I am single…and hating it!
I’m sure there are many singles who would say they hate it. They would tell about the loneliness. They might tell you how they long to have someone with whom to share their hopes and dreams. Or, maybe they would talk about the longing for a companion, someone with whom they can share their hobbies. Maybe they miss the affection, having someone to curl up next to on a cold night and watch their favorite movie together.
While I miss all of those things, I have discovered that there’s one reason I hate being single:
I AM TOO STINKIN’ NICE!!
What does that have to do with hating the single life? A whole lot for me!
Some would say that being too nice is a sign of an approval addiction. There may be some truth to that, but honestly it goes a lot deeper. If there was one thing I could say that I did wrong in my marriage, it is probably that I was too nice. I allowed myself to be stepped on many times over. Being too nice in my marriage was an effort to be compassionate, understanding, and supportive. It was also a necessary tool to avoid angry outbursts.
When I think of myself, I know that God created me to be a helpmate. I thrive on coming alongside another and offering a word of encouragement. I am never happier than when I am serving others, reaching out and offering a helping hand. God created me with a very trusting nature and a laid back spirit that just doesn’t get bent out of shape too easily.
I have always tried to live by the saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” When my kids argue, I always remind them that we are to speak words of encouragement. If they say something ugly, I remind them that our words come from the overflow of our hearts—and I encourage them to ask what is flowing from their hearts. I am simply a firm believer in genuine kindness, compassion, love.
But, as a single, that can get me into some serious trouble.
Have you ever been to a singles get-together? The only ones I have attended are church-related, but I have to tell you that they felt more like a meat market. As the newbie, I found men immediately introducing themselves. I’ve seen small groups that seem to be more of a hook-up club than a place to nurture a relationship with Christ. While I long for God to bring along that special person, I find myself fleeing these situations. They just make me uncomfortable deep within my spirit.
Let me share a few of my single experiences.
Shortly after my divorce was finalized, I was asked out by a friend who was also recently divorced. I had come alongside him when he discovered his wife was cheating on him, and I began to simply offer a quick word of encouragement. I understood his pain, and I truly longed to share what I had learned in an effort to help him through the pain. My motives were pure, but I found myself developing an emotional attachment. We were both hurting too much to see what was happening.
I went out with this friend, and we enjoyed one another. Fortunately, I was strong enough to tell him that I wanted to maintain my purity. I am so thankful that I made that statement upfront, because I’m not sure I would have been able to tell him if I found myself in a compromising situation. To his credit, he walked away from me. I am very thankful that God saved me.
But, it wasn’t long before another man came along. This man seemed great on the surface—he knew all of the Christian lingo and was a great salesman. It didn’t take me long, however, to begin to question his sincerity. By the end of the first date, I had serious questions.
And that’s when things got scary. The next day, he came to the hospital where I worked and left a dozen roses and a gift card at my vehicle. He searched the parking lot until he found my car! The texts were incessant. He began to infiltrate every aspect of my life. He invited me out of town overnight. I tried to spurn every advance, but of course I couldn’t be rude or come right out and say, “Go away.”
One day, he told me that he had decided to dump the woman he had been seeing so he could pursue me. Whoa! Wait a minute! You are telling me—the woman whose marriage ended because of adultery—that you have been pursuing me WHILE DATING SOMEONE ELSE?!?! You just lumped yourself in the category of CHEATER, and I have NO NEED for you!
As if that wasn’t bad enough, he began to hang out around my house. One night, the kids and I were so freaked out that we left to stay with my parents—and called my brother-in-law (a sheriff’s deputy) to patrol by my house that night. Finally, I had had enough. I reluctantly, fearfully, with trembling hands, sent him a text and asked him to go away. Why did it take me so long? Why was I so upset about telling this stalker to go away? Because I am too stinkin’ nice!
As if one stalker wasn’t enough, I managed to get entangled with yet another. I was working as the charge nurse on the stroke floor of our hospital. Because we were short-staffed, we frequently had agency nurses filling holes in our schedule. One day, a male nurse was sent to our floor. I happened to walk in the med room during his personal phone conversation.
When he hung up, he exclaimed, “How do you like that? I pay for her to get her degree, and she runs off with a doctor!”
Yep, you guessed it. My tough exterior melted, and I began to minister to this poor soul who was experiencing the same pain I had walked through. I began to offer words of hope and encouragement, and I began to tell my story and how God can get him through it. The next thing I knew, he seemed to be working the floor every time I was scheduled to work. When I put in my two weeks’ notice, he was there my final day. As we walked out to our cars at the end of a grueling 12-hour shift, he asked for my number. And I was too stinki’n nice to say no!
The text