Why Can’t Other Christians Understand I Am Happy Being Single? by Emily Brown

Why Can’t Other Christians Understand I Am Happy Being Single? by Emily Brown

The essay I am excerpting below is pretty good and contains a lot of truth.

It’s certainly true that a person who wanted marriage but remains single can eventually learn to accept their own single status, mostly make peace with it, but well-meaning friends and family (Christians are the worst, they worship marriage),
can make one of their well-meaning comments, and it can send you spiraling – until you learn to let it bounce off you, develop boundaries, and let that well-meaning person know that their comment does offend or hurt, even if that wasn’t their intent.

I also recall years ago seeing Christian singer Carman, who died in 2021, who was single until he got married in his 50s, say on a TBN program (while he was single) that he would be going along okay in life doing just FINE with his single status,
until he’d run into a Christian friend or family member who’d make those passing, sometimes well meaning, comments or questions like, “Why are you still single? Aren’t you depressed or lonely being single?”

Carman said on those occasions, his thoughts were, “You know, I WAS doing okay with being single UNTIL you had to rub my single status in my face and act like I SHOULD feel inadequate about it.”

The following is from Relevant, which only permits a person up to around five free articles per month:

(Link): Why Can’t Other Christians Understand I Am Happy Being Single?


by Emily Brown

As a lifelong single person, I’ve had a lot of time to come to terms with my singleness. And not even just come to terms and begrudgingly accept it, but truly learn to enjoy and love being single.

So when people ask how I feel about being single I don’t have to fake a smile. I excitedly share the happiness and joy I feel about being single.

That being said, there are still moments where I do feel sadness or shame or embarrassment about my singleness.

Do you know why? It’s because of the response people give me when I tell them how I feel about being single. Because when I tell people that I’m single they often respond with some iteration of:

“I’m sure you’ll find someone soon!”

Uh, thanks?

Nowhere in my explanation of my relationship status did I mention I was upset or worried.

Yet why do people — and let me be clear on which people I am specifically talking about: already married Christians — always assume I am sad about being single?

It has been a long, long journey to finding happiness. I worked really, really hard to unlearn the lie that being with someone would make my life complete and replace it with the truth that God is all I need.

I had to realize that there isn’t anything wrong with me and being single is not a curse.

…But it can take just a few words from well-meaning, ultimately misguided people to crack holes in my happiness.

Not all single people are happy with their relationship status. I get that, I do.

But I also know that we are all called to be joyful in whatever season of life God calls us to.

The way we get there is not only through personal prayer and surrender, but also through support of our friends.

Having people in my life, both fellow singles and married friends, who support my singleness and don’t give off-handed comments about my hypothetical future spouse has made all the difference.

Instead of feeling like I am wrong for being happy with my singleness, I get to breathe easy and live out my other purpose in life aside from maybe, possibly being someone’s spouse.
— end —

The author ends by saying (I’m paraphrasing here) she’s not opposed to marriage, she’d still like to marry some day, but in the meantime, she’s learned to understand that if she wants to enjoy life and be happy, that means accepting her single status and enjoying life as-is, not sitting around feeling sorry for herself and wanting others to pity her.

I arrived at some of those same conclusions years ago myself – and I don’t just mean in regards to singleness, but other things in life.

I’ve known so many people who won’t accept whatever unfortunate current or past disappointment or hurtful ordeal in their life, who choose to sit around in self pity,
who want others to pity them, and/or they cope with stress, anger, or disappointment in life by constantly complaining at any friend or family who will listen – which was usually me!
I was the one who sat and listened to friends, co-workers, and family members complain about their problems all the time.

For over 35 years, when I was severely Codependent, I felt (wrongly) – due to church and parental teaching and conditioning I received in childhood and my teen years
– that it was my loving obligation to sit and listen to other people gripe, complain, or cry about their problems (even though I usually hated playing that role for people) – but the types of people I attracted over my life very rarely actually DO anything to fix the issues they complain about.

It is completely mentally and sometimes physically draining to sit and act as a Free Therapist or a Negativity-Absorbing Sponge to someone else’s recurrent or regular bitching and moaning, or sobbing and crying.

Definitely, one key to finding one’s way out of depression or self pity or unhappiness over being single when one had hoped to be married is learning to accept your life AS IT IS.

