The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives. And live to tell about it.

The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives. And live to tell about it.

Braitman is 58 now [and never married], though she has the carriage of a much younger woman.

But she wanted a partner. She still does.

Braitman grew up in Queens, watching her father dote on her mother. She saw her brother become a wonderful husband. She does not think marriage is broken and does not think life — at least her life — is better lived alone. It just worked out that way.

She went to college, moved across country, built a career in media. She dated, took up hobbies and developed a loving circle of friends. For most of her life, she assumed the right one would eventually show up. Now, she thinks there has been a detour.

After Thanksgiving last year, Braitman read a review of Diane Keaton’s new autobiography, “Then Again.” It contained this quote: “I never found a home in the arms of a man.”

The sentence laid Braitman flat. That’s her truth, too. Of all the men she has known romantically — and there have been plenty — none ever felt like home. It’s that plain. Whatever point-counterpoint, yin-yang recognition of a kindred other happens to people, it has not happened to her. At least, not yet.

We talk a lot about singles, but we don’t talk about this: what it’s like to live without a partner while longing for one, over years, then decades.
Continue reading “The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives. And live to tell about it.”

Singled Out – about being single in today’s society

An article about singleness. This article appears to be written by someone who is liberal, and I am not a liberal.

I don’t agree with all of the article, but I do agree with much of it, and I related to a lot of it. Here are some portions from the article:

Singled Out

By Katie Roiphe

….And it’s disconcerting that living alone, especially for a woman, is still something of a taboo; that vast swaths of the population still foster only barely submerged fantasies of spinsters and cat ladies; that children still sit cross-legged on the floor playing games of “old maid.” In a recent, highly rational exploration of the subject in the New York Times, Klinenberg, a sociologist, points out that nearly half the households in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. consist of a single person, and yet we continue to view the lifestyle of people who live outside of a couple to be as worthy of cover stories as that of rare leopards prowling across the front of National Geographic.

….In the hot pink, 75-cent paperback edition, she [Helen Gurley Brown] writes about the single experience: “You see enough picture stories in national publications about couples and families to make you feel like the sole occupant of a life raft. To further depress you, the couples and families are always blueberry-pie normal, as industrious as gophers, as much at home in the world as an egg in custard. We know the married state is the normal one in our culture, and anybody who deviates from ‘normal’ has a price to pay in nonacceptance and nonglorification.”

….All the public drumrolling about deciding not to get married, or to live alone, or to have a baby on one’s own, is in direct proportion to the resistance single people still feel from the culture, the curiously old-fashioned outsider status they seem to enjoy.

It is testimony to how much truth still holds in Helen Gurley Brown’s statement that the single woman’s “whole existence seems to be an apology for not being married.”

Why, one might wonder, should single women still be apologizing to anyone, explaining, elaborating, elucidating, as though they are stuck between the pages of an Austen or Trollope novel? These articles would not continue to appear and we would not continue to read them if the choices they described were simply the boring, private choices they should be. (Or as Helen Gurley Brown wrote to the single girl, “You may marry or you may not. In today’s world that is no longer the big question for women.”)

700 Club Show on Valentine’s Day – caters to married people, you’re basically screwed if you’re single

Oh good grief.

I’m over 35 years old, I have never been married, and I may never get married. I always wanted to get married but could never meet the right guy.

I’m watching a Christian show called “700 Club,” and they are putting way, way too much emphasis on how people who are in marriages have better emotional health, and thus, better physical health.

I think the people at “The 700 Club” show are airing this kind of story because it’s Valentine’s Day today.

They did toss out a brief mention that if you are single, you’re not completely out of luck, since you can get love and health benefits from having a pet, and the moldy old chest nut about volunteering at homeless shelters (that is, by helping those less fortunate – no thanks, I’ve always been an introvert – I find being around strangers stressful and mentally exhausting, not uplifting).

I think it’s in poor taste and a little insensitive for a Christian program to spend about 98% of a segment extolling the supposed benefits of marriage when there are single, older never married people such as me watching.

The 700 Club also did a brief segment where they interviewed people who recounted miserable dates they had been on. I can only assume this segment was meant to be humorous (?), but for never-married people who might be getting dates, we don’t need to be reminded how stressful and horrible dating can be.

So I did not find that segment amusing. Only married people find this kind of thing funny because they no longer have to date.

Gee, thanks, 700 Club, for reminding me I am alone, useless, and will die ten years (or there abouts) sooner than most people because I’m single and they’re married. Thanks for the heartwarming Valentine’s Day lift me up.

—————–

Related Post:

(Link):  A Valentine for the Single Christian by K L Bishop

The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line

I caught the first few moments of Bayless Conley’s show today. This must be the third or fourth week in a row the guy has devoted to the topic of marriage. He opened today’s show / sermon by at least acknowledging that not all his viewers are currently married and some may even not want to be married, so I will give him that much credit.

