Saturday, 12 December 2009


Not every woman who wants to get married gets married. This is the cold, hard fact from which many of us run. Similarly, not everyone who gets a divorce and an annulment receives that second chance. Or we blow that second chance. Sometimes, our prince doesn't come.

There are a myriad of reasons why this prince might not arrive. Some are historical, like most of the men leaving town for work, or the anti-marriage trend of the Sexual Revolution. Some have to do with our circumstances: we work in a mostly female environment, or in a profession dominated by gay men, or in a profession dominated by celibate men, like priests and religious, or in a community where everyone else got married at 22. Some have to do with our poor choices: we dated the wrong man for a decade and have been dumped; we date only unmarriageable men; we are drinking alcoholics; we are using users; we are bad-tempered harridans that no-one can stand to be around. Some have to do with personal tragedies: we are physically scarred, maimed, or plain as a pan of milk; we are wheelchair bound; we are chronically ill; we are "old"; we have been irreparably slandered in our communities; we are big-boned, full-figured, or just heavy women, and no matter what we do, we cannot lose the weight. That is why Prince Charming has not come.

Or maybe not. Maybe some of us are just "too picky." I hear this one a lot, especially from grumpy single men. But what I, and many other chronically single women, usually want is just a nice man whose looks we find attractive, who is intelligent and funny and faithful, who goes to church, who has a job that he enjoys and is proud of, and brings in enough income so that if we lose our jobs, or have a baby, we all won't be in a financial mess. I wrote this once on a website, and a poster wrote, "Wow, you're picky." So maybe these men don't exist anymore or were all snapped up when they were 22.

Or maybe not that either. Maybe it is an insolvable mystery. Maybe, for some inscrutable reason of His own, God has decreed from eternity that many of my single friends and I will never find The Right Man. Maybe, in fact, we have been called to be Single.

I am a Roman Catholic, and for Catholics, being called by God to be Single, doesn't mean that we have been given divine sanction to be swinging singles, living only for the moment and ourselves. It means that we have to discern how we can serve God and neighbour as single women. Unfortunately, it also means putting up with a lot of disrespect and presuppositions from others, even from other Catholics. Some people think that single women are selfish. Others think we are losers. What I hope to do with this book is give a lift to the thousands of single women who are gradually losing hope that they will ever get married (or married again), or who have decided to cut their losses and embrace the state of life God has placed them in.

--from Seraphic Singles: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Single Life

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