June 27, 2012
Tired of being alone, or, the singles trap
By Anthony Buono *

By Anthony Buono *

“Dear Anthony,
I’m absolutely fed up! I’m done! I’m tired of the singles trap and everyone telling me it’s just not my turn yet! Why isn’t it my turn? Why must it take so long? I’m tired of being alone! I’m tired of having no one to share my life with! I’m trying not to be upset with God, but seriously, enough is enough! And if you tell me it will happen in God’s time, I’m done with you too. I don’t mean any disrespect, but I can’t handle hearing anymore pious mumbo jumbo.”

That’s a lot of exclamation points, indicating a lot of frustration. I can’t blame you, especially about not wanting to hear the same “pious mumbo jumbo” anymore. Of course, it’s not mumbo jumbo at all, but I will admit that many of us advisor types tend to take the easy way out by saying, “it’s all in God’s time” or “when it’s meant to happen to you, it will” or “I’ll pray for you.”

We take that easy way out sometimes because frankly, we just don’t have the answer.

When people are suffering, what they need most is empathy. I have no idea what you are going through and what factors are contributing to your obvious suffering. I only know for certain that you are in pain.

You want some answers, and fast. But that’s not going to happen. It’s futile to insist on and force solutions, and even more futile to succumb to anger and bitterness.

It’s very interesting that you mentioned being tired of “the singles trap.” That’s actually exactly what you have fallen into, perhaps without even realizing it. The singles trap is the belief that life is meaningless as an unmarried person. Marriage makes happiness possible at last.

You might be saying, “That’s rubbish! That’s not what I think.” Maybe not consciously. But consider how you feel, and what you are saying as a result of your frustration. You hate it that you are still single, and don’t want to be single anymore. That’s valid enough. I fully support that. But not to the point that you harbor anger, bitterness, excessive frustration, and resentment.

These attitudes are fashioned over time through voluntarily allowing negative realities to penetrate to the depths of the self. You are slowly but surely becoming these negatives. You allow your personal peace and happiness, that are gifts of God, to be rattled or replaced by the anger.

God created you first and foremost to love Him, serve Him, and be with Him forever in Heaven. He did not create you to be married. Marriage is not the answer to your happiness, nor the solution to your overcoming your anger. That’s a trap. The singles trap, to be exact.

It sounds to me that you believe you are entitled to be married by now and you are on a quest to find out why you’re not.

There are undoubtedly reasons why you are still single. Some of it’s probably your fault. Some of it’s probably the fault of your parents and your upbringing. Some of it’s probably the fault of free will and those who sadly choose to break up with you for stupid reasons. Some of it probably has nothing to do with fault at all, but one thing’s for sure…it’s not God’s fault.

In fact, it’s also futile to look for fault at all. When you do find out where the fault lies, it doesn’t help. It might provide some kind of distorted satisfaction, but you don’t find peace and happiness.

You can let anger run aggressively and recklessly until it becomes who you are, thus you are habitually a bitter, nasty, and unenjoyable person to be around.

And then congratulations! You just made yourself completely unattractive to anyone who might be a prospective candidate for a marriage partner.

Do you see what I’m getting at? You might very well have good reasons for being upset as to why you are still single. But you can’t give into it. It’s not worth it. You only hurt yourself, and your chances of finding love.

You might never really know why you are still single. But you are. You are still the unique person God created you to be. He made you for love. Maybe you won’t live that love in the context of marriage. There are so many ways to give yourself away in love for God and neighbor that can fulfill your life and provide a lasting peace and happiness.

I realize that’s easier said than done, but honestly, what choice do you have? Keep succumbing to the anger, and you isolate yourself from God, the source of all love and happiness.

Have some people in your life you can trust and who are empathetic when you need to vent. This will help you prevent your natural and understandable frustrating moments from becoming part of who you are.

Give all your problems, emotions, and negativity to God (really letting it go and making it His problem), and you are truly free.

It might be pious mumbo jumbo to say it, but be happy that you were created by God, you are loved intimately by God, and you are destined to be with God. Your life has purpose and meaning regardless of marriage. Be happy, and don’t let anything or anyone take it from you.

Anthony Buono is the founder of Avemariasingles.com. For thousands of Catholic singles, Anthony offers guidance, humor, understanding, and practical relationship advice.  Visit his blog at 6stonejars.com

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