Monday, August 19, 2013

To the Matchmakers

Matchmaker, matchmaker...make me a match...

Sometimes it seems like if you're married, you feel the immediate desire/need to put on the matchmaker hat. After all, you have found the man or woman of your dreams and you just want all of your single friends to have what you have.

Or something like that, anyway...

I recently had another single person tell me how terribly awkward it's been for her lately as she navigates through newlywed interactions...which often consists of her being the third wheel and receiving sympathy glances when the waitress asks how to cut the check at the end of a meal. "I'm alone..."...which is then met with some sort of assurance that soon, and very soon, they will find the man of her dreams.

I don't believe our married friends mean any harm with such statements, but it leaves us wondering if we are incapable of finding love on our own. It can leave us feeling like there's something wrong with being single. It can make us feel as though we are missing out on something that's always wonderful...which, honestly, probably always gives us a faulty idea of how any real relationship works.

I've been fortunate enough to have a few married friends/family who, while quite happy in their own relationships, have reminded me of how awesome it is to be single. They remind me of all the things that I can do that they cannot. They remind me that relationships are hard... that marriage is harder....and once you have kids, it gets even more complicated. They remind me that even when two people are in love, it doesn't always turn out like a Disney feature film....your days aren't always filled with happily-ever-afters.

And while it's okay and they wouldn't change their lives for the world....they also encourage me to not want to change mine. To not wish away my days of being single. To not feel like I'm flawed, that something is wrong with me, that there's a problem...but to recognize the opportunities. Opportunities that I can have that they do not.

These friends, when I struggle with being single and lonely, aren't the ones who tell me the solution is online dating, or putting myself out there, or to just be patient. They're the friends who know the solution isn't to be found in a romantic relationship.

So... married folk...
I guess I'd just urge you to be cautious of how you interact with your single friends. Don't play matchmaker (unless they directly ask you to or you know them well and actually have a person in mind...don't go searching for one!). Don't make your single friends feel like what you have in your marriage is better than what they have being single. There are pros to both and cons to both...and for the season that they are single, it does them a greater service if you are supporting them exactly where God has them instead of making them feel as though they are missing out.

We, as single people, don't need matchmakers in our married friends. We need friends who are going to give us honest looks at what it means to be in relationship with someone else...imperfections and all. We needs friends who are going to support us, encourage us, and push us on toward what the Lord has for us and what He has called us to....even if it means we are single the entire time. We need people who aren't going to continually remind us that we are single, but people who are going to remind us that we have a greater purpose that cannot be fulfilled through marriage.

There's a greater Love to be concerned with. A greater Love to be focused on. A greater Love that should drive our entire lives.

So put down the matchmaker hat...and just be our friend.
Lots of us are struggling to trust the Lord with all of it already... and it's much easier when you're there to remind us of His faithfulness, of our purpose, of the opportunities we have in this season.

We love that you care about this for us, but we need you to care about all the other stuff we're chasing after, too.


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