The Single Life

The Single Life
by Julie Thompson

I realize that most of you reading this are not single, and while you may not be able to relate to what you’re about to read, I’m hoping it gives you a better understanding of what your single friends may be experiencing.

I’ve discovered that being single in your 30’s is very different than being single in your 20’s. In your 20’s, many people are moving to new cities, starting new careers, and it’s easy to find other singles to hang out with. As you approach the late 20’s, it’s common for many of those single friends to start getting married, which was the case in my experience. You know you go to a lot of weddings when the people at the Bed, Bath, and Beyond Gift Registry recognize you and say, “Welcome Back!”

Being single in your 20’s is expected. Being single in your 30’s, however, is completely different. I’m not sure if this is true for all singles in their 30’s (or older), but the following has been my experience….

Whenever I meet someone new they typically ask me, “How many kids do you have?” or “How old are your kids?” At first I found it surprising that they skip the whole, “Are you married?” question and go straight into asking me about children. Now, it doesn’t surprise me, because it happens so often. They assume that since I’m a woman in my 30’s, I’m married and have kids.

When they ask me about my kids, how do I respond? I often say, “I have 23 seven and eight year olds.” And then I watch their jaws drop and the look of shock and awe take over their faces (which I find quite amusing). At this point, I explain, “I’m single, but I teach 2nd grade, and I consider all my students my kids.” Smiles and laughter always follows, but they still appear surprised.

Sometimes, I will even get this response, “Wow! Really? I’m sorry…I don’t know what I would do without my husband.” (Just to be clear, this is NOT the best way to respond.)

Society has caused many single people to believe they are less valuable than those who are married. If you don’t believe that, I encourage you to ask your single friends what their experience has been.

Social media, TV shows, movies, and even the music we listen to, try to make us believe that our lives can’t be fulfilled unless we are in a romantic relationship.

That is a lie.

Being single is nothing to be ashamed of, so please don’t apologize to your single friends.

What have I done without a husband? I have moved to a new city, started a career, bought a home, and have pursued the calling God has on my life. Would it have been nice to experience those things with a husband? Absolutely, but I haven’t put my life on hold just because I’m single. And you know what? My life is still full of happiness, joy, and a sense of purpose.

The truth is, though, it isn’t easy being a single adult.