I’m a thirty-(insert hand over the mouth muffled sound here) woman. I am half owner of the cutest house on my block, have always held responsible, respectable jobs since I was sixteen years old, have two adorable pets who I take care of quite nicely (don’t look at my plants), have a leadership position in my church, am working on a book and my number one goal in life is to make a positive difference in the world around me. Oh, and I’m single.
That’s the part of the story that people usually linger on. Well, that and the part where I say I’m 30something. Put those two together and it’s like a mayonnaise and jelly sandwich.
Them: “Whaaat? You’re not married?
Them: “Really? Divorced?”
Them: “Huh. (furrowed brows) Wow. That’s too bad.”
Me: “I thought you’d be happy that I haven’t gone through a divorce.”
Them: “Yeah…but, honey…I mean, you’re not getting any younger.”
Me: “Yes I am. I hate you…and I think your dress is ugly.”
It’s like they didn’t hear anything else that I said. They develop some sort of instantaneous OCD over it. They start knocking on the table fourteen times and stacking their reasons why I’m not married in neat little, concise stacks to show me. Then they reach into their purse (or man bag) and take out their measuring tape to show me where I’m coming up short.
Here’s some of the comments/questions I’ve gotten over the years:
“What are you doing wrong?”
“No offense, but I can hear your clock ticking from my house.”
“You’re just being too picky.”
“You do like guys, right?”
“Have you gone to counseling?”
“Are you even trying!?”
“Would you like a karate chop in the throat?”
Again, that last one was mine.
I’ve never been one to wait at home peeking through the venetian blinds to see if there’s a white horse parked in the driveway and if that knock on the door sounded princelier than the others. I’ve developed quite the eye muscles from avoiding the melodramatic eye roll that wants to reflex when someone nods their head and sympathetically says to me, “Someday your prince will come.” I’m thirty-four years old, if I keep looking for “princes”, Dateline’s Chris Hansen is going to come around a corner and ask me why I have this bag of McDonald’s in my hand.
I’ve been in love before. I’ve loved deeply. I’ve loved madly. I’ve loved when the odds were against it. I’ve loved when I shouldn’t have. I’ve loved when everything seemed to be lining up rather nicely. See, it’s not that I’m incapable of it nor am I avoiding it. But believe me when I say this…
My restless heart would rather be single than to settle.
My innards start to squirm when I think about marrying someone for the sake of just getting married. If you know me at all, you know that I don’t even like to date for the sake of just being with someone. And, on the rare occasion I do date someone, if I don’t feel that there is the potential for a deep physical, spiritual, mental and relational connection…it’s honestly not worth either of our time. So, the idea of lowering my standards to cross “Get Married” off my life checklist is ridiculous to me. Besides, I don’t think that my restless heart would let me get away with that anyway.
It’s not the being single part that makes my heart fidget because I rather enjoy where I am in my life right now and who I choose to spend my time with. But, it’s the constant murmur of others that makes me feel restless. It’s when I allow other people to whisper into my ear that I’m not measuring up to a standard that they have for me. Especially when those people don’t seem nearly as happy as I am.
I trust that one day, I’ll meet a man who will love this restless heart of mine and I his and we’ll play hopscotch into the sunset together. But until that day comes, my restless heart and I are totally going steady.
Are you letting other people tell you if you measure up or not?
For more information on Restless Heart Syndrome (RHS), see my post called “Help, I have RHS!”