Single Annie needs your help.

on February 28, 2012 in (in)courage with 43 comments by

Well, not like THAT. I mean, unless you know an awesome dude- then hook a sister up. But that’s not exactly what I am talking about.

Though I am 100% pro getting set up with guys that you guys know. So… maybe I should say while that wasn’t the PRIMARY goal of this post, your plans to set me up with some cute boy in Nashville are met with a yes and amen.

[That's enough about that, Annie. Sheesh.]

As most of you local yokels know, I’ve been writing a series about being single over at (in)courage:

It Is Time We Talked About It

Single In The New Year

When A Comment Breaks Your Heart

All three have gotten great responses– panic-inducing responses, to be honest. The kind of responses that put me on my face in prayer saying, “God, how do we help these women? How do we speak to them and minister to them?”

I know there are a lot of you singlets out there in my little corner of the internet sky. So I’m wondering– what else would you like to see us tackle at (in)courage when it comes to singleness? Are there topics or questions or concerns or anything like that? Maybe you married folk out there can help too– what do you wish you would have known when you were single?

I just want to make sure that I’m writing things that are relevant to singles today and the best way to do that is to ask.

So here I am. Asking.

What should I write about?

43 comments

  1. posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 6:21 AM  |  reply

    Hey, Annie. I think you should write about how important it is not to do something stupid relationship-wise when you’re feeling desperately lonely. The absolute hardest lesson I’ve had to learn is the importance of filling my void with the one true Lover of my Soul rather than running to any old Mr. Iffy I can get to notice me. I’d love to hear what you have to say about that subject. :)

  2. posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 6:24 AM  |  reply

    I think a good topic to attack would be “What do you do when you’re the last single girl in the bunch?”

    Out of the group of my close knit single gal pals, I am the last one. Who do I hang out with now. I’m finding myself over their homes a lot with their husband and kids for a movie night or game not. Now that’s not going to get me a cute man of my own…

    • posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 12:26 PM  |  reply

      @Jamie, that’s a good one, Jamie. As our friends get married and have children, those relationships naturally change but I’m not sure I was prepared for the variety of ways they would change. Or what to do with the inevitable feeling of being left out when the conversation turns to diaper preference and parenting techniques.

    • posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 6:46 PM  |  reply

      @Jamie, I second that being a good one!

    • Annie
      posted on Apr 22, 2012 at 10:18 PM  |  reply

      I hope you saw this post, Jamie. I wrote it last month answering your exact comment.

      http://www.incourage.me/2012/03/the-cheese-stands-alone-but-you-shouldnt.html

      Thank you for the idea!

  3. Elizabeth
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 6:42 AM  |  reply

    Oh, Annie…

    I just caught up on your single lady series. Thanks for doing it… all us single gals like to know we’re not alone.

    Personally, I think there are two important things you could write about.
    The first is how to deal with the comments that come your way when you’re a single girl. You know, the “you look pretty good for an old maid” super hysterical comments that are really uplifting. Or the I just don’t understand why you’re still single comments. Thanks, that’s enlightening. And doesn’t hurt at it, especially when it’s coming from a guy… who guess what, is saying something nice, but at the same time, he’s still single and not dating you. Burn.

    And secondly, I think you could write about the letting go. This year (as I’m in my late 20’s, in school, will be in school for 2 more years and haven’t had a guy in my life for… well almost a decade) I have had mucho convos with my Mom about facing the fact that the grandchildren she wants may not be coming from my womb. The hey Mom, I’m trying really hard to be okay with this, if this is what God has for me… and I really need you to be okay with it too conversations. Because if I’m struggling with my singleness, then you can’t be struggling with it too. (While it’s nice to know you feel my pain, we cannot both be a ship wreck of tears.)

    • posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 1:18 PM  |  reply

      @Elizabeth,
      This is what sticks out to me most so far on the topic of all these things…The hey Mom, I’m trying really hard to be okay with this, if this is what God has for me… and I really need you to be okay with it too conversations. Because if I’m struggling with my singleness, then you can’t be struggling with it too. (While it’s nice to know you feel my pain, we cannot both be a ship wreck of tears.)…
      It’s often so hard to be doing the single thing. Even with fullfillment from God with all the health struggles I’ve had and the wonderment of will I ever have kids tossed in there that makes it hard. Plus my mom loves to do the whole “We’re just so happy and we want that for you too”. Which is all good and wonderful but what if that isn’t the happiness God has for me.
      And someone said it above…how do you let that go?
      I had let it go when I was in my 20s but when I hit 30 things changed mentally….not because I wanted them to but because they did.

      • Elizabeth
        posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM  |  reply

        @leanna,
        I’ve had the what if God doesn’t have marriage for me talk so many times. With friends and family members alike. My Mom says she believes it for me, and I say “okay, but you don’t know God’s plan.”

