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I’m Christian, 30 and Single. Why Do People Pity Me?

I’m Christian, 30 and Single. Why Do People Pity Me?

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I recently turned 30 and I’m still single — and I kind of hate it.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I shouldn’t. The average age women get married in the U.S. is 28, so I’m just north of that. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything wrong. But when I tell people at my church that I’m still single, I get a sense that everyone around me is pitying me in some way. I cannot express how many times I’ve been met with sympathetic eyes when I tell someone I’m not married or dating anyone right now.

Sometimes I feel like I’m wrong for feeling this way. I always thought I’d be married by 30, but my twenties took a few unexpected turns. I’m glad with where I ended up, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t hear a voice in the back of my head saying I should be married by now.

I also know I’m not the only one feeling this way. Society — and just to be clear, I’m talking predominantly western American society — has created a lie. This lie is that 30 is a warning beacon, telling women that: 1. You better get married soon, or it’ll never happen. 2. You better have kids soon, or it’ll never happen. But both those statements are simply lies. American women are getting married later. This is due to a number of factors: a main one being an increased focused on higher education for women, and a change in perception about marriage. One study puts it this way: Culturally, young adults have increasingly come to see marriage as a “capstone” rather than a “cornerstone” — that is, something they do after they have all their other ducks in a row, rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenthood.

In many ways, the thirties are the new twenties. But that doesn’t make it all better. Because no matter what age you are, some well-meaning and wonderful people will always pity you for being single. They’re thinking (and maybe saying), “Oh she’s so pretty and smart, how is she not married?! I know a guy …” And while I appreciate the sentiment behind what they’re expressing, the truth is, it makes me feel like I’m running out of time, which doesn’t help my growing frustration.

And it’s not just pity for not having a spouse. At times, I’ve felt not only pity but anxiety from my friends that I don’t have time let to have children. But again, they’re wrong, or at least somewhat misinformed. Because I’ve still got plenty of time to have a safe and healthy adoption or pregnancy. Yes, there are increased rates of complications for pregnancies, especially after 35. I know I can’t reprogram the biological clock. But to view 30 as a dropping-off point is to negate nearly a decade of childbearing years. Furthermore, any child I bring into my home, either by adoptive or biological means, is never anything less than a miracle in the first place—25 or 35, it’s all God. So if God knows the face of my child, I can trust I’ll know it as well.

Speaking of biological clocks ticking, sometimes I get the feeling that my friends’ concerns are that being older is a less desirable trait, and I’ll have a harder time finding someone. In those moments, I remind them that they’ve been roped into a youth-obsessed culture that fails to acknowledge the real beauty of women of all ages. Scripture tells me I am perfectly and wonderfully made — and not just in my twenties. There is nothing about me, my age or the extra little wrinkle on my forehead that will repel a good man.

Some days, all of this is easier to believe than others. Wise friends of mine who are single into their thirties, forties and fifties have shared that no matter how much knowledge they have about their relationship status, doubt can easily creep in. Truthfully, I’ve spent more time than I can to admit worrying that I’m not actually “marriage material.” Those thoughts quickly spiral into other ones like “something is wrong with me” or I’m somehow repelling possible suitors. If I don’t catch those thoughts quickly, I can start to believe that I’ve passed the beacon of viability for being loved.

Maybe you’ve had that thought before, too. Maybe you have that thought now. The point is, none of those thoughts are worth more than a moment. Take a step back and lean on God when those lies and accusations fill your mind. Remind yourself that you are wonderful, datable, loveable and (in all probability) nothing about who you are is preventing a good relationship.

What’s preventing it is, well, nothing. God isn’t sitting on a cloud, laughing and saying, “Interminable singleness for her! Nobody will ever love him!” He doesn’t work like that. What He is doing is crafting a narrative, and letting me in on it a step at a time, which means that right now, my job is to be obedient in doing the things He’s called me to today. Then, I trust that if God desires for me to be in a relationship, He’ll make that known. My age will not prevent Him from working.

There is no cutoff date for gifts from God. If He can make Abraham and Sarah parents at 90, there’s no reason to think I’m too old for a miracle of my own.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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