I'll admit it—there are days when if I were to write an article called "Why Being Single Stinks," it would fill volumes. Days when the entire congregation at my church seems made of happy couples and their charming children—while I sit in my pew alone. Or when I receive still another wedding invitation and can't even picture whom I'd ask to accompany me, let alone whom I could someday walk down the aisle with once my turn comes.
But thankfully, this isn't the whole story. Just the other day my roommate, Karen, and I were enjoying our Saturday morning tradition of banana chocolate-chip pancakes—she dressed in plaid flannel pants and a tie-dyed t-shirt and I in my pjs and a Pebbles Flintstone-inspired ponytail. As we plopped down in front of the tube to watch a rerun of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, I flashed her a smile and asked, "Aren't you glad we're single?" She looked at our clothing, our cuisine, and the cute man on the screen, and agreed with a hearty laugh. Here are a few other things we like about being single:
Once we got our fill of pancakes that morning, we noticed the beautiful day shaping up outside. Karen looked at me and said, "Two words: Lake Michigan." An hour or so later we were in my car, a frisbee in the back seat, walking shoes on our feet, our beverage of choice—Frappuccinos—in our drink holders, and our favorite musical soundtrack blaring out our open windows. In twenty minutes we would be breathing in the fresh air and walking off our caffeine buzz along the rocky ledges bordering Lake Michigan. Ahh, the single life.
Spontaneity. Freedom. Flexibility. These are some of the best things about being single. They've allowed Karen, a middle-school teacher, to spend her summers off teaching day camp to inner-city kids. They've allowed my friend Cheryl to travel to Russia and share her faith with college students. They've allowed my friend Julie the time to create the most beautiful garden in our suburb. And they've allowed me to visit my friend Christa in Germany and take in the European experience without missing a husband or kids back home.
Sure, we'd all someday like to have the structure of date nights and bedtime stories, but for now we're trying to make the most of the flexibility in our schedules.
Months ago I had lunch with Carla and Annette, two Christian coworkers of mine, each with a marriage I admire. As we were talking about the upcoming wedding of a mutual friend, the conversation drifted to the topic of sex. While I blushed in silence, these frank friends told me that sex isn't always thrilling. Sometimes it's awkward and messy, they admitted. As a single woman in our sex-saturated society, sometimes I need to hear this.