Single AND Content? In This Economy? 

It’s funny how contentment can shift as time passes. For years, I was content being single. People around me were getting married, having babies, trialling separation. I felt genuinely happy for them (or sympathetic, in the case of separation), without even a glimmer of jealousy or discontentment. Occasionally I felt lonely, living solo in my little apartment, but I was largely content. Plus, I had a cat. 

Then it changed. 

I dated a fellow who—well, we won’t go into the gory details of how it fell apart (sorry to disappoint), but it woke something up inside me. I realised I had a lot of love to give, and that I wanted to give it to someone special. Naturally, I knew I did not need to be married in order to give my love away. I could do that anywhere. But I wanted to dedicate myself to someone and have them be dedicated to me in the same way. I wanted that closeness, that intimacy, that mutual sharing. And sex would be neat as well. (Can I get an amen from the celibates?)

It woke something up inside me.

I decided I wanted to be married. 

In a very short space of time, I went from 90% content to 90% agonising for a relationship. It was awful. I couldn’t stand the idea of being alone anymore. Something had awoken in me, and it would not be lulled back to sleep. I became increasingly frustrated with singledom, and the loneliness seemed to cut deeper than before. 

I became desperate. 

I prayed for a husband. My priorities shifted. I was twenty-nine years old, and I hadn’t found anyone suitable at work or church in that time. (By suitable, I mean not using drugs, not abusive, and a Christian. Was I being too picky?) I considered how else I might meet someone who was a good fit for me. 

That’s when I jumped on board the online dating train. 

It showed me how a shift in desire can prompt us toward action.

It turned out to be a great decision. I met my now-husband online. (Awwww.) And it showed me how a shift in desire, even the torture of discontentment, can prompt us toward action. It can be a motivating force, helping us make changes where we were previously bogged down. Not that contentment means being bogged down! But it certainly follows that if we are content with our status quo, we are unlikely to seek change. 

I’ve had friends who have experienced similar shifts in contentment, even those who have previously identified as having the ‘gift of singleness’. While such a gift can be genuine, it’s fair to say that not all gifts are necessarily permanent. We can change our minds, and God can change our hearts, at any time. 

We can change our minds, and God can change our hearts, at any time.

That’s life with God. It’s a bit of an adventure, at times unpredictable, often surprising, always handled with the best of care by the One who cares for us. Contentment, as well as change, can both be gifts. Even when we didn’t seek them out. 

Are you content in singledom, or know anyone who is? Has your contentment ever shifted over the years? How was that experience for you? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation. 

2 thoughts on “Single AND Content? In This Economy? 

  1. Hi Steph,
    So happy you found a good christian man through on-line dating. 🙂

    We all come so different dont we, with our desires.

    I am coming up to my 29th wedding anniversary later this year, so have been very blessed to also find a caring christian man, but didn’t meet him till my 21st birthday. I always wanted to get married and had prayed for years to meet him/the one. A heartbreaking relationship later (the christian man l was dating died suddenly) and then there was time to heal, before l met my man at the new church l was attending.
    It sounds a bit crazy looking back but at the time it felt like l had been left on the shelf, with other christian girls younger and older than me already engaged or married at my church and also wider churches and Uni friends!!
    It was a challenging time being single in the church in my late teens ans early twenties, l had out-grown playing crowd breaker teeny-bopper kids games at youth group but there were few singles and options for connection available at church, for people like myself who wanted to live Gods way.

    I have a middle age christian friend, who doesn’t want to be single. She has tried on-line dating without success. The so called christian men she has met are christian in name only and want an instant affair!
    Ps. I’ve been too busy working and ‘wintering’ to reply before now…ha ha:)
    I so look forward to your blogs,
    Regards Ros.

    • Hi Ros, so sorry to hear of the loss of your first relationship with the death of your partner. It is definitely challenging being single in the church, especially when everyone around you seems to be getting married! I feel for your friend too; I have friends who have also had less-than-savoury online experiences. It’s so varied, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your story, and all the best for your wintering efforts, I hope you feel genuinely refreshed this season.

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