What if I never get married?

OMG – What if I never get married? My breath catches in my throat each time the question crosses mind. I just don’t know how to be comfortable with the thought of being single for the rest of my life. Sometimes it fills me with fear and trepidation and I quickly brush it away. Other days, like today, I go with the thought, let it develop, and see where it leads.

Up until now, I considered myself the kind that just doesn’t know how to dream; especially when I cannot clearly see the road leading to the dream. I am not one of those that dreamt of their bridal gown and wedding colors since they were five. I took it for granted that I would one day meet some fabulous ‘fella’ whom I couldn’t bear to live without. And he would sweep me off my feet, we would successfully climb Mt. Kenya together and eventually marry, have kids and travel the world – in that precise order. (I am convinced that if you can love each other through a mountain trip, you can survive anything 🙂.)

In about a year I will be 30, that grandiose age, and i am still as single as they come. Now I have no clue why 30 is a fear-inducing age when it comes to marriage but I always did want to be married at 30. I think I got it from Oprah, who I know is not exactly the most reliable source. She had some psychologists interview couples for some million-dollar wedding prize. The psychologists indicated that people who married in their thirties were more likely to have a loving-nurturing-sharing bond and less likely to divorce. Plus I think the married-by-30 plan offered the best of both worlds. Independence, excitement and single-girl fun in my twenties and then husband, marriage and babies in my thirties; all before I can cause my aunties any social distress. Ha!

Ok, I know 30 is just a number, I will be the same person with the same interests and the same issues. So why is it so hard to keep myself from buying into the hype and panic that comes with 30? And believe me hype is all it is. I am absolutely enjoying being single. I love being able to do what I want when I want – studying, travelling, living as I will. God has blessed me with an array of rich experiences and nourishing friendships along the way. I am not wanting for much in that regard. And no burning maternal instinct has kicked in either. Nope. I am also not holding my breath waiting for ‘real life’ to begin with marriage. I have definitely been fully-alive; I can’t think of one thing I have not done because I was not married. So why is my almost-30 and single-status all up in my face right now?

Perhaps i feel it’s a social norm that I need to meet in order to fit in. Sometimes I feel like marriage is a private club. We all went to primary school, then secondary school, then college, began working, moved out of home, began living independently and then…then everyone else got into the club and I didn’t make it…and perhaps never will. What if I have the DNA for spinsterhood? Now that is a scary thought. We all know of at least one bitter older unmarried lady; and we can’t figure out if she is unmarried because of her mean and sour qualities or she became mean and sour because she was not married. Unmarried life stinks of “not-getting-chose” like a faulty store item alone on a shelf.

Now I know there are worse situations than not getting married. The saddening examples of wounded marriages around me are just one. The truth is if I really wanted to be married, that wouldn’t be too hard to fix. But I have looked around and seen what heartbreaking distress can follow a hasty choice of partner and I don’t want that to be me. So I wait patiently for God’s choice, I am confident that He knows best. I am not desperate, or frustrated, or purposeless, yet whenever I feel the quiet yearning I can’t help but ask God, what about me?

I would be much more patient and willing to wait for God’s perfect time if I knew for sure it WILL come. I have prayed for my husband-to-be, and I can hardly wait to meet him. I don’t buy the stories that men are hard to find, because I am not waiting for any man, I am waiting for God’s awesome choice.

I have many reasons for wanting to marry God’s awesome selection for me. For intimacy; companionship; to have a witness to my existence; someone to share my passions, adventures and calling; to have someone to raise children with; someone to take my car to the mechanic and fix all household electronics (absolutely dislike these tasks) and help me zip-up dresses with back zips that come all the way up! (Any single ladies out there who know what I mean? Zipping up clothes when living alone can be quite the adventure).

I know God has made me to love and be loved, it is he that gave me this desire. Still, what if married life is really not God’s plan for me, can I trust that his plan is wonderful even if it means permanent singlehood, can I trust that he can make single-me truly joyful, content and whole, can I trust that God has my best interest at heart? It’s hard to say yes. Yet I know that I need to let go of the life that I had planned if I am to begin to discover God’s plans for me. And believe me; his plans have always been way cooler than my own.

I don’t know how temporary or permanent my waiting shall be. Until further instructed, I choose to fully love the friends, neighbors, colleagues that God has already placed in my life.

And to the big-three-O: here I come :-), I hope you are going to be even better than my twenties. (PS – my editor has expressly instructed me to clarify that 30 is a good 14 months away. Lol. For a moment there i really did think it was this year :-).)

Today the Songs of the Week are thematically aligned with the blog post. Enjoy.

This Is The Stuff — Francesca Battistelli

I’m Letting Go — Francesca Battistelli

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18 thoughts on “What if I never get married?

  1. Wow i couldn’t have put together the words to how i feel every day like you did with this article.
    Thank you. It’s so hard to let go and trust God for this as well but i know i must. The funniest part is i sometimes feel sadder for my mum and dad than i do for myself cause i think the dream of a wedding and their daughter married is even greater for them.
    Anyway we take it one day at a time. That’s been my policy; make the most of each day I have been given.

  2. Hey Esther,
    Thank you so much for reading and ‘getting’ me, its probably 99% of the reason why i write. Listen to the songs when you get a chance – i have to daily remind myself that stuff like this that gets under my skin is what God chooses to use to mold us into himself. And yes, lets get ‘found’ while we are busy ‘living.’

