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Single Living

We live in a culture of statuses. Employment status. Social status. Facebook status. Relationship status. We’re not only judged by what we do or how we act, but by who we’re attached to. It’s not who you are; it’s who you’re with.

Hollywood was onto something with the “Brangelina” and “Bennifer” crazes. In our society, we walk through life in orderly pairs. We are our partner, and our partner is us – complete inseparable.

Perhaps my growing experience in the corporate world is making this reality more apparent than ever before. I’m accustomed to sending in a wedding RSVP for one, but navigating a stiff company function or holiday party solo is an entirely different playing field. It’s in those moments when it’s tempting to think, if only I had someone, anyone, to call mine.

I recently heard an adage I plan to carry with me in these difficult social situations:

“It takes an awfully good man to be better than no man.”

I may be alone, but I’m steps ahead of the person who is maintaining a fruitless relationship. My relationship status may be single, but at least it’s not “married with serious issues” or “in a committed relationship and extremely unhappy.” (Watch for Facebook to add these relationship options soon.) Merely attaining a significant other, fiancé or spouse, doesn’t mean he or she is Mr. or Mrs. Right, and it most definitely doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be happy.

So the next time I’m mingling at a company function and spot a raised eyebrow as I introduce myself unaccompanied, I may just spout this reply:

“I’m Jessica. Don’t look behind me for a stray companion because it’s just me. And when I say it’s just me, I mean, it’s me – confident, secure, blessed and unattached. I’m seeking but not needing the right man in my life because if you haven’t heard, it takes an awfully good man to be better than no man. Think about it.”

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20 Comments

  1. Ramona-738757 October 14, 2011

    BRAVO!!! I love this blog. I was thinking of this topic while shopping the other day. The holiday season is coming. And the attitude you describe is so prevalent. It all starts with YOU. Whether your married or not. To be in a healthy relationship is to have to people who see there individual happiness as extentions of the others.

    Have you ever viewed some of these unhappy couples at functions. They have that ‘deer caught in the headlight’ look. Oh no I hope he or she doesn’t embarrass me. But, they have that photo oppurtunity!Yeah! EXHAUSTING.

    For many singles tis’ the season for hook-ups,shak-ups and break-ups,preferably after the New Year. And for unhappily married persons to envy those who are single do to the preconceived notions we are so free. All the while making unflattering comments about are social status.

    I’ve embraced the difference of being alone and lonely. I refused to be judge by who’s on my arm or who isn’t. It’s just as important who loves me as who does not. And although the lonliness sometimes can be a bit overwhelming I find it grossly unfair to be judged or to use another in fear of what others might say regarding your status.I have more important things to maintain in my life. My faith, family and friends come to mind.

    So I shall decorate,rock that outfit, cook that fabulous meal,might lite a candle or two, indulge in a bit of wine, attend every function if available, and continue to mingle, even if I am STILL single!

  2. Michele-775467 October 14, 2011

    When I see “It’s Complicated” on someones Facebook info, I remind myself what my mom always said,
    “There are lots worse things in life than not being married.”

    I call it her “Fried Green Tomatoes” quote….

    Peace,

    M

  3. Vhie-763540 October 14, 2011

    Yes! Amen! I agree with you 100% Jessica. I was once in a so called “married with serious issues” and it almost cause my life. Yap, I would rather stay single if I won’t find a real good man. Well, should I say, God bless our search or may God do devine intervention to grant our heart’s desire? Anyway, thank you…well written.

  4. Michael-422117 October 14, 2011

    Amen. It cuts the other way too.

  5. Andy-643934 October 15, 2011

    I agree. Its really hard to find someone with the right values. I am better off by myself and enjoying life by myself. I think it is hard to find someone especially close to you. No one is true any more.

  6. Jim-397948 October 15, 2011

    It is good to be the Captain of your own Destiny!!!!

  7. Dolores-722124 October 15, 2011

    Wow! Great blog. Very true and puts single in a different light.
    Thanks

  8. ea-770327 October 15, 2011

    Thank you for sharing. Its a tough judgmental world out there where we should be able to attend a function and not worry about how its going to mess up the seating arrangement. I have chosen to be single before so why let it bother me? Oh, because its the mass of people I’m projecting are snickering.

  9. Lisa Duffy
    Lisa Duffy October 15, 2011

    One of the funniest lines I’ve heard in a movie is in “When Harry Met Sally” when Sally and her friends were lamenting her break-up with “Joe.” Carrie Fisher said, “Yeah, but you had a date on national holidays!” That just underscores your point, Jessica, that society expects us to show up with a significant other of some sort and if we don’t, something is wrong.

    I applaud your unapologetic decision to hold out for a good man and the example you set for so many singles.

    My only caveat is this: remember that there is no perfect marriage. Just by virtue of being imperfect humans, there will be problems no matter how glorious the dating & engagement period and wedding day are. And at times they are serious problems, but truly, the work that it takes to get through them is what makes a marriage relationship truly rich and lasting.

  10. Morgan-698953 October 16, 2011

    love this!

  11. Diane-714217 October 16, 2011

    I love this! :-)

  12. Brenda-779531 October 17, 2011

    It was Dixie Carter who said, “It takes a mighty good man to be better than no man at all.” Thank you for writing this candid essay on being single and kind of satisfied with it. A mighty good man would be wonderful, and perhaps God has one for each of us yet :-)

  13. Audrey-764820 October 18, 2011

    I love it!! I absolutely agree :)

  14. AnnaMaria-45514 October 20, 2011

    Getting married just to be married has never been an option for me, I’m holding out until the right one comes along no matter what! :)

  15. Jack-247663 October 22, 2011

    10/22/11

    Bravo!!! a very astute observation and sadly quite true. Here is some food for thought. The problem can and does go both ways. Yet when comes to certain statuses such has employment. When people go that route in the long run they lose because like a mist it can evaporate right before ones eyes. Or when the whole thing falls apart then they are right back to square 1. I accept or reject on face value. In the long run better for it.

  16. Meesch-691047 October 23, 2011

    200% agree! Take charge of your own happiness and beware of those who lead you astray.

  17. Thomas-699657 October 23, 2011

    Status will get you only status if that’s what is important to you then enjoy your status . It can get lonely at the top and then you just might find you need someone to get rid of that lonely feeling.

  18. Susie-550311 November 12, 2011

    I once knew a woman who told me she would rather be dead than single. Seriously. For a moment, I felt bad about my status as a single woman. But when I looked at her life – 3 failed marriages and a child with a man who didn’t love her – I figured I was doing pretty good on my own.
    Thank you for this reminder. I would rather be happy with who I am than miserable with someone else.

  19. Sihamile-770554 November 12, 2011

    i will let the Lord lead me and find me the right man, if it’s meant to be if not ,Thy will be done Lord!

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