this as my season in life, I’m able to learn and grow, embracing the truths that God is teaching me right now, where I am and who I am: a single woman in my late twenties.” May He continue to help you find contentment in this season. 🙂

    • Meagan Williford
      October 9, 2013, 3:59 pm   /  Reply

      Wow, Jeanne! Eleven weddings in one year is a lot! I hope you bought stock in Bed Bath & Beyond. (Every time I receive a wedding invitation, I say I am going to do that.) Thanks for sharing your story and for the encouragement to keep finding contentment in this season of my life. I really appreciate it.

  3. October 9, 2013, 8:13 am   /  Reply

    Meagan, your post made me smile. I’m not married either…one of the worst things I’ve had people say to me is, “Hey, you’re single. So and so is single. You guys should date.” I always want to respond with something like, “When you met your husband, did someone say, ‘oh you have brown hair, he has brown hair, you should date!'” Haha…

    I’ll tell ya my issue in general though with the single/married conversation: the way it’s so easy to see people in labels. And to sometimes only see that one label: single or married. It’s just not cool. We are, all of us, full and complete in who God made us to be. Single or married is just a descriptor for a season in life…it’s not an identity. But sometimes when married people constantly “encourage” single people with the lines you mentioned, it starts to feel like that’s the only way they see us. I don’t even like saying “single people.” 🙂

    I am Melissa. And I can use a lot adjectives or adverbs to describe what I’m like or what season I’m at in life. But at the end of the day, who I am isn’t defined by those things, single/married included.

    Okay. Off my soap box. What I really wanted to say is I LOVE your post and man, doesn’t Jeremiah 29:11 rock?! 🙂

    • Meagan Williford
      October 9, 2013, 3:59 pm   /  Reply

      Melissa, you are so right! It’s very frustrating when people try to push two individuals together just because they are both single. There are important factors to be considered when introducing two people, if the intent is for a thoughtful setup: Are the individuals compatible? Do they have similar interests and goals? Do they have a shared faith? There is much more to it than- “Oh, you are both single, so this must be the perfect match!”

      I wholeheartedly agree with your issue about labeling people. Recently I was talking to a friend and said, “Why does my relationship status matter so much? Why can’t I just be Meagan? There is so much more to me than whether I am single or not.” I also absolutely love your statement: “Single or married is just a descriptor for a season in life..it’s not an identity.” Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that truth, but it is so worth holding onto!

      Jeremiah 29:11 does rock!! It’s one of my favorites.

      PS: I am reading Made to Last right now and it’s awesome!!! I am really enjoying it.

  4. October 9, 2013, 9:38 am   /  Reply

    I’m delighted to have Meagan here today. I appreciate her insights as an “older” single woman – and both her sense of humor and her faith as she walks her journey to happily ever after — and lives happily NOW.

    • Meagan Williford
      October 9, 2013, 3:56 pm   /  Reply

      Beth, I am honored to be a guest writer on your blog! Thank you for this opportunity!

  5. Heidi Kortman
    October 9, 2013, 12:59 pm   /  Reply

    I’ve had several zinger comments in my life: “Now to find someone for you,” delivered by the parent of a bride while standing in the reception line. I replied, “I’m not looking.” After that came this one during a singles bible study, on a Valentine’s Day weekend: “I wouldn’t ask you to marry me, because you’d say yes.” (Now where the guy got that impression, I’ll never know, because saying Yes is, was, and will be the farthest thing from my mind.) The most recent one was a two-parter, from a pastor: “Are you a widow?” My answer, “No.” Would you like us to find you someone?” My response: “You may try, if it amuses you, but I believe it will take a long time.”

    It gets hard at church events, being one of very few unmarried people younger than 75. Congregations are inherently family-focused. They don’t know quite what to do with us.

    I’m 56, content living alone, and an aunt to ten.

  6. October 9, 2013, 6:31 pm   /  Reply

    Great post, Meagan. I’ve been single, married, divorced, married and now widowed. About the only time I think about that is when I’m asked to mark which one I am. And this always makes me ask, What difference does it make? Putting a label on me doesn’t change who I am. Like you, I’m enjoying the season I’m in.

  7. Rebecca
    December 12, 2013, 5:52 pm   /  Reply

    I recently moved, but in the town I was living in I went to a church with a really awesome pastor. He did a marriage series and one Sunday he focused on singleness. You know what he said? That married people do singles a disservice when they act like those singles aren’t complete. He went on to tell singles that if they are content with where they are and people make comments to them, to reply, “Why don’t you focus on your own marriage? I’m doing fine.” AWESOME sermon.

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