I have been single on purpose for such a long time that I barely recognize being in a relationship as a viable option for myself anymore. This is not the attitude I thought I would have at the beginning of my thirties, of course, nor was it my original plan for my life. Honestly, I’m not truly sure if being alone is even God’s plan for my life. I don’t presume to understand His plan for my life, my family members’ lives, my friends’ lives, or the world…but sometimes I wonder if He intended for me to be perpetually single. Was I designed to play the part of loving wife and mother to two or three kids, or am I really meant to raise Zachary as an only child alone?
Understand, of course, that I do not blame God for my single status. I dated a sweet, gentle guy when I was 18, but I ended it when I realized that he cared much more for me than I cared for him. I didn’t want to lead him on, even if it meant ending it would hurt him deeply. Then, for a period of about two years, I did the “online dating” thing. By online dating, I do not mean I went on a site such as Match.com to meet men who I could date in person (although I did do that later in my twenties). No, I actually “dated” men online, never meeting them in person. Most of these men were very far away, and thus really unavailable to me.
Then I met my future ex-husband at age twenty. We dated briefly, then were married by the time we had known each other only four months. I think what we had could accurately be described as a “whirlwind romance,” but the passion faded quicker than I would have imagined possible. After our marriage ended, leaving me with a beautiful baby boy I was not remotely prepared to raise on my own, I stayed away from dating for just over a year. Then, at age twenty-two, I met the last boyfriend I have had in seven and a half years. He was very sweet and we had amazing chemistry, but he made one mistake – albeit a pretty big one in my eyes – and I ended it after only four months. I was so sure I was saving myself from years of heartache at the time. It was after that relationship that I dated several men that I met online, but very few of them were seen for more than one date.
It has been quite a few years now since I gave a man a fighting chance at being a real part of my life. I have become obsessed with making it on my own. When I imagine myself “making it,” I see Zack and I, along with our pets, of course, in a house of our own. I see myself with a stable full time job, able to afford a lifestyle I can enjoy – not wealthy with all of the pleasures and entertainments this world has to offer, but content with what I have because it is what I have earned and deserve. I try to imagine a third person living in that house with me and Zack, but I just can’t see him there.
So I find myself wondering, after being single for most of my twenties (certainly an unusual feat among my friends), what would happen if I opened my mind, my heart, and my life up to the company of a man. Would I feel more whole – you know, if I am meant for someone in particular? Would it just complicate my life right now, when I am struggling so hard to achieve financial stability? I really wonder what would happen.