No, I Don’t Have a Boyfriend (But Thanks for Asking).

I was working with elementary aged kids last week when one of the kids made a reference to my boyfriend and I had to inform her that I don’t have one. This happens to me a lot, actually—kids assuming that I have a boyfriend and then appearing shocked when I tell them, “Sorry, this guy you’re referring to doesn’t exist.”

“Yeah, but you’ve had one before,” one girl said. (Another line I hear quite often.)

“Actually, I haven’t.”

The girl’s jaw dropped. “So, you’re telling me you’ve never had a boyfriend in like, your whole life?”

That pretty much summed it up, so I shrugged and told her, “Yeah.”

She studied my face as she let this sink in. Finally she told me, very matter of factly, “You need to wear make-up.” As if that would solve all my life problems…

Yeah.

I wondered if I should tell this girl that my problem was not getting a boyfriend; it was wanting a boyfriend. I thought about letting her know that if I hadn’t been in this whole “five years and forever” deal with God, I probably would have gone on my first date a couple years ago. And maybe I was just being defensive because my face was being criticized, but what I wanted to tell this girl was that if I had been a typical teenager, I would have spent my high school years bouncing in and out of romantic relationships. But the thing is…

I never wanted to be typical; I wanted to be exceptional. Like my favorite Disney heroine, I wanted adventure in the great, wide somewhere. I wanted it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand to have someone understand…

I am not opposed to dating, nor am I obsessed with it. I’m resting quite comfortably somewhere in the middle, trusting that the God who set the universe in motion can also handle the details of my life.

I chose singleness. It’s not some horrible fate I was forced into. It’s not some prison I’m desperate to escape.

I gave God five years. Willingly. No one told me I had to. Sure, someone who gave God five years (and survived) recommended it, but I walked in her footsteps because I wanted to, not because I felt that I had to. I followed her example because I saw the value of letting God shape and mold my heart during that season.

Just because I can date doesn’t mean I should date. Yes, my five years are over. I’m now free to date whomever I please, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out with the first guy who asks me (unless, of course, he’s the kind of guy I can envision spending the rest of my life alongside, in which case I really have no reason to turn him down).

I’m not trying to be difficult. Honestly. In fact, I want to apologize to the amazing guys who have asked me out… and the amazing guys who have known better than to ask me out. It’s not you; it’s me. And I truly am sorry if my unusual approach to relationships has made things complicated for you. But, you see…

I’m not playing games with anyone’s heart—including my own. And while my lack of make-up may throw some people off, this is the real reason I’ve been single all my life.

But try telling that to a ten-year-old.

It’s Really Okay to be Single

One of my coworkers recently told me about seeing the new X-men movie. “So, uh, what movies have you seen lately?” he asked upon finishing his summary of the movie.

I shrugged. “I haven’t seen anything since Tangled came out.”

“So, no dates then?”

I love how subtle my coworkers are/aren’t about digging into my personal life.

Apparently most people find it shocking to find that a young woman actually enjoys being single. I especially love the slack-jawed stare from middle schoolers (who seem to think that twenty is ridiculously old). “You’ve never had a boyfriend?”

“Nope. Never.”

“You’re weird.” (Usually it’s only the boys who say that. The girls tend to be a little more subtle, though in the end, it’s the same message.)

Okay, I’m not weird (am I?), I’m just stubborn to a fault. Personally, I blame the genetics. When my dad was in high school, he was the self-declared king of the He-man Woman Haters Club. Though that was a joke (I think), he honestly did believe that God had called him to remain single… Then he met my mom. And the rest, as they say, is history.

I have a one-up on my dad. I have every intention of getting married someday. I just don’t feel like that day has to be in the very near future (although time seems to pass quickly these days). I don’t understand what the rush is. I don’t understand why people are all too eager to “help” set me up.

Though my coworkers don’t seem too convinced, I’m honestly not looking. I don’t feel like it’s my job to search for Prince Charming (and it’s most assuredly not their job either). God has called me to live the journey and embrace the moments. I can’t do that when I’m constantly on the lookout for “the one”.

So, no, I’ve never had a boyfriend. And, no, I’m not ashamed of that fact. Although you might think it sounds totally cliché, I’m perfectly happy with having Jesus be the only man in my life right now. Contrary to popular belief, it’s really okay to be single.