I’ve been single for a long time. I’ve learned alot and through this part of the blog, I hope to share some information about being single and some insight that might help those around us as well as have some fun!
Being a single person is probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life but for which I am most thankful. I am single by choice—choosing to raise my children in a safe home where they are loved unconditionally. With that came a great deal of responsibility but an amazing number of blessings. I realize that not all people choose to be single. Death of a spouse or an unwanted divorce or separation or perhaps never having been married, may cause the result of a “singleness.” People are also treated differently according to the reason they are single.
As a single person, I have learned that people don’t always know how to deal with me, and life situations are much more challenging because of the fact that I have no spouse. Throughout this process of “singleness,” I have made some observations.
- All single people are not looking for someone with whom to “couple up.” They don’t always want to be fixed up. The key word in “single person” is PERSON, not single. Invest some time in getting to know the person before you assume they want to be fixed up. Invite them out to coffee. Talk to them. They do not have the plague, they just don’t have a spouse, which leads to number 2. Your intentions are not always the best intentions for them.
- People often assume if you are single and above the age of approximately 25, you must be gay.
- People seem to think if you are single with no children, and the place you work is open on holidays, you should work every holiday so they can be with their family.
- All single people are not after your spouse. If you are honestly worried about a single person being around your spouse, it might be time to examine your relationship.
- Restaurant coupons are rarely made for single people. Buy one/get one free doesn’t help a single person unless they want to take it home.
- Church groups often overlook single people. Even if they have “singles” groups, they are often aimed at “twenty somethings.” Classes usually involve teen groups, College/Career ages, and young couples then skip to adult groups made up of mostly couples and then to senior citizens. They seldom provide small groups (Sunday school classes) that are aimed at single parents or singles in the 30-60 range.
- Men or women who are divorced because their spouse cheated on them are often ignored. People look straight through then because they just don’t know what to say or how to treat the injured spouse.
- Some teachers who have your children in school don’t seem to understand that a project assigned on Friday that is due on the following Monday the weekend that your child goes to his other parent’s house, might not come back completed. You can’t control that.
- Single people who choose to dine alone because they want to eat out and don’t care if they are alone, are treated totally differently than couples and groups. They are usually asked if they want to eat at the bar (I refuse—I’ll wait for a real table). Wait staff often treats the single diner differently also, because they don’t feel the tip will be as much. Regardless, I wait
So here are some suggestions that might help you deal with single people and be both more of a benefit in their lives, but also help you both receive blessings.
- Invite single people over to eat dinner with your family on random evenings. Chances are, they will appreciate the company. Again, refer to Number 1 from above concerning getting to know the person to know what they would appreciate.
- Sit with a single person at church—and don’t explain why. They don’t need to need to hear how sorry you are that they are alone or that you can’t stand seeing them always sitting alone. That’s your issue, not theirs.
- Invite a single person to lunch when their children are gone—after church, especially. Historically, especially for Baptists (haha), Sunday lunch is a traditional family time and when your family is not with you it can be especially uncomfortable.
- Invite the children of a single parent over for dinner and give the parent an evening off to do as they please.
- Don’t automatically look at a single person eating alone in a restaurant with puppy dog eyes full of pity. Some people choose to dine alone because they want to eat at a particular place and don’t want the hassle of finding someone to accompany them.
- If you are going to the movies, invite a single person to join you. Buy the tickets ahead of time and hand them theirs when they arrive. It takes the embarrassment out of purchasing a single ticket at the window or bickering over who is paying.
- Single parents are obviously alone on many holidays when their children must go to the other parent’s home. Invite them over to join your family. Tell them about the celebration and any traditions that might be happening so they know what to expect so that they might be prepared. Let them contribute to the meal if everyone else does and explain who will be there before the event. Clue your family in on why this visitor is joining your celebration before they get there so they don’t feel uncomfortable or labeled with a scarlet “D” (divorced?).
- When a single person is going through a death of a close family member, jump in and help them. They don’t have their spouse to lean on, drive them to the funeral, run their children places while they handle the family activities and manage their grief.
It is good to remember, that everyone’s situation is different and being respectful of their privacy along with getting to know them as a person, is always the best plan.