You can’t go back in the past and change it; it’s okay to process the past for awhile by talking to a therapist about it, or permitting yourself some time to ponder on it and cry or feel angry over it, but if you do not make a deliberate choice to let it go and move on, you will be trapped in depression, regrets, and frustration.

But, in the case of singleness, I do think it helps a marriage-desiring single adult who remains single, for them to cope better, easier, or faster with their singleness and accept it,
when the adults around them start acting supportive over singleness and stop shaming adults for being single, to stop asking them questions like, “so why are you still single?,” and for churches to stop over-emphasizing marriage, parenthood, and the nuclear family as much as they do.

It would make it ten times easier on Christian single adults if the friends, family, and churches in their lives would just accept singles in their singleness, instead of making them feel bad about being single, or giving patronizing commentary about how the only thing single adults are good for is acting as free baby sitters to the married with children couples.

I didn’t get support or understanding in my single status, especially when I got to around my mid-30s or so and panicked because I was still single and thought God was going to send me a spouse by that time but did not. (And, at that time and in my 20s, I had tried going to local churches in my area, I had tried dating sites, but I could not meet suitable men my age.)

I had to navigate that fear, disappointment, and confusion on my own.

Even when I got to my mid to late 30s and began posting to heavily visited forums for Christians, ones that contained sub-forums for single adults, while I would occasionally come across a supportive fellow single adult, a lot of the other people (self professing Christians, some single, some married) were jerks about it.

On some of those Christian forums or blogs for Christian singles, I actually got victim blamed or harshly criticized and yelled at by other Christians for daring to at one time actually believe in the relationship teaching and advice I had heard from the Baptist faith I was raised in since childhood: that if I was a good girl, had faith in Jesus, prayed, and I waited, that God would send me a great spouse.

I’ve learned in years past to rarely open up to other adults about anything – whether it’s about being single when I had hoped to be married, or whatever the topic
– because my experience has been that once you get transparent with another adult, even if that person is a Christian, they then begin acting as though they now have the right to judge or criticize you, question your life choices, and tell you how to live your life, when all you were seeking from them was a word of empathy and encouragement.

On the flip side, some of the other adults I’ve confided in, or who come across my writings on blogs like this one, mistakenly think because I openly talk about my painful experiences in life (either on this blog or when I meet them in person after getting to know them a bit), this must mean I am exactly like them, that I sit around in a victimhood mentality,
and that I want to endlessly coddle them and give them un-ending emotional support forever and ever and listen to them gripe and complain about how unfair life has been to them or how God has let them down and how other people have been so mean to them
– and no, I don’t want to play that role, nor have I ever thought of myself as being a victim, either. That is never where I’ve come from.
(I now suspect that a lot of these types of people who approached me in the past who wanted me to constantly coddle and pity them are Vulnerable / Covert Narcissists.)

If you’re unhappy about something in your life, whether it’s singleness or something else, it’s up to you to move on and make changes in your life, or to accept the things you cannot change
– wanting empathy is fine up to a point, but if you don’t commit to acceptance or change, another adult giving you non-stop emotional support, validation, or empathy for years and years is not going to make you feel any better about your problem or remove the problem.

But yeah, there is, unfortunately an issue in Christendom with single adults who finally manage to accept their single status, and are doing fine with it, until another idiot Christian friend, acquaintance,
or family member, or comment by marriage-worshipping Christian or secular socially conservative idiots on social media, You Tube, blogs, or television shows, implies that being single is actually a sad, pathetic, loser situation to be in, or that the single adult is “failing” God by not marrying and having children (some of these idiots actually think the Bible commands people to marry and have children – no, it does not).

And it doesn’t matter how nicely the person frames it, like in their concern trolling voice of, “Oh, how hard it must be to still be single at your age! You poor thing!”
– those weak attempts at consoling your single friend for being single when she wanted to be married come off as patronizingly insulting.

But that sort of thing does pop up from married Christians or the “I always chose to be single, I never wanted to be married!” types of Christians every so often.

Christian and non-Christian conservatives really need to learn to change how they approach talking about singleness with their single friends who had wanted to be married and marriage didn’t happen (and may never happen, who knows?), because what most of them have been doing up to now ends up doing more harm than good.


