A while ago, I posted about my desire to not be single ad infinitum. This still stands. But I also know that realistically, right now, aside from not having the means to do so, I am not in a fit state to begin that kind of relationship. I’m exhausted mentally and physically from the distraction that work provides from dealing with a lot of emotional rubbish from my last failed relationship, and from life in general. My head is a mess, and most days, it’s an achievement to be alive at their end.
Perhaps it’s because I’m more sensitive to it at the moment, but over the past few months, I’ve noticed a lot of literature coming from Christian circles, about the importance of romantic relationships. Things like “God did not create man to be alone” – that marriage is the basis / pillar [insert positive noun-phrase here] of community and family, and without it, we can’t function healthily as a society. Relationships are all-important. The emphasis is always on couples, and never speaks to the value of those not in relationships. Reading this literature, and knowing I’m generally uneasy in social situations, leaves me feeling as if I’m odd, and of little value.
Maybe this focus on relationship isn’t surprising. I certainly don’t recommend to anyone the joys of a UCCF ‘Pure’ course. I remember the ludicrous teaching; the friend sat on my bed at university, terrified she was acting against God by play-fighting with her boyfriend. No way. But one thing I did take from it, is that sex with somebody else should always be about the other person. Given that we are created sexual beings , and sex is about the other, the next logical step is to affirm romantic relationships. But what about those who don’t have one?
I’m trying to use this time I have, as a single person, positively, to see it as precious time. It’s time I can use to affirm my individual identity; think about what my views are, rather than changing them to fall in line with who I’m with, and re-building my faith, after having so many of my thoughts and beliefs crushed as ridiculous by my ex-partner. It’s time to try to silence the voice in my head that still calls these beliefs stupid, and it’s time to ground myself in God. I still often feel desperately lonely, and I am worried about not being able to connect with people around me, to trust or to be open with either them, or with God (as a brother at Taizé said, “faith is all about relationships” – another reference to relationships. They’re everywhere). I am trying to trust that God can use this time when I am single for His good. But with the constant focus on relationship in Christianity, that’s so hard.