  3. An interesting read and I must say you’ve made some valid points and put to words the secret thoughts of many (or dare I say every single girl?). I especially love the part of living your life to the fullest while you wait….enjoy today ‘coz you’ll never get to live it again.
    However, I don’t really consider “what if I never get married?” (well, I do in passing, now and again but never really dwell on it) because I know that I know that I know that its part of God’s plan for me…He told me so! So for me it isn’t a question of “if” but one of “when” and I guess it makes the waiting more bearable….at least most of the time! lolz
    Thanks for sharing, lovely read

  4. Good read, i think it is fine to say that there is a thin line between how our world views are informed.. like church and the world. 30 seems to be the permanent year, agreed both by the church and the world..you still have time.. tafuta bwana:)

  5. This is hilarious…..(Unmarried life stinks of “not-getting-chose” like a faulty store item alone on a shelf)….RP life in your thirties is the best….single and married for most ladies. In your late twenties, the thoughts you’ve expressed are often felt by many…maybe because you have achieved in getting your education, have a nice job, independent and tend think next thing that should flow naturally is marriage…#not happening???…..but it gets easier in the sense that in your thirties, you are more confident and settled in who you are ….also realize life is not a series of events and you start living again…..so much more fun:) I guess that’s why psychologists have the opinion that its the best time to be married…..less drama.

    When you’re in your thirties you’ll attract more men than in your twenties…..at least that’s my experience…..but as you said, “be much more patient and willing to wait for God’s perfect time” and “lets get ‘found’ while we are busy ‘living”.

  6. I feel not as sorry not the man who is bleeding and hurt and tortured by love because at least for him love means something, those i feel for most are the ones who have somehow ‘died’ to love. It is frightening to wonder what if i never get married…but i think it’s more frightening to wonder “I used to wish for marriage now I don’t…what’s happening to me?”. I think longing is an indication of life, lack of it is a dangerous indication. So i do not have an answer to the question what if i do not get married…but i think it’s good you still have the longing. I am frightened for those whose longings die.

    But i feel I’ve done you a bit of an injustice, I should have been more analytical in my response, I gave you a top of my mind answer. But as Freud would have it…there is no such thing as slip of the tongue. And also i believe i can post more than once. I am also kinda tired today. So i must be honest and say i haven’t read with as much vigor. But i wanted to leave a comment because better half loaf than no loaf right? And the bird in my head now is better than the two that i am thinking will be there kesho. Right:)

    But one thing i must say Kudos for voicing your fears…as Oprah once said, i am one but i stand for 10,000 to the 10th power. I wish i could get more ladies to read this…i feel for many it’s a deep quiet unexplored and completely unexpressed fear. Well done for voicing it out. And your also pretty brave in your self disclosure. I definitely think it’s an impacting blog…one i would actually recommend to someone. It also shows paradoxical beauty…on one hand you say you would have hoped to be married by now on the other you say you are definitely living your life to the fullest! I like that, in fact i think i like your life. So the blog is real…you don’t shy away from the issue or gloss over it, it’s a good testament of your faith i believe that would help those whose faith in God is being rocked by their singleness, its also pretty challenging to those who are waiting to live after they get married.

    I’m a darker person by nature, so if i wrote the blog i would have wrestled more with the issue and explored it a lot more deeper and expressed a lot of the disillusionment, anger, frustration, despair etc that i would have. . For me I would want the sadness is to be more explored before a conclusion is reached. It feels like a tad like a happy blog for a sad subject But i put a disclaimer few people put much analysis into their inner life like i do…so your blog is probably just great the way it is, but doing what i have just said in the lines before you would probably be cutting off most of your followers.

    If i have more thoughts on the subject matter..I’ll definitely leave more responses.

  7. i pray when you are married you will not blog.., Did i marry the right person? i think that is such a great fear. i wonder whether i will find myself at a place of wonderment yet i am in it, and sometimes those fears make me want to postpone the proverbial big day for as long as possible.

  8. Hear hear! Nice read and kinda captures the thoughts of a number of single Eves out there. Just last night- yeah last night,one Adam asked me if i am nervous about getting married- i did not adequately answer that question so i think i will forward him this link!
    well yeah and pray and be visible as in put yourself out there! But remember there is no schedule that you must follow…..or is there? 😉

    in the mean time have a look at this http://project44eveandadam.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/foreplay-after-30/

  9. Kudos my dear…I do like your approach to this subject – two sides of a coin, huh! Well, my thoughts on the subject remain. Don’t let pressure or society dictate what future holds for you. Married or single never forget to be yourself…live today like there is no tomorrow. Also remember that no man or woman will increase your beauty, health or the air you breath. God is the ultimate planner for your life, He knows what may or may not happen in 14 months. Enjoy life, family and friendships 🙂

  10. I feel my heart has been poured out…every single word is so true to me that it brought a smile on my face and tears in my eye..thank you so much for making me feel that i am not the only one!!

  11. Thanks for the wonderful post..it just spelled out the exact fears I have in my mind..It would be wrong to say that I have not been loved..i have wonderful friends and a family who cares…and had a boyfriend who passed away…just makes me wonder whether there is a God’s plan out there…but above all one must not lose hope…heres wishing that everyone gets what they desire…

  12. OMG did you steal this in my sleep rantings…I can swear, I have voiced this i’m my sleep 🙂 I could stop laughing out loud at this phrases…rang so true to my own thoughts…’Sometimes I feel like marriage is a private club. We all went to primary school, then secondary school, then college, began working, moved out of home, began living independently and then…then everyone else got into the club and I didn’t make it…and perhaps never will. What if I have the DNA for spinsterhood?’…I’m turning 30 in exactly 74 days and my heart palpitations are increasing by the day…yet deep down, I have a calming knowing that daddy’s got his girl. Thank you for sharing your fears and heart and yes many years on…I bet you it will make another ’30 and single up in your face’ lady smile and feel encouraged as it has for me!

  13. Turning 25 and already feeling odd. At a place of stagnation no man no real job. I keep telling God to leave me with only one struggle but no 😛 ion totally enjoyed the piece will share with my girlfriends

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