Valentine’s Day: survival and sensitivity tips

Like most holidays, Valentine’s Day can be fun for some people and painful for others.   If you’re in the midst of a budding romance or deeply in love with your soulmate of 30 years, it can be a sweet time of celebration.  But if your Valentine has never shown up, your marriage is strained, or you have lost your spouse to divorce or death, the day is a vivid reminder of what you’re missing.

If you’re in the latter category, here are a few pointers for surviving Valentine’s Day.  (You folks who are love-struck, don’t tune out, because some “sensitivity” tips for you will follow.)

Continue reading “Valentine’s Day: survival and sensitivity tips”

Is singleness a tragedy?

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I finally got the courage to approve the comment.  It was written in response to a post I published some time ago about feeling left behind in the marriage department. The reader incorrectly interpreted that I was making light of my struggle, and wrote, “Please don’t refer to heartfelt sadness as a ‘pity party.’ To leave this earth without marriage and family is a tragedy for too many people.”

While she missed the overall intention of the post, which was to celebrate how God helped me focus on the blessings in my life, what continued to gnaw at me was her statement that being single is a tragedy.

If what she wrote is true, then nearly half of the adult population in the United States [1] are living  tragic lives.

To put it more bluntly, it means my life is a tragedy! Continue reading “Is singleness a tragedy?”

Happily Ever Single

th2VVPPJUT“Maybe you’re the girl thinking you’ll end up alone.”  These lyrics from “Someone Worth Dying For” by Mikeschair still make me cringe when I hear the song come on the radio.   While the overall message of the tune ultimately has good intentions, it sadly puts singleness on a short list of worst-case scenarios.

I’ve seen an unhealthy fear of singleness drive many women (and some men) to a desperate pursuit of marriage.   This was especially true when my peers were in their 20’s and 30’s.   When I parted ways with a guy I was dating in college, I remember him gasping, ‘Will I EVER get married?” He was 21, and the next gal he dated said, “I do.”   When I was 39, I received a note from a friend in her early thirties. In it she described her plan to lasso a man. Clearly forgetting my age, she stated emphatically: “I will NOT be 40 and single.” She was not.

I, on the other hand, breezed into my fourth decade decidedly unmarried. Surprisingly, I did not turn into a pumpkin, a reclusive cat-lady, or whatever other fate-worse-than death scenario people believe will happen if you don’t marry by a certain age. Now in my mid-fifties, I can testify that remaining single is nothing to be feared or avoided at all costs. That’s why it concerns me that there is still a subtle, yet prevailing attitude that singleness is an inferior destiny – or worse, abnormal. Continue reading “Happily Ever Single”

When Will It Be My Turn?

The first one came from JC Penney on January 22. “True Love?” the email ad probed, followed by pictures of gleaming heart-shaped jewelry on sale (with an “extra” 20% off).

While I had seen Valentine’s Day cards at Walmart for a while, I knew this ad signified the beginning of an all-out marketing assault by retailers trying to sell their romantic wares by February 14.  Valentine’s Day is a wonderful holiday—if you are an elementary school kid exchanging cutsie cards and candy — or, if you are an adult with a special someone in your life.

But for unattached singles, the flurry of ads, displays, and flower deliveries to co-workers can be a difficult time. That’s why I’m dedicating this blog post to singles — especially those who have never married. I want you to know that you’re not alone in struggling through this holiday, nor are you the only one who has asked, “When will it be my turn?” Continue reading “When Will It Be My Turn?”

In Everything Give Thanks

thSUZ2OHATMany families maintain a Thanksgiving tradition of going around the table laden with turkey and fixin’s and having everyone share what they are thankful for. The responses are usually predictable: “I am thankful for my family, my home, my friends, my job, my good health . . . and of course the food!”

Indeed, we should be thankful for all those things. But this year, I’m challenging myself to go a bit deeper in my gratitude. Continue reading “In Everything Give Thanks”