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i should be getting ready for work, but wanted to post this while i’m thinking about it. before i do, i want to say what this is not. it’s not a rant, it’s not a whinge, it’s not a ‘poor-me’ treatise…it’s just some honest reflections. and a bit rambly too. and maybe over-sharing.

it’s about being single. well, it’s about more than that…

the caveat in my particular case, as most of you will know, is that i am a Christan and have decided to pursue a particular type of relationship, but that i have not always been that way.

when i was going to a (non-Christian) psychologist last year, this made discussing relationships a tricky area as to her way of thinking i should be able to just go out and hook up with almost any guy (“you’re young, you’re attractive, you’re interesting and fun – what’s the problem?”). she suggested in passing that a lot of my emotional problems could probably be solved by having a lot of sex – and not necessarily within the boundaries of a loving relationship. sure, if you’re looking at sex as just an endorphin-releasing physical act then fine. but if you’re trying to view sex in terms of what God made it for (apart from the functional purpose of procreation, it’s meant to be an expression of love and oneness between two people who love each other, and who are joined and are committed to each other in marriage, forsaking all others) then it’s not that easy. i think the thing that made it all the more difficult for the psychologist to accept was the fact that i have been sexually active in the past, so as far as she could see there was no difference in me going out and getting laid now – and i have encountered that attitude in others (even from Christian men, would you believe).

it’s a struggle to throw off the old self and i wonder whether temptation in this area would be as big a problem for me if i had never ‘gone there’ in the first place…i guess we’ll never know.

this makes the idea of pursuing a godly relationship with anyone kind of difficult. i want to be totally honest with people and have never felt the need to hide anything about my past, figuring that i wouldn’t want to be involved with anyone who judged me because of that. but how much and how soon do you divulge all of that in the interests of honesty? i know that revealing this stuff negatively affected my relationship with a Christian guy (who after thinking i ought to be pure as the driven snow then decided i was fair game to treat however he wanted), but then that might have said more about his maturity levels than the situation itself.

and so i find myself still single at 30. i feel a dissatisfaction with the whole idea of casual dating, and the more i think about it the more i understand that it isn’t the way relationships should go, where you are loosely committed with no or few strings attached, and where sexual gratification is the main goal. and yet when you start to read Christian books, blogs, etc about relationships it all seems so earnest, so serious, so grave and so far away from my world. i know our society puts too high a premium on the rush of emotion, the idea of chemistry and the superficial elements of attraction but it seems like a lot of the time the only alternative is some austere, detached and cerebral interaction that may or may not result in a deeper relationship.

there’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, but for someone who is highly emotional, extremely physical and operates on a more intuitive level, i don’t quite know how to conduct myself other than to just…not. which is also unsatisfactory.

i’m generally quite happy being single. but sometimes i long for that intimate companionship and to embark on another phase of life, starting a family with someone, for example. as i mentioned before, sometimes the temptation of a purely physical encounter with someone is so strong i have to be really careful.

and yet i don’t want to go out with the primary objective of Meeting Someone. for all that i would love to get married and have children, i don’t like the idea of hunting for a man. it just seems so…desperate and distasteful. i’ve been advised by some people to change churches because there are more (any!) eligible men at other churches. while this might be true, i detest the idea of going to church with the objective of finding a husband. i’ve been advised to take up dancing lessons, because it’s a great way to meet people, despite the fact that i find it really hard to do things like that on my own and would most likely scuttle away at the end of the night rather than trying to talk to people. i don’t think it’s laziness or fear that leads me to want a more…organic way of beginning a relationship, for want of a better word (organic in the sense that it evolves naturally, without being contrived or forced).

the thing is i don’t believe my happiness, or indeed God’s plan for my life, revolves around whether or not i get married. i am constantly striving to learn contentment in every situation, including in this area. so if you pray for me, pray that i would be content and that i would trust God, in this and in everything.

okay i’ve rambled enough and come to absolutely no conclusions. on with the day. well done if you made it to the end!!!