An article in “Today’s Christian Woman” magazine made some very important points about singleness. It was by Susan Maycinik, and her article was entitled “The Top Ten Things Not to Say to a Single.” Don’t tune me out, married people—this is for you, too.
One of those top ten things was this: “Getting married doesn’t solve all your problems.”
I’d like to quote directly from the article. Susan says the following:
Around the time I turned 30, I went through a grieving process over my dream of having a husband and family. Sometimes I would try to tell other women about my loneliness and disappointment. More than once a married woman responded somewhat impatiently, “Well, getting married doesn’t solve all your problems!” Some added the tired corollary, “It just gives you new ones!”
That condescending response communicates two things: one, “I don’t care how you’re feeling,” and two, “You don’t have a clue what marriage involves.” I don’t think any woman really thinks that when she finds a husband, her problems disappear. . . Most of us don’t dismiss lightly what we’d be giving up to become a wife and mother. Yet many of us would gladly choose a more difficult life and someone to share it with over a simpler life alone.
Susan points out that we have a natural, inborn desire and instinct to be married and have a family. Those are God-given, and many singles have to grieve through the loss of that desire. Therefore, treating it with triviality really doesn’t help.
As singles, you simply must learn to grieve through it and come out on the other side. Sadly, some singles never stop grieving, and they cripple themselves because of it. It would be wonderful for singles to have some healing words from married friends, some words of understanding and compassion.
Another thing not to say to singles is this: “Well, you can do it; you’re single—you have time!”
Why is it everyone assumes a single person has time on their hands? Often our churches expect extra-duty out of singles since they don’t have family obligations. I’ve noticed that sometimes family members can expect the singles in the family unit to carry more family responsibility because they are single. For example, caring for a sick parent often falls into the lot of the single sibling, and they are expected to put their lives on hold, move, change jobs, or whatever is necessary because they’re single.
These two examples are among the many things you should never say to singles.