        And that’s the sucky part. I believe He has a plan, and I believe it’s a good plan… but I don’t know what the good plan does or does not entail. Yes, God is mighty and able. He’s the creator and miracle maker… and I know He gave Sarah a baby when she was hecka old, but…

    • Annie
      posted on Apr 23, 2012 at 7:49 AM  |  reply

      Hi Elizabeth!

      I used your thoughts to craft a post this month. Hope you like it!

      http://www.incourage.me/2012/04/speak-gently.html

  4. ~VA~
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 6:57 AM  |  reply

    How about what to do if you’re single (and currently fine with that) but a guy (who you don’t hate but definitely are not interested in) seems to be trying to hook up with you…this might not be the kind of topic you’re looking for, but is a current issue for this single girl…

  5. posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 8:33 AM  |  reply

    I love you. I just do. I don’t think I could stop it if I tried, but I don’t think I would want to try. Anyway, I have friends who married for the sake of marriage and not because this person was the guy who would care for them the way God intended. I mean God has done great things in their marriages but it has been HARD to watch. I agree with the first comment, that stupid decisions shouldn’t be made to fill a void. As women, we walk around with these open wounds begging men to fill them and heal them (thanks Eve), its so easy to let excitement, vanity and lust lead us down a road that will last a LIFE TIME!I think most of my unhappily married pals would say that maybe they would like to still be the last single girl in the room. Just sayin’.

    PS- John Mark is amazing and I scored BIG TIME! But marriage is hard work even you have a rock star of a husband.If someone ever wants to know (emotionally) what Jesus felt like carrying the cross, just get married. Nothing is more purposeful and devastating.

    Ha! That was a long ass comment! (That comment was inspired by the Caroline in my head)

  6. Kim
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 8:44 AM  |  reply

    What about how to fill the time and make a difference while you’re waiting for God to write your next chapter. Another thing I wish I had been more aware of is thanking God for saving me from making a bad choice and all of the baggage that comes from serial bad relationships.

  7. ap
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 9:40 AM  |  reply

    when things go wrong. you think marriage is in the plan but it doesnt ever work out, how do you know if you heard correctly or it wasn’t in the plan i dont think God plans for break ups and serial dating failures, when is it time to stop trying.

  8. Anna
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM  |  reply

    What about encouragement when you have you’re got life together (for the most part) you’ve got friends, family, great job, and a wonderful church. But then a guy walks into your life who is a strong christian and you connect with him and just when you start thinking he is a great guy who i might be interested. You find out he is taken he just never got around to mentioning it because he was focusing on friendships. He wants to be friends yet you’ve got enough friends you were hoping for the possibility of some thing more in the future?

  9. MCH
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM  |  reply

    Let’s just talk about it: sexuality in singleness, masturbation. Let’s just do it, everyone is thinking it.

    We could get a series of book titles out. I believe we as singles can prepare for marriage by reading great resources.

    • posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM  |  reply

      @MCH, I was going to say exactly what both of your comments said! Great minds think alike.

      I wrote about this for Good Women Project but the church has got to figure out a better way to discuss sex and singleness. True Love Waits does not have the same effect when you’re 32 and still waiting.

      • g.
        posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 2:49 PM  |  reply

        “True Love Waits does not have the same effect when you’re 32 and still waiting.”

        Holla. Friggin. Praise.

        Just to add my piece, I would do this two fold.

        One, how to have the desire for a Godly marriage and deal with regret from serious sexual sin in the past. “Will he love me after I tell him everything I’ve done?” has been the cry of my heart for 10 years. I would mean THE WORLD to me to hear stories of women who sinned sexually but then later on went on to find a beautiful, loving relationship with a Godly man who didn’t judge.

        And two, since homegirl brought it up, We. have. got. to. start. talking. about. masturbation.
        I have literally never heard a Christian own up to this publically. I am tired of feeling like a freak of nature because I do something most everyone does but won’t talk about. I am tired of the world pretending it’s not out there, that it isn’t a problem for girls, and quite frankly, it doesn’t feel good. No it’s not long term satisfiying, but I for one would love to hear someone who struggles with this give us advice on how to deal with this time between “now and then.”

        • g.
          posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 2:53 PM  |  reply

          “I’m tired of the world pretending that it doesn’t feel good” is what my brain was trying to say.

          Wow. Way to have a typo.

      • Danielle M.
        posted on Mar 19, 2012 at 1:22 PM  |  reply

        PREACH mch & HopefulLeigh! And g.

        I’m sure that (in)courage probably isn’t gonna be on board for that kind of a conversation, but it is a conversation that *NEEDS* to be had. I’m with ya, girl.

        • g
          posted on Mar 19, 2012 at 7:03 PM  |  reply

          “I’m sure that (in)courage probably isn’t gonna be on board for that kind of a conversation, but it is a conversation that *NEEDS* to be had. I’m with ya, girl”

          That’s the problem right there, Danielle… it probably, more than likely, *WONT* get talked about.

