I’m single again. The last time I was single was in my teens! I got married at age twenty-one and remained in that state for nearly thirty-four years…and then single again. For some of you single-hood may have been life-long. For others death or divorce may have been the cause of your current state of single-hood. For me it was divorce…..and I have been single now for a little over five years. It is a good vantage point to be able to compare the pro’s and con’s of being single. So here we go!
On the “Pro” side, being single is awesome. I can eat when I want, what I want, and where I want. I don’t have to cook and have a meal ready around someone else’s schedule. I can leave the dishes or wash them. I can go grocery shopping or not. Of course having a son at home has created some constraints on meals but for the most part being single has really been freedom from cooking that I enjoy. I can always tell my son to cook what he wants if I am busy and he loves to do just exactly that so it is a win-win situation!
There is also freedom in not having to take someone else into consideration for activities. I can watch my favorite television shows, for instance, and not feel guilty that I am neglecting someone. Also fighting over control of what program to watch is not a problem any longer. I can play the piano, read, sew, take a walk, or write whenever I want and not worry about the feelings of another.
Another “Pro” to being single is I get the bed all to myself. I sprawl all over my king-sized bed and love it! And I use all the pillows for myself. Sometimes I awaken on the left side and other times I awaken on the right side. I don’t have anyone taking my covers or my being awakened by someone else’s alarm going off. I also don’t have to worry about waking someone when I make nightly trips to the loo. But most enjoyable of all is that I can turn the light on and read without disturbing someone else if I am having trouble falling asleep.
A few years ago my son was having some nightmares and didn’t want to sleep in his own room so I let him sleep with me. He complained that he wished I wouldn’t snore as loudly as it was waking him up. I quietly reminded him that he had his own room and his own bed and he could go there at any time and would not hear me snore. He quickly stated that my snoring was not all that disturbing to him! Hmmmm…well that’s what I love about being single; I can snore to my heart’s content and not bother anyone!
I can also make all my own decisions in life. I decide where I will live, what I will drive, who I spend time with, when to go to bed and when to wake up, when to clean house and when to do laundry. I can plant flowers or not. I can get dressed or not. I can work at a job or not. I can write a blog or not. You get the picture, right?
Enough “Pro’s”, now let’s talk about the “Con’s” of being single. I suppose there are only two options in the opposite of being single; death or marriage. Some might joke about them being the same thing, but I won’t! There are truly some wonderful advantages to being married. I don’t see any advantage to being dead, do you?
First of all, when one is married, you are not alone. When married I had a built-in companion and a great sounding board. I do miss that part of married life. I had protection, or the perception of protection, from other men. I could be friendly and not have to worry about someone taking my friendliness the wrong way. I could enjoy the company of other married couples. I certainly entertained a lot more and I have to admit that I miss entertaining as it was something I really enjoyed doing. I have found, though, that single-hood doesn’t afford the opportunity of entertaining as being married did. I suppose the main reason is that much of the entertaining I did was linked to my spouse’s job and since there is no spouse, there is no opportunity to entertain.
Something else that is a “Pro” of being married is having a second family. You are no longer just related to only your own family but now you are related to your spouse’s family as well. You have a new set of parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and cousins to get to know. This can be a wonderful blessing, or a curse, however you choose to view it!
A “Pro” of being married is that you are more accepted. I find that being single is hard when it comes to making new friends. I have talked to widows as well as those who are divorced and the situation is quite the same, once you become single you have fewer invitations to parties. No one knows what to do with a third-wheel. So many social functions are centered around couples. If you are single I think most people actually wonder why you are single even though it isn’t any of their business. I often wonder if married people think something is wrong with me because I am divorced! I shy away from some church activities because I don’t want to feel uncomfortable with all the couples. I also have yet to join in any groups for singles or divorced people because I don’t want people to think I am shopping for a second husband! I think some of you can understand that concern.
I guess when it is all said and done there is benefit to being both single and married. I have lived through both situations and I enjoyed both being married and being single.This reminds me of something the Apostle Paul said in the Bible.
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Philippians 4:10-14, (New International Version).
I have decided to be content in whatever circumstance I find myself, which for now is being single. The Apostle Paul was talking about financial means when he said he was content in all circumstances yet I suspect that his contentedness was in all areas of his life. He knew that Christ helped him to live contentedly regardless of where he found himself in life. I hope that the same can be said of me.
Will I ever marry again? Hmmmm……maybe if the right man comes along but I am not looking for him and God will probably have to drop him into my life with a splash big enough for me to even notice! Single-hood is okay for me right now. How about you?
Until next time……Katherine