A Letter to People Giving Singles a Hard Time

by | Single

falling letter

 

Dear Giving Older Singles a Hard Time,

 

Chances are, this letter is either to you or from you.

 

If it is to you, let me just say that I hope you don’t take offense. My intention is not to be hurtful, but explain to how your words have hurt others–and most likely with the best of intentions.

 

Who are “we?”

 

We are those that are single and above the “normal age” to marry. We aren’t gay. We don’t have porn problems. We aren’t bitter about our divorce. We aren’t obsessed with our careers. And we aren’t having too much fun. We just happen to be over 21 and not married. #puttingtheSINinSINGLE

 

You see, so many times, help is offered, but it just doesn’t come across very well. We don’t need set-ups with ugly friends (unless we are the ugly friend, then keep it coming), condescending advice (we’ve heard it, know it, try it, and some weirdo’s even blog about it), comments about us being selfish, text messages when someone mentions singles in general conference, telling us we are “stupid” when we break up with someone, or constant barrage of “why are you single?”

 

And most importantly (outside of a hospital), no one, ever needs to be asked, “What is wrong with you?” Ever. [period]

 

Now, what we do need is your support, love, kindness, understanding and sincere friendship.

 

Instead of incessantly indicating the individual intention that has been thus far elusive (a spouse), help us to see all that we have accomplished. Don’t dwell on the one failure (as you see it), shed a light on the many accomplishments (as we should see it). I’m not asking you to be a patronizing cheerleader, but rather reminding you of you when you were single.

 

When we go to sleep at night, we are woefully aware that we are single. And in those dark moments, often your question echoes in the chambers of an empty heart, ‘what is wrong with me?’

 

Well nothing is wrong with us. We are working and we will get “there,” whatever that “there” happens to be for us, but coming down on us for being single doesn’t help us get “there” any better.

 

Now, you may say this is unfair of us since we poke fun of ourselves. We put up our single life on the altar of easy jabs. We make the topic our target. But that target is really our shield. See, your comments pierced us a few times and we realized that there was no way to avoid it. So we put up a target as our shield–at least this way, we know it is coming. But it doesn’t mean that words never get through.

 

Some say that we are thinking of ourselves, we are too picky and that we are having too much fun. But if you saw the million rides we give to the airport, the long nights of comfort that are given, the hours spent working in the temple; if you saw the dreadful red flags of our dating pool, the emotionless first dates, the amount of people that we like who don’t like us at the same time; and oh, if you saw the aching hearts, tears and long nights of begging the Lord for comfort; if you saw all that (or maybe remembered), we think you would have a different perspective. And if you have lived through all of this, all the more reason for kindness before critique.

 

Know we are trying. We are trying to learn charity, trying to be open, trying to find the right person, trying to be the best person we can, and trying to distract ourselves occasionally because no…loneliness is not fun. And maybe marriage and parenting isn’t going to be this fairy tale awesomeness, but let’s all just lift each other up in whatever station we may be. We all have crosses that are barely bearable, but I feel we were put here to lighten the load, not add to it.

 

So before we finish, let me tell you why we’re even telling you this.

 

We wish we could say that your words don’t matter…but they do because, we look up to you. And even when words unintentionally cut, we know you want us to have an amazing family and want to help us get there.

 

Your love means so much, which is why we thought you might like to know how we feel.

 

Sincerely,

Honestly Trying

 

p.s. Let’s not make this awkward or dramatic. We aren’t breaking up with you–just thought our relationship needed a touch of honesty.

 

 

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  • StephanieOlds

    Home run, I love this. (Applause emoji here.)

  • ALG

    This is all the truths. So articulate, bless ye.

  • Scott

    I’m 42, never married, very strong testimony, tall and good looking. I will meet the right person at the right time. I will never give up. Thank you for this inspiring article.

  • night_train44

    Dude, so you’re single? So what?? It doesn’t define who you are. I hear a lot of whining in your post. Grow up. Get married if you want to. “Ugly chicks?” Wow. I’m not kidding man, you need to really self-assess because you clearly are single only because you want to be single. Here’s the thing, your post is offensive in lots of ways, but mostly because you fail to understand that some people in life have REAL problems. Health issues, poverty, hunger, loneliness, abuse, and on and on. Real suffering. You don’t have a wife. But you call some chicks “ugly.” The problem is in the mirror. And yes, I’m single. But I don’t care. I’ll get married when I decide I want to. In the meantime, I’m living life and not whining about being offended by people who care enough about me to try to give me advice or help, even by setting me up with “ugly chicks.” Wow.

    • Zack Oates

      apparently, you’ve missed the train on this one, my friend. I’ve just read through a lot of your other comments and I hope that you realize this letter was not from you. Go spread love, not hate, brother. Best wishes in you pulling that train into the morning.

    • Matt Bingham

      I like how this post is all about thinking about what you say as to not be hurtful, and yet the first comment is very pointed and meant to be hurtful. #irony

  • delighted2write

    This is well-written and heartfelt, Zack. Keep up the good fight and know when you DO find your wife, so many people will be cheering you (and her!) on. Not to mention, you’ll probably break Facebook with all the Likes and comments congratulating you two.

  • Thanks for sharing this. I can relate! I’m a very sporadic blogger (probably can’t even call myself a blogger, actually), but I wrote a post similar to this last year that got a lot of unexpected attention, mostly good, and of course some naysayers like night_train44. (UGH.) Guess we aren’t the only ones feeling this way!

  • Susan

    Im sorry. Ive been enjoying your articles tremendously. You’ve made me laugh and given me pause to wonder why such amazing people, such as yourself, have a hard time finding a spouse. It seems so wrong and unfair.

    That is until… i got to this article. Suddenly the reason for you being single popped up like a bright neon flag that made everything plainly obvious to me. The term “ugly friends” destroyed all credibility you had with me. Because to call anyone an ugly person comes from a truly ugly and unhappy judgemental person. You are calling one of Gods greatest creations, a daughter of God, ugly. How can you say that without even seeing the irony in your words?

    The answer to the great mystery of why you are single can only be answered by you. But i will give you a hint… try to understand why you feel it necessary to label another human being as you have done here. And until you can figure it out and learn to see the beauty in all people…I’m afraid there will be many more blog enteries where you solicit mercy from your fellow man and yet you have none to offer..
    Good luck to you on your journey.

    • Zack Oates

      I really appreciate your honesty and the candid nature of your comment and I sincerely apologize if the use of that word offended you. I should clarify two things: 1, parts of my post are meant to be satirical abs this portion was meant to be a joke to people setting me up; and 2, I recently wrote an article about why u only hang out with beautiful people I would encourage you to read Because when I say ugly and beautiful, I almost never refer to looks. It is all about how people make others feel about themselves. I have gone out with models that I didn’t think were beautiful and girls to whom I want attracted at first, but after getting to know them are some of the most beautiful people I know.
      But in the end, I wish you the best whether or not you believe me. …but remember now, I did take time on a beach in bali to respond, because mainly I want to apologize if you were offended in any way.

      • Susan

        A beach in Bali?? Omgoodness… You MUST be sincere!

        Thank you for referencing me to you “beautiful people” article which made complete sense to me and allows me to consume a healthy serving of humble pie. Hope you will forgive the innaccuracy in my assumption.

        Now i can go back to wondering why such amazing people, such as yourself, have a hard time finding a spouse. And be grateful that my husband picked me almost 30 years ago even though i am so opinionated. (*Cue “Count your blessings” musak…)

        Enjoy that vacation and best of luck to you too.

        PS…i have a gorgeous 22 year old daughter…err…nevermind. 😉


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