          People always say not to feel ashamed and that Christ gives us the freedom to share our downfalls with others without fear or condemnation, etc… but, in the real, actual world it seems not to work like that. Because while dealing with it and sharing and helping through each others burdens sounds good on paper, it doesn’t happen.

          And that is the sad reality of the situation.

          • Danielle M.
            posted on Mar 20, 2012 at 9:28 AM  |  

            Interesting perspective. Mine was actually different. The reason I don’t think (in)courage would welcome it (and I could be totally wrong here) is that it is a contraversial topic. One will find a wide spectrum of views on the matter and consensus might never be reached. It could actually cause division within the community. That is why I would think it would not be taken on there and is actually why I believe it is not discussed much anywhere.

            I am really happy to say I have experienced getting to talk about this in real life with people within my community and I am better for it! But I find that the arenas for the discussion are too few and far between.

            Totally feel like I am rambling, but it felt important to me to say. :)

    • rebecca
      posted on Feb 29, 2012 at 5:33 PM  |  reply

      @MCH,
      yep.

  10. MCH
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM  |  reply

    Let’s make sure we also talk about the fact that marriage won’t fix us, it won’t fix anything. We will always be responsible for ourselves, fulfillment and our emotions. It will be about giving!! (and sure, it will turn into receiving as well. But that shouldn’t be our focus. For real!)

    • posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 1:11 PM  |  reply

      @MCH,

      I agree! We’re to follow the example of Christ,and in His ministry He served, loved, and submitted to the point of death.

  11. posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM  |  reply

    Annie, I am not a single gal, and much older than you. But I wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on singleness. Your authenticity to share from this place has warmed my heart. I know that you have already brought comfort to so many women waiting, and I know you will continue.

  12. posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM  |  reply

    I wrote a blog post (“Freak” I think it’s linked here) on Sunday about how singles interact with the church. Especially during the month of February, it can be painful. Perhaps you could talk about how to deal with feeling like you are outside the norm at church or even wounded by the way the church defines it’s membership (married, divorced, mothers, fathers) and how to deal with/address that.

    • posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM  |  reply

      @Autumn, great suggestion. I think it would resonate with many people. If you add up the singles, divorced, and widowed at most churches, it’ll be about equal to the married and parenting but it is so rare to get a specific sermon application, much less a whole sermon if you’re not in the latter camp.

      • posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 1:34 AM  |  reply

        @HopefulLeigh,
        I agree. In most churches where do you go if you want to go to a Sunday School class? The young marrieds, the college age class, the pairs and kids? The old folks class? Singles are often just not thought of when people make categories of folks in their church. How do we help the Church do a better job of welcoming singles no matter their age. I’m 46, never been married and often feel uncomfortable in these classes, but I need the fellowship and the interaction so I continue to try to go when I am in the States. (of course when you are “the missionary” you also don’t quite fit as a normal person either so there are 2 things that help make me feel I don’t really fit and make me really happy to get back to my field of service!)

  13. Andrea
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 1:06 PM  |  reply

    How about navigating church as a Single? My church has Sunday Schools based on your life station (College, Young Marrieds, Family Matters, etc.) It’s like they don’t know what to do with you unless you fit into one of those categories.

  14. Alicia Jolie
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 2:14 PM  |  reply

    I think you should try and figure out the happiness in being single and the happiness in being “not a single”.
    People would love to see that comparison.

    Thanks.

    -Alicia

  15. posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM  |  reply

    Id love to read about crushes. I am always developing crushes and then am hurt as if I were dumped when they don’t like me back, are dating someone else, of even worse married.
    I always wonder why guys like other girls than me. What do they have that I don’t? And like Kacie B on the bachelor I’m always asking myself what’s wrong with me?

    I even develop crushes on celebs as weird as that is and am hurt when they are taken.
    Is there any way to stop looking at a guy and wondering “is he the one?”

  16. Savannah
    posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM  |  reply

    I don’t know if this has to do with singleness, well duh ofcourse it does, but what about when you start considering guys that’s weren’t initially obvious? Like if you have to stay “could I be happy with him? Even if I’m not physically attracted to him?”.
    That type of thing. Do you know what I mean?

  17. posted on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:55 AM  |  reply

    what about “settling” …I’d love to hear thoughts on that as well.

  18. Lashay
    posted on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM  |  reply

    You have to talk about sex. You can’t talk about singleness and leave out sex.

    I’m 27, still waiting. After 23 years old, I feel it’s not viewed as prized a possession as before. Also, most of my single Christian friends my age and older ARE having sex with their boyfriends and dates which makes me even more upset. Partly because of the compromise, but also because of the whole “Why do THEY get to do it and I don’t?” At this point, I feel like the only thing that battles against complete contentment as a single is that I WANT to have sex, and I don’t have the luxury (poor choice of words) to just go out and find someone to hook up with because it would devastating to me emotionally and spiritually.

