Who doesn’t love a well phrased, inspirational quote? Sometimes you come across them on social media or in print and it just hits the right spot for the right time. I am also partial to a humorous quip. Because I love to laugh and they can provide a good chuckle.
But then there are those quotes that just get under my grill and make me mutter to myself like a crazy lady. And mostly they’d be the ones that are to do with Singleness and include the word “waiting”.
“Single doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you it means you’re waiting for something better.”
“Being Single means you’re strong enough to wait for what you deserve.”
Hear me on this, I do get what these quotes are trying to say. I understand they’re intended as an encouragement and certainly not pieces put forward for literary review. But when I read “waiting” in these quotes it makes me think of the waiting room at a doctors surgery. Just sitting there surrounded by pale grey walls, watching Nutri-bullet advertisements on the TV, flicking through New Idea mags from 1999 and wondering how many illnesses I can contract from the other patients around me while I wait 45mins for my 7min consultation.
Waiting in that instance suggests stagnancy. Waiting implies that “now” is insufficient or inadequate. Waiting infers inaction until the desired outcome is achieved. The idea of waiting potentially speaks into our spirits a “when” or “if” attitude – when I am married I will “x”; if I get married then I can “y”. And ultimately that kind of waiting robs us of satisfaction in the now. It detracts from our ability to embrace what is instead of pining for what might one day be.
To break it down further …
Here’s the list of things I CAN do while I’m not married.
- Have a career
- Own a house
- Earn a qualification
- Learn a skill
- Go out
- Participate in God’s mission
- Be active
- Be a good friend, sibling, co-worker etc
- Pay taxes & contribute to society
- Have a pet
And here’s the list of things I CAN’T do until I’m married.
- Be married
Ok ok. That’s a tad over-simplified. And trust me, I get it, there’s no one who wants the married stuff any more than I want the married stuff. But my point is this – when we start talking about waiting we can unconsciously add things to the second list that don’t belong there.
If waiting (in the sense I described) is a term that describes your Single life – you’re doing it wrong! If you’re holding off on anything on that first list because you’re Single, can I suggest a re-think?
Here are my creative re-writes of the above quotes. Feel free to turn them into inspirational posters (referencing me, of course)!