(Link): 34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness

(Link): Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work

(Link): Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

(Link): Are You Stuck in the “I’ll Feel Better When” Cycle? by Diana Hill, phD

(Link): Really, It’s Okay To Be Single – In order to protect marriage, we should be careful not to denigrate singleness – by Peter Chin

(Link): Top 13 Reasons Why People Don’t Want to Get Married Any More – and Why Staying Single Makes You Happier

(Link): Victim Syndrome (‘Are You A Victim of the Victim Syndrome’) – by Insead

(Link):  When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship

(Link): An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

(Link): When Narcissists Fake Being Sick to Manipulate You – Re: Boundaries, etc

(Link): Four in 10 Adults Between the Ages of 25 and 54 are Single, Up From 29% in 1990

(Link): Authors at The Federalist Keep Bashing Singleness in the Service of Promoting Marriage – Which Is Not Okay

(Link): Debunking Eros: Why Romantic Love Isn’t the Only Love Worth Having by Mimi Haddard

(Link): Do You Need a Partner to Have a Happy Life? by D. LaBier

(Link): Number of ‘Lonely, Single’ Men is on the Rise as Women with Higher Dating Standards Look for Partners Who are ‘Emotionally Available, Good Communicators, and Share Similar Values’, Says Psychologist (2022)

(Link): Consider The Source: Christians Who Give Singles Dating Advice Also Regularly Coach Wives to Stay in Abusive Marriages

(Link):  Depressing Testimony: “I Was A Stripper but Jesus Sent Me A Great Christian Husband”

(Link):  What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue)

(Link): Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40

(Link): What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway

(Link): Men with ‘Golden Penis Syndrome’ Are Ruining Sex and Dating for Women

(Link): Twice-Divorced Lady Suggests That God Told Her He’d Send Her Husband Number Three and She Got Married a Third Time – I Actually Don’t Find This Story Uplifting

(Link): Those “God Brought Me My Spouse” Stories – Woman Says God Brought Her A Spouse on the Beach

(Link):   Celibate Christian Woman Asks Christian Host Why God Will Not Send Her a Husband

(Link): Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey

(Link):  The Right One – Do Unmarried Christians Only Need Jesus in Common to Marry 

(Link):  Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage

(Link): Slut? Selfish? Sad? No, just a single woman (editorial)

(Link): A Long Time Single Responds to a ‘Why You’re Not Married’ Article

(Link):  Pedophiles Seeking Christian Wives in Churches – Another Reason to be Leery of the “Equally Yoked” Idea and Reconsider Church as a Place to Meet Singles

(Link):  Male Preacher Marries For First Time At Age 44

(Links): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

(Link):   How to Deal with Unanswered Prayers via Pastor Bil Cornelius 

(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother

(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

(Link):  Husband-Hunting is the Worst Part of a Christian Upbringing – Christianity Made Me Obsessed with Finding a Husband – by B. Ramos

(Link):  Learning to See Your Single Neighbor by H. Stallcup

(Link):  Ed Stetzer’s Marriage Article on Christianity Today and C. Allen’ s Response

(Link):  Getting Married Is Not an Accomplishment by N. Brooke’

(Link): Do You Need a Partner to Have a Happy Life? by D. LaBier

(Link): People Who Get Divorced Are More Likely To Die Early Than Those …  Who Never Got Married In the First Place, Study Shows

(Link):  Marriage-Pushing Zealot Wilcox Suggests that Being Single is Immoral: National Review Article

(Link):   Single Workers Aren’t There to Pick Up the Slack For Their Married Bosses and Colleagues

(Link): I Married Young. I Was Widowed Young. I Never Want A Long-Term Partner Again by R. Woolf

(Link): I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me. by M Notkin

(Link):  Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link):  Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link): Please Stop Shaming Me for Being Single by J. Vadnal

(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

(Link): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

(Link): Federalist Magazine Staff Annoyed that Other Outlets Publish the Down Side of Motherhood and Are Requesting Sunny Motherhood Propaganda Pieces – As If Conservatives Haven’t Pushed for Motherhood Enough? The Mind Boggles

(Link): Christian Complementarian Owen Strachan Pushing “the Nuclear Family” Narrative – Unfortunately. (The Bible Does Not Prescribe The Family or Marriage as Cures for Individual or Societal Sin)

(Link): American Romance Standards Are Changing as People Have Less Sex and Marriage Rates Drop 

(Link):  Dear Abby: I Gave Up Dating, and 30 Years Later, I’m Lonely

(Link): The Stupid Advice We Give To Single Women Over 40 (from the Current Conscience Blog)

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