    • rebecca
      posted on Feb 29, 2012 at 5:31 PM  |  reply

      @Lashay,
      I’m 26 and totally with ya on this one!

  19. Anne
    posted on Feb 29, 2012 at 2:46 PM  |  reply

    I think something to talk about would be how to deal with your family and their comments about your singleness- my brother in law doesn’t think I’m being proactive enough in trying to find someone.. every time I go home for a school break (I go to school in Boston- the rest of my family is in CA)- I get a lecture on how I should be doing more. My Mom is actually pretty supportive since she was single for a long time herself and understands it’s tough out there..

    Another thing would be like what to do when all of your friends are getting into relationships (or even getting married!) and you’re still single and waiting..

  20. Asheley E.
    posted on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:20 PM  |  reply

    I’d like to know more about old maids and how do they manage to be that way without children? Thanks for asking some insights here too.

    -Asheley

    • posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 1:41 AM  |  reply

      @Asheley E.,
      I guess I’m one of those. At 46, still waiting, never married and no kids. I’m not sure what you are asking though? How do I manage to be that way? I’m still waiting to see what the Lord has for me in the area of marriage. If it happens – great! If it doesn’t, then I pray the Lord will continue to be my portion and support. It ain’t easy, but I know the Lord has me in his hand and I just try to keep serving and loving as much as I can. I try to be as open as possible with myself and with the Lord about what I need today and I have faith that he will take care of me as he has for all these years.

  21. Stephanie
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 10:57 AM  |  reply

    Honestly, I think one of the greatest things is just knowing that we are not alone and its ok to be sad.

    One thing that could prove helpful is talking about how to navigate possible dating relationships that come up. It is scary for me…I’m 25, have dated three times and nothing has ever worked out very well. I kind of (really) dislike dating. I want to be married, but don’t know how to do “dating.”

    • kas
      posted on Mar 07, 2012 at 5:43 PM  |  reply

      @Stephanie, I’m right there with you at age 34. I’ve only ever been in serious relationships with 2 guys in my life and they were both my best friends prior to dating, so I’ve never done the dating a random guy or online dating thing where romance is immediately on the table. It paralyzes me and makes me feel like a total freak that at this age I don’t know “how to date” – something that is completely natural and normal for most women I know.

  22. posted on Mar 06, 2012 at 10:15 AM  |  reply

    I’m 25, and have never been in a relationship. Here are some things I’d love to get some perspective on:

    -though i definitely desire getting married, i do enjoy being single and able to do things that married people cannot (hang out whenever I want, talk about boys with my girlfriends (lol) etc.) and the like. I’ve had the same core group of friends (male & female) for years with a few new faces in the last few months and we’re all what I call “perpetually single”. Since we’ve been friends, only one girl has gotten into a relationship and married. none of us have dated one another, and we are ALWAYS together. several times a week. Are we holding each other back from relationships? We definitely have other friends that we hang out with, but everyone in our church knows we are the crew.

    -how do you deal with jealousy? I find myself getting very protective of my guy friends. Though I wouldn’t say I crush on them, I love how affectionate (with boundaries, of course) we are with one another, and do not like seeing them “flirt” with other girls. i get very defensive and kind of possessive of my male friends and don’t like it!

    -how do we keep our minds grounded? We have this elevated image of marriage that oftentimes feels unrealistic, and I feel it leads to our ridiculous expectations and therefore longer singleness. We want a perfect relationship with an imperfect person and won’t “settle” for someone who doesn’t blow our socks off. How much of this is true romance, and how much of it is fantasy?

  23. posted on Apr 23, 2012 at 9:08 AM  |  reply

    Annie (and others) — I’ve approached another blogger who’s blog is about singleness (mine isn’t, though I am and have been for 44 years). I asked her if she’d be interested in me guest posting on single women and masturbation (and knew it might be a bit much, but that a conversation simply must be started!). She agreed it was important and wanted someone to start it, but just didn’t think her blog was the right place. I get it. But when yet another woman just four days ago told me of her struggle, I can’t sit back and not say, “people I think we can handle this. It might be uncomfortable and a bit shame filled in places and exciting in others, but look at the example of Jesus — and the type of conversations he had.” I’ve kind of been on a mini-crusade in the last year (and therefore have gotten a LOT more comfortable talking about this) and I find woman after woman talking to me about this. If (in)courage isn’t the place to have this conversation where might be a good place? Anyone up for a guest post :)? You can check out the messy middle to get a sense of how I write. Amy

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Get a sneak peek of Annie’s latest book! Click the link to download two free chapters of Let’s All Be Brave.