Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Purposely Single

I read an article by a woman who is single by choice. She spent a great deal of the article defending her decision to remain unmarried. I don’t think she should have to do that. There are many people out there who have stayed single because they feel that in that way they can offer the most good to the world – and, with that attitude they generally accomplish a great deal. Sometimes, a person is called by God to be unmarried all their lives for a specific purpose or purposes. I am not talking only about nuns and monks, although they certainly would count in this category and certainly help a great many people. These people should be respected and supported in their decision without having to constantly explain themselves. This woman, though, did feel she needed to defend her choice and she did a good job of it.

She spoke eloquently of her fulfilling job, the time and money she gives to charity, and the children she adores who consider her an aunt. She also spoke of her great social life, which is rich with friends. She lives alone with her dog who is definitely not a substitute child. This appears to be the best life for her. But she still gets the question, “Are you married yet?"

One thing she said did give me pause. “I often have a boyfriend.” I suppose I risk sounding judgmental here, but I am really more curious. Why have a boyfriend if you plan not to marry? If you aren’t trying to get to know someone to see if they will make a good life partner, what is the purpose of the relationship? ( I suppose she might be seeking the physical aspects of that type of relationship but I didn't get the impression that that was the primary reason for them.) If anyone has insight, let me know.

But more broadly, does anyone have any experiences to share about being purposely single? How can friends, family and the wider community support you in that choice?

Have a blessed day!


  1. Being purposefully single only means that one has determined that one's long term objectives can best be met operating alone. Whether I agree or not with that premise is immaterial. It meets her objectives.
    In any event, the short term desire of your friend for companionship (of the romantic sort) does not negate her long term determination. She is bound and determined to obtain the best options for her life- on her terms.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts. You are right, she is out to live her life her way, regardless of others' expectations -- or thoughts on the matter.