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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What I Wish My Married Friends
Knew About Being Single

Why, hello and a happy Tuesday to you!

Today, we have the privilege of hearing from one of my sweet friends, Holly (or the Common Queen as she is known by her internet subjects). She's guest posted for me before and somehow manages to make me laugh with her words, then cry with her genuine spin.

Part of the goal with the Prodigal Sister is to bridge gaps and begin conversations about our struggles, big life questions and triumphs as a community. Oftentimes we get caught up in our own little worlds we forget to engage with people living life right beside us.

For the next few months, we'll explore these worlds. We'll answer tough questions and maybe dive a little deeper into understanding the narratives we claim as our own. Holly's story is threaded with singleness.

Here's what she wants her married friends to know:

I’m thirty-two and single.

I mention my age, not because I expect any applause for getting to this age and being single (although I will accept complimentary chocolate), but because it’s been over 10 years of friends getting married and having babies.

And me, well, not.

Many of my closest, dearest friends are married and because of them I’ve learned a ton about marriage and relationships of which I’m thankful (and sometimes frightened). As much as I’ve got stuff to learn from them, and I do, there are some things I’d like them to know and learn from their single friend.

I’m happy for you, but I’m not happy for you.

How can those two seemingly contradictory sentiments exist at the same time? I have no idea. I just know that they do.

For every phone call, text message, Facebook post, postcard in the mail letting me know a friend is getting married or having a baby I feel excitement and happiness for them. Marriage and babies are a blessing and should be celebrated.

Yet, while I am happy I am also simultaneously sad and grieving the fact that my wait isn’t up.

It’s hard for me to express both of these emotions at once so sometimes I don’t ask questions like, “How’s the wedding planning going?” Not because I don’t care, but because talking about your happiness reminds me of my own sadness.

It’s not selfish to hurt, but it is selfish if I make your celebration an opportunity to turn all eyes on me. So, I keep my mouth shut and send congratulatory cards instead.

Married people need single friends.

Not just to babysit your kids because let’s face it I’m free most Friday nights. Single people have worth and I feel like sometimes we get looked over.

We have a wealth of wisdom because we’ve had to make decisions and do things on our own without the help and support of a spouse.

We’ve bought houses, gone to scary doctor appointments, stood up to mechanics and cooked large holiday dinners.

Sometimes I think married people assume we eat microwavable mac and cheese every night for dinner. One of the perks of singleness is we CAN eat it for dinner every night, but we don’t.

Some nights we choose frozen pizza or Ramen.

We’ve got wisdom from experience and those experiences often allow us to bring a different perspective to the table that maybe you’ve missed.

That’s the beauty of having friends in different stages of life. They let you in on lessons they’ve learned and you can do the same.

You are complete, regardless of your relationship status.

As singles, we spend all this time working through the lie that says we need someone else to complete us. This is a battle, especially when we see our married friends talking and acting like their spouse completes them.

Sure, they may not come out and say it in those words, but it can be found behind comments or actions.

Honestly, it’s discouraging because it feels like this battle for completeness is only a temporary victory until I get married. Then, it’s okay to throw that philosophy out and become “one.”

Biblically speaking, you, your spouse and Christ are braided together to make one chord, but you are still your own strand in the mix.

Unity doesn’t demand melding into an unrecognizable individual, but being completely you. Your completeness outside of your relationship with your spouse, I assure you, will bring a strength to your relationship.

Singleness ain’t for the weak.

Sure, some nights it’s a party...and by party, I mean watching an entire season of Friends on Netflix while eating nachos.

It’s full of laughing, crying and beating your head against a wall asking “Why, God, why?”

Which sounds an awful lot like marriage.

But, as hard as this season of singleness has been, I know it's helped shape me into the woman of God I've become. A woman who is both independent and yet still understands my need for others.

A woman who loves to serve and give of her time and talents generously. A woman who walks through grief and still seeks beauty everyday. A woman who continues to hope. Through it all may those lovely qualities (and many more) continue to grow in me both in my singleness and in my future marriage.

For more sass and thoughts on singleness, visit Holly's blog, follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


Hola, Brett here!

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Someone Critique said...

They have a list of approved caterers and valet parkers which you are required to choose from. The event coordinator from the wedding venues was very professional and cool enough to let us come in and tour on a Saturday while another wedding was setting up.

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