But then Conley added the dreaded qualifier (and I’m paraphrasing), “But regardless of your marital status, I’m sure you’ll still get something out of this awesome sermon! You will still learn something from it to apply to your single or widowed or divorced life!”

He’s not the only pastor who I’ve seen done this.

I’ve tried listening to marriage sermons before, even though I’m 40(ish) years old and have never been married, and no, I can’t say as though I ever get much out of such sermons; they don’t make my life more awesome or my problems easier to bear. Some of the marital sermons are so general and generic, they’d fit almost any situation in life, so I don’t know why the pastors bother to classify them as “marriage” sermons anyway.

Since recent polls and surveys show that marriage is heavily on decline in the United States (people are remaining single longer and getting divorced all the time, including Christians), it’s not, in my opinion, totally relevant for pastors to focus as much on marriage as they do.

Since so many people are single longer these days, why don’t these pastors acknowledge our existence? Why don’t they give sermons for Christians on how to cope with single life, and I do not mean the cliched crap about how we singles should not be having sex outside of marriage. That’s about the only ‘singles’ issue these preachers want to address. (Not all; some are hesitant to remind listeners that pre marital sex and other types of sex is sinful, see this link: Christian Preacher Admits He Won’t Preach About Sexuality For Fear It May Offend Sexual Sinners)

There is one other cliched bit of advice preachers will drag up when talking to or about single Christians: they will tell you to, “Serve! Get out there and serve, serve, serve!” – and I get really tired of hearing that also.
Continue reading “The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line”

Never Married Over 35: You don’t need to be fixed

Click “more” below to read the rest

Below is a link to an editorial (“Sometimes It’s Not You”) by a woman who did not get married until after the age of 35.

When she was single, she spent years beating herself up about it, wondering what was wrong with her.

She tried to be very happy as a single person and find peace and fulfillment.

She even had to field questions or comments from the few men she did date, who, once they found out about her never-married status and spotty dating history (that she never had many boyfriends), would ask her rude questions or make offensive assumptions about her.

Some of the men she dated, after finding out she did not have much experience with romance, actually had the nerve ask her, “What is wrong with you?”

Along the way, she talked to friends and relationship experts, all of whom gave her advice, most of which assumed there was something wrong with her that needed to be fixed.

Before getting married, she got tons of ridiculous, stupid, or weird advice from various people on how to nab a spouse, from ‘grow your hair out longer,’ to ‘take more bubble baths.’

She ends the editorial by saying she finally found Mr. Right, and mentions there was never anything wrong with her the whole time she was single, it was just a matter of not having found the right guy yet.

Sometimes, It’s Not You

By SARA ECKEL

….But still I didn’t answer [when my new boyfriend asked why I was 39 years old and had not had many dates or boyfriends].

I didn’t want him to know the truth: that I was 39 and hadn’t had a serious boyfriend in eight years. I had seen men balk at this information before — even when the numbers were lower.

They would look at me in a cool and curious way, as if I were a restaurant with too few customers, a house that had been listed for too long. One man actually said it: “What’s wrong with you?”

…“I don’t know,” I had answered.

“But you’re attractive?” he said, as if he wasn’t sure anymore.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” I said. “I don’t know why.”

Continue reading “Never Married Over 35: You don’t need to be fixed”

Singles, Never Married People Endure Bias, Marrieds Get Favored Treatment

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In a Married World, Singles Struggle for Attention

By TARA PARKER-POPE

Here’s a September celebration you probably didn’t know about: It’s National Single and Unmarried Americans Week.

But maybe celebration isn’t the right word. Social scientists and researchers say the plight of the American single person is cause for growing concern.

About 100 million Americans, nearly half of all adults, are unmarried, according to the Census Bureau — yet they tend to be overlooked by policies that favor married couples, from family-leave laws to lower insurance rates.

That national bias is one reason gay people fight for the right to marry, but now some researchers are concerned that the marriage equality movement is leaving single people behind.

“There is this push for marriage in the straight community and in the gay community, essentially assuming that if you don’t get married there is something wrong with you,” says Naomi Gerstel, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst who has published a number of papers comparing the married and unmarried.

“But a huge proportion of the population is unmarried, and the single population is only going to grow. At the same time, all the movement nationally is to offer benefits to those who are married, and that leaves single people dry.”

Yet as she and other experts note, single people often contribute more to the community — because once people marry, they tend to put their energy and focus into their partners and their own families at the expense of friendships, community ties and extended families.

In a report released this week by the Council on Contemporary Families, Dr. Gerstel notes that while 68 percent of married women offer practical or routine help to their parents, 84 percent of the never-married do. Just 38 percent of married men help their parents, compared with 67 percent of never-married men. Even singles who have children are more likely than married people to contribute outside their immediate family.

“It’s the unmarried, with or without kids, who are more likely to take care of other people,” Dr. Gerstel said. “It’s not having children that isolates people. It’s marriage.”

The unmarried also tend to be more connected with siblings, nieces and nephews. And while married people have high rates of volunteerism when it comes to taking part in their children’s activities, unmarried people often are more connected to the community as a whole.

About 1 in 5 unmarried people take part in volunteer work like teaching, coaching other people’s children, raising money for charities and distributing or serving food.

Unmarried people are more likely to visit with neighbors. And never-married women are more likely than married women to sign petitions and go to political gatherings, according to Dr. Gerstel.

The demographics of unmarried people are constantly changing, and more Americans are spending a greater percentage of their lives unmarried than married.

While some people never marry, other adults now counted as single are simply delaying marriage longer than people of their parents’ generation did. And many people are single because of divorce or the death of a spouse. About one-sixth of all unmarried adults are 65 and older; nearly one-eighth of unmarried people are parents.

The pressure to marry is particularly strong for women. A 2009 study by researchers at the University of Missouri and Texas Tech University carried the title “I’m a Loser, I’m Not Married, Let’s Just All Look at Me.” The researchers conducted 32 interviews with middle-class women in their 30s who felt stigmatized by the fact that they had never married.

“These were very successful women in their careers and their lives, yet almost all of them felt bad about not being married, like they were letting someone down,” said Lawrence Ganong, a chairman of human development and family studies at the University of Missouri.

“If a person is happy being single,” he said, “then we should support that as well.”

Bella DePaulo, a visiting professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has a term for discrimination against single people, which she calls one of the last accepted prejudices. It is the title of her new book, “Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Stop It.”

Continue reading “Singles, Never Married People Endure Bias, Marrieds Get Favored Treatment”

A Long Time Single Responds to a ‘Why You’re Not Married’ Article

Please click the “more” link (which is farther below) to read this entire post. Thank you

You can find this CNN editorial, “Why I’m Not Married, and No, It’s Not Because I’m an Angry Slut,” by Jessica Ravitz, here:

(Link): Why I’m not married (and it’s not because I’m an angry slut)

I found that same editorial linked to at the “askmen.com” forum, and most all the responses to it, by men, were very rude, insensitive, and clueless; they clearly do not understand women.

Out of all the men who left replies in the thread at the “askmen.com” forum, only one (a forum moderator) showed any maturity and sense.

The rest of the men in the thread sounded very bitter, immature, or insensitive. They sound as though they hate women. Maybe they’re angry at women because they cannot get or maintain a steady relationship with a woman.

You will find some quotes farther below from the editorial by Jessica Ravitz, but I first wanted to make a few comments about it.

Ravitz is not a Christian, but she makes many points I relate to.

One reason I have tagged this post with the terms such as “insensitive” and “annoyances” is that Ravitz is replying to insensitive comments by another author, Tracy McMillan.

McMillan wrote an editorial, “”Why You’re Not Married,” and from the way Ravitz describes the editorial, it sounds very insulting, because McMillan apparently blames singles for being single, even though people who remain single sometimes remain so for reasons that are not their fault.

Ravitz basically sums up the “never-married” situation some singles reluctantly find themselves in by saying life happens, and she explains that singles have a variety of reasons for why they were not able to get married, and some of those reasons are beyond their control.

Nobody can guarantee marriage, based on a variety of factors, so it’s insulting, rude, and demeaning for writers such as McMillian (or Christian writers like the ones at “Boundless.org”) to behave like there’s some magic formula that if we all just follow, we are guaranteed to get a spouse.

The link again:

(Link): Why I’m not married (and it’s not because I’m an angry slut)

Here is some of what Ravitz wrote:

  • ——————-
  • Tracy McMillan has gotten under my single-status skin.
  • I’m not sure how it took nearly a week for her Huffington Post column, “Why You’re Not Married,” to land in front of me, but it finally did. And now I’m fired up — not in an angry way but in the sort of way that made me skip to my desk, excited to type.
  • To hear it from the thrice-divorced McMillan, I’m 41 and not married because of one (or more?) of six reasons: I’m a bitch, a slut, a liar, shallow, selfish or not good enough.
  • Wow. Is that all? Maybe I smell, too.
  • I’ll be the first to admit I’ve got issues (c’mon, who doesn’t?), but I’m not owning these. Perhaps she was talking about why her own marriages failed or was simply setting out to get a rise, which she did brilliantly. And while I’ve been guilty of occasional transgressions that might fit in some of those unflattering boxes, McMillan doesn’t touch why I’m not married.
  • Based on the buzz surrounding her conversation-starting piece, I’m laying down and lining up behind reason number seven: Life happens.
  • Continue reading “A Long Time Single Responds to a ‘Why You’re Not Married’ Article”

Study: Never Marrieds Have Better Health Than Divorced

Here’s an interesting study from 2009:

Study Says: Healthwise, It’s Better to Be Single Than Divorced

Want to remain healthy? According to a new study — either get married and stay married, or never get married at all.

Researchers in Chicago found that among a pool of 8,652 people aged 51 to 61, those who married and divorced had 20 percent more chronic illnesses like cancer and diabetes than those who didn’t marry. Remarrying only drops the figure to 12 percent.

Basically, “health stock” goes up or down depending on our marital experience. Only those who remain married can expect the same health benefits as people who never got married.

Divorce ‘health scars permanent’

Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?

(Please click the “more” link to read the entire post)

I have touched on this issue before in prior posts (see the section, “Pray For The Right Car, but Not the Right Spouse?” on (Link): this blog page), and it’s somewhat related to the idea of one having faith in God to provide one with a spouse.

While there are plenty of Christians, both pastors and lay persons, who will reaffirm the belief that one should pray and depend on God to provide her with a spouse, there seems to be an equally large and vocal group of people who insist, no, a Christian should use her own abilities and reasoning to obtain marriage.
Continue reading “Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?”

Marriage Mandaters – Mocking Faith


(Please click the “more” link to read the entire post)

At the blog The Gift of Singleness (located at thegiftofsingleness.blogspot.com), in an entry entitled “The Importance of Waiting on the Lord” (dated January 17, 2007), the blog’s author, someone calling herself (or himself?) “Captain Sensible,” compares having faith in God to provide one with a spouse to having faith in God to reveal to a student which college the student should chose.

The comparison at that blog is made to ridicule the notion of any Christian having faith in God for a spouse.

The idea that a Christian would rely on God for college membership choice, or God’s direction or leading in the matter, is viewed by “Captain Sensible” as being silly and unrealistic, so the analogy is that relying on God in the area of marriage is also ridiculous.

Look, I fully appreciate the frustration of Christians who are single well past the age of 35 who dearly want to get married and have no current prospects (I am in that group myself), but I was very disturbed by the cynical attitude of that blog.

After having skimmed over some of “Captain Sensible’s” other content, I find myself agreeing with some of it and enjoyed some of the humor (such as the January 13, 2007 post entitled “Beware! The 14th February approaches!”).

But as I was saying, I do find certain aspects of the marriage mandate crowd’s attitudes (including some of those expressed by Captain Sensible) upsetting.

To mock and ridicule a Christian for having faith in God for provision, whether we are talking about food, water, shelter, a job, a spouse, a baby, a healing, or what have you, seems very antithetical to Christianity.

Especially when one considers all the passages in the Bible where

(a) Believers are chastised for NOT having faith in God and

(b) Believers are strongly commended for having faith (see, for example, Hebrews chapter 11 in the New Testament)
Continue reading “Marriage Mandaters – Mocking Faith”

Singleness Is Not A Gift

Singleness Is Not A Gift

I really do not believe that singleness is a gift.

I think if God actually grants someone with that so-called “gift,” then that individual will not be bothered in the least not to be married. (Edit: I no longer even believe the Bible teaches the concept “gift of singleness.” See links below for more, under “Related posts this blog”)

However, I am in my late thirties, never married, and it bothers me very much. I always wanted to be married, and I would still like to be married, so I seriously doubt that I have the “gift of singleness.”

I am so tired of hearing cliches and oft-worn phrases directed at singles such as “singleness is a gift.”

I can most assuredly tell you that no, it is not a gift. It’s a curse. It’s lonely. It’s terrible. It’s embarrassing.

Prolonged singleness is especially difficult in a culture where most people do get married, and where people, especially Christians, assume everyone over age 35 is married (or has been at least at one time).

I did not “choose” to be single, by the way. I am not a man-hating feminist. I was never obsessed with my career.

While doing a web search for the phrase “singleness is not a gift” I did find a few blog pages or comments I could relate to, a few of which I will paste in below.
Continue reading “Singleness Is Not A Gift”

‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles

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So I’m watching a little of Christian network TBN today, and Matthew Hagee (son of pastor John Hagee of San Antonio, Texas) is giving a sermon about “God’s Purpose for Women.”

The main point of this sermon is that a woman’s purpose is to be a “biblical helper” to her husband.

Hagee introduced this sermon by going on and on about how great and wonderful wives are, and he’s proposing advice and giving tips to married women on how to be better women.

My question to Matthew Hagee: I’m woman in her late 30s, and I have never been married, so what is God’s purpose for me?
Continue reading “‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles”