My cousin, Lauren, sent this to me recently and I loved it so much, I wanted to share it here. I will probably keep coming back to this concept because it is so important and I think we just don't think about singleness this way. So the more we talk about it, the more it will spread! Ms. Niequist says it so well and it's nice to hear this from a non-single. I found myself nodding along with each new thought that she articulated. I hope you find it as refreshing and encouraging as I did.
Click on the title to see the entire post.
You are Significant With or Without a Significant Other
By Shauna Niequist
Posted on June 3rd, 2014
When I speak at a college, no matter the topic they give me, I start the same way: Thank you for having me. You are significant with or without a significant other.
I say it every time because our culture is weirdly obsessed with romance and couples and being part of a matched set.
I say it every time because some of the people I love most in the world are single—either because they haven’t yet found their person, or because their marriage has ended. Honestly, I’ve reached that age when I hear more divorce announcements than wedding bells.
And sometimes I wonder if there would be fewer divorce announcements if we weren’t so hung up on marriage as a status symbol or accomplishment.
I love being married to Aaron. He’s my person, and every day I’m thankful for the life we’re making together. But being married doesn’t mean my life is any more valuable or important or significant than the lives of my single friends.
A friend was in town over the weekend, and just as he left, he said “Hey–we broke up. I wanted to tell you. And I wanted to thank you for always reminding me that it’s okay to be single.”
He’s an old friend, in the awesome little brother category, a smart and sensitive person who’d been trying to make a relationship work. And there was a lot of pressure for him to make it work, because it would turn him into that magical thing our culture loves to celebrate—a married person!
And I’m so happy that my you are significant with or without a significant other mantra was valuable to him. That’s kind of one of my things—one of the things I love to tell people. A couple other things I love to tell people: go to counseling, make your own salad dressing, just about anyone can run a marathon. But I digress.
I love to tell people that it’s okay to be single because so many of my very favorite people are single. And it breaks my heart when they feel like they’re less or half or waiting around for their real lives to start. That’s garbage.
You are significant with or without a significant other. Marriage isn’t like being named prom queen. It’s a partnership, one I love being a part of. But it doesn’t make me more special. It’s not a status symbol.
For whatever set of reasons, our culture loves the Game of Life two-in-the-front-seat way of living. But that’s not the only way. And you’re not less-than for being solo in your car in this season. And I’m so sorry if sometimes you feel that. That’s awful.
Here’s the truth: some of the worst people I know are married. I don’t know how it happens. And some of the truly best people I know are single. I don’t know how that happens, either.
But what I do know is it’s not about the fundamental value of the person in question. Your value is not up for grabs, and certainly your value is not riding on a cultural obsession with romance and tulle and diamonds.
You are significant with or without a significant other.
A few thoughts for my single friends, who I just adore:
To see the rest of Shauna's thoughts, go to You are Significant With or Without a Significant Other. Trust me, it's a great read.