I’m not the type of girl who has always felt happy with myself about my singleness for long amounts of time. In fact, I can only count two times so far that I’ve been happy about where I’m at and the longest one is the one I’m living right now. It took me years to get to this point and I had to make an effort to be happy about being single.
Due to just the traditional culture that I grew up with, I was always being pressured into being in a relationship and thinking about marriage. At 15 maybe 16 people were already telling my mom that they wanted to perform my ceremony (I didn’t even have a boyfriend then) and that I should work to get a guy so that I could get married. At age 18 people started telling me that I needed to be thinking about getting married soon. At 21 people started asking me when I was going to bring a “boyfriend” home from school to meet everyone. When I would tell them I just didn’t have one they told me to just bring anyone home and they could make him my boyfriend. -_- The last time that I let it bother me was when my younger sister got pregnant and gave birth to my little ray of sunshine. They would tell me that I needed to get on it because my baby sister was way ahead of me. I should be on my second baby by then and that I needed to work harder to find someone. It had gotten to the point that some of my Christian church family told that it was okay if I did things out of order… excuse me, NO. My whole life I had always made it my goal to do it the right way. The way God mandates. Yeah… that pretty much was enough for me.
College wasn’t any better about not putting on the pressure of marriage on its students. I went to Liberty University which an amazing school but… it often promoted ring by spring and marrying someone from the school. It’s cool if you can find someone seemingly normal at the school and can date them, but the probability of that wasn’t in the girls’ favor. Last I heard, the female to male ratio isn’t exactly even… by a long shot. Normally you’ll find that it’s 4 girls for every 1 boy. So…. I wasn’t holding my breath for a likely chance of that (though I do admit I have had interests in some of the guys at that school).
Anyways, I started feeling pressure from home and school and it was getting on my nerves. This past fall semester a lot changed and I met a lot of awesome single people that helped take the pressure of a relationship off my shoulders.
At the beginning of the semester I was around a lot of couples and a lot of friends who honestly were going crazy trying to find someone to pair off with. I was honestly miserable because I felt like I needed to be that desperate too. Many of my friends in this particular circle were international Korean students and the way it was explained to me a lot of them felt lonely. This circle that I was a part of was large enough for a good chunk of them to find someone decent to date within the group. Though the pastors and teachers that were leading our group wanted to slow down the process, it didn’t really work out that way.
Through a friend that wasn’t really part of this group but Korean international anyway, I got connected to another group who was mostly single. This one friend liked one of my other friends who was part of this group and wanted to go on their retreat but not alone. Through much tag teaming on their part I agreed to go with her for moral support. After this retreat I decided that something needed to change and that I wanted to be happy, feel wanted, and feel like I mattered. After much consideration and prayer I decided to not be a part of the first group as much as I had been. I started to go to this second group’s activities and services and loved hanging out with them on a weekly basis (something that wasn’t possible with the other group due to cliques, pairings, and the such). Some were coupled off but the majority of them remained single. To say that there weren’t any attractions from any of them to one another would be a lie, but the point was there wasn’t any of that air of desperation amongst them. It was great. Slowly I realized that my view on my singleness was changing. I didn’t mind not having a boyfriend. Second time in my life of this happening and it felt great! It was a weight that was lifted off my shoulders. Instead I wanted even more to hang out with my new family and just enjoy our randomness and coffee obsession. There were plans but they were just a rough sketch of what could go on on that particular day.
There is so much out there and I didn’t realize it because I felt my only other purpose besides a degree at my age was being tied down with a family. I began to enjoy hanging out with people that weren’t on this thirst for a romantic relationship, but really were about sharing their lives and time with others around them to just fellowship.
I still hate the pressure of feeling like I need someone. Coming back home for the spring semester, it all started up again with my Hispanic/Latino roots. This time though I joke and poke fun at the fact that they feel it necessary to remind me that my biological clock is ticking. I may not really hang out with anyone outside my immediate family at the moment (I’m too busy with work and when I’m not I’m just tired from all the working I’ve done) but I still don’t feel the pressure of dating or marriage or even of finding love. I’m extremely content about my current state and I just want to enjoy my time single to meet people, hang out, love on my friends and family, and most importantly find a way to serve God.