In the Christian world you are not just dating but looking for a spouse. It is what you aim for and the reason you date. Sex is held back like a prize for those who find their winning match. So in the Christian community relationships are not long term and from engagement to wedding it is very quick. This often happens young. Shortly after high school or as you finish college.
Let me be clear I do not think there is anything wrong with it. I have seen amazing relationships blossom and grow in the church. Sometimes people rush to fast but they have the church to help hold them up as they work through growth and change.
I have had a weird experience in my life. After the second time it happened I thought "weird." Now it has happened a third time and I can't help but just laugh with God. When I was a teenager I went to NPBC. It was a pretty big church and I grew up with these people, these friends. We entered college and joined a new group, more friends. Slowly over time friends got engaged and married. I watched them go through the process, talked with them and heard about all the details. Slowly the college group changed because the friends I used to have in the group were now married and had moved on to other church classes/groups. I understood but also felt out of place.
Life moved on and so did I. I stopped going to church for a time and then found my way to a new church, HBC. It was a much smaller church but I felt confident God had called me there. Feeling too 'old' for a college group (I was probably 20 but it was post my mom dying) I found a different small group to join. But it was a small church and so the group was 4-5 people plus the two leaders. After not very long it was the leaders, me and a couple that would shortly be engaged and get married. The group fell apart but I still had a place at the church by connecting with the college group. They were a few years younger then I but I was okay with that. They were/are great people. But as it goes over time they connected with someone, they got engaged and most switched to other church's for a bigger young married group. I was again left alone. I watched as now two completely different groups of friends were able to find "their one" "their connection." I had prospects along the way but nothing had stuck.
Years later I was drawn to a new church LSC. This church was a large church again with a big diversity of people. I again, like the others before, engaged with the church. Regularly attending and becoming involved by serving the community at the church. For the first two years I joined a small group, new all of the pastors on first name basis and many of the very large congregation. Three years ago I felt the tug on my heart to help the college group. They were looking for mentors and I felt God tell me to go help. I wasn't sure at first and even asked friends what they thought. See I had already done college group. In fact I had done college group twice. I was obedient and over the last three years it has been an awesome and amazing experience. I camp now and hike two things I had no idea I would enjoy. I love the connections to the people I have met through the college group. However I sit here tonight after going to a bridal shower. I sat at a table looking around at my friends who over the last couple years I have watched get married or engaged and are looking toward that next step. I am again giving advice about wedding planning and marriage even though I have yet to experience it. I can tell you wedding etiquette and shower expectations. I can listen and talk about marriage and kids because I have heard it before, I have done this before.
Please know that I LOVE these girls!! I really do and I am so over the moon for them. I really truly am. The same is true for the girls at NPBC or HBC I still talk and hang out with some of them. I 'like' all their kids photos on Facebook and am excited when they announce the next exciting their life. Because they are my friends and married or not they remain that way.
I just find it an odd position. To be so very very single and to watch for 16 years dozens of friends get married. To watch those closest to me have this experience that I may never have. It is just weird that as much as I know I would hate having a shower with attention on me I miss the fact that I may never have one.
#totallysingle #dontjudgesingles #rathernorelationshipthenabadrelationship