Are you single, Christian, and lonely? Plenty of people are single…and a fair number are Christian. But to be all that and lonely, too – well, that’s something hang on to!
Are you SCL? Own it! Life will try to tear that affiliation from you, and you’ve got to fight back. Here are some ways how:
DON’T Spend Time With Your Family
Do you have any siblings? AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS. Sure, they might bug you, but that’s just another way of paying attention to someone – and the core of Loneliness is having no one pay attention to you. Your brothers and sisters will try to un-lonely you…shun them!
Also, ignore your parents. Do not cook meals for them. Do not help them with yard work or home repair. And definitely DO NOT have long, in-depth conversations with them about your life, their lives, God, or events in the world.
Even talking about your favorite things can be a danger-ground. Stick to two subjects: the weather (especially if it’s gloomy), and your miserable lack of success in finding a spouse.
Possible loophole: if you’re now older than your parents were when they got married, talk about that. A lot.
Does your church have a mentor program for school-kids? A ministry to visit nursing homes? Is there a soup kitchen, crochet club, or group that packs relief boxes for disaster areas?
How can you possibly focus on how miserable your life is when you’re visiting a grandma on oxygen whose family won’t come visit her? Or packing a shoebox with candy, stuffed animals, and socks for a child who’s never had a Christmas present before? Or helping a ten-year-old in foster care with his math? Or dishing a meal for a homeless man with no teeth, no job, and no family?
Focus on what’s important. We’re talking about you, remember? There’s no “perspective” in LONELY. (Just a couple “L”s.)
Find your Cone of Self-Pity and STAY THERE.
DON’T Make Other Friends
You’re missing a soul-mate, right? The last thing you need is platonic, ordinary friends – of either sex.
If your co-workers invite you out after work (not for drinks, obviously) refuse at once! Don’t go to book clubs, get a softball team, attend sports events or concerts with anyone, and whatever you do DO NOT talk to anyone at church. If you can get out of attending Sunday School without risking your membership, do that, but certainly don’t talk about your life or struggles. (That may seem counter-intuitive, but see, they’ll try to make you feel better. Better to suffer in silence.)
In fact, try to avoid shaking the pastor’s hand. He might make eye contact and smile…and smiles attack Loneliness directly.
Do you know anyone else who’s also SCL? DON’T talk to them about it.
The last thing you want is to discover that someone else knows exactly what you’re going through, that someone else has been there…and that they survived. That someone else is even (heaven forbid) older than you are, still unmarried, and still alive.
SCL doesn’t stand for Sacred, Called, and Loved. Don’t create an SCL support group, for goodness’ sake! How can you focus on your own miserable life when you listen to someone describe exactly what you’re going through, robbing you of the sense of theft, betrayal, and inequity that is the foundation for your Loneliness!
DON’T Count Your Blessings
So, what, the Bible says “Hope differed makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Prov. 13:12).
It’s easy to see how your hope for a husband has been foiled. If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve spent nights crying yourself to sleep with longing.
Focus on that. This is the Lonliness we’re going for.
Ignore the second part. It might mean that being grateful for the “little hopes” (like waking up in the morning, having opportunities for work and service, being part of a caring church, and/or being loved by All-Mighty God) will be a tree of life in your soul.
But probably not. Don’t ask a pastor about this. What do you want, to be Un-Lonely?! 😱
DON’T Listen to God
Don’t get in a Bible study. Don’t involve yourself in Sunday School or Bible reading. Remember what we said about not volunteering or getting involved in outside activities?
Let’s face it: if God is withholding the husband you so obviously deserve, why should you listen to him about any of the spiritual issues in your life that He may want to work on?
All of your problems will be solved as soon as Mr. Perfect steps into your life. Being married to your Soul-Mate will erase your irritability, give you infinite patience, let you know and understand every passage of Scripture, transform your prayer life, and magic away all your doubts, fears, and insecurities.
For now, we’re getting by on the Holy Spirit. But this whole “I am all you will ever need” business? Who has time for that!
Those are the Don’ts. Now, here are some Dos to keep that Lonely where it belongs!
DO Count All Your Friends With Mates
School-mates. Choir friends. Church friends. The kids of your parents’ friends. Keep track of every single one who is now married, while you still aren’t…and wallow in the feeling that the numbers are against you.
Clearly, something is wrong with the world. (Feel that? That’s your Loneliness coming on strong! Savor it.)
DO Read Romance Fiction
A lot of it. The smuttier the better. After all, you don’t have a husband to snuggle with…you might as well watch two fictional characters get it on.
It will tantalize you with what you don’t have, and then taunt you with the inadequacy that produced your lack. No downside there!
DO Stalk Your Married Friends on Social Media
Get on Facebook. Stare at their pictures and posts.
Wedding photos? Honeymoon photos? Dates? Did they fix a sink or build a cabinet together (“couple time”)? Do a few of them have a kid, for crying out loud?
Drink in those accusatory images. Then, rail at the heavens for the inequity of fate. (You could also “scream” – like a banshee, of course – but “railing” at the heavens has the benefit of tradition behind it.)
DO Complain All the Time
This will do two things.
1) It will reinforce to yourself all your problems, again and again (especially your Loneliness).
2) It will make you unpleasant to be around, meaning people will avoid you, meaning it’ll be easier to be alone (which is an important step toward Lonely).
DO Imagine Your Ideal Soul-mate
He will be perfect – when you finally meet him, of course. He will be hard-working, funny, serious, cute but manly, sensitive yet strong. Of course he won’t do any of those little things that annoy you. He will have habits and hobbies you think are adorable, and you will never have any married squabbles. Well, if you do, he’ll quickly see the error of his ways, and apologize.
When you meet your soul-mate, your eyes will lock with his, music will start to play, and all your problems will instantly be solved.
He will love you with a fierce passion, second only to his love for Jesus. Football, projects for his work, his parents and friends, and his other interests will all be swept away for your glory and convenience.
Never mind that you might know some perfectly eligible young men now…If they haven’t sparked that “spark”, they’re obviously not “the one”.
So keep imagining. The guy in your head will only get more perfect with age…
Remember: Talking to people will make them want to “fix” it, e.i. fix you.
You are SCL! Don’t surrender your identity just because your “friends” want you to feel better! If you find yourself slipping, and realize you’ve focused on God or other people by accident, get out the comfort food and stew on your problems until you feel miserable again.
The Lonely isn’t going anywhere until the Single is fixed. Because to be single, Christian, and…happy? Isn’t that just…wrong somehow?
She currently lives with her family somewhere in the American midwest, bracing for the collapse of society by baking, knitting, hobby-farming, writing, and reading as much Twitter as possible before the web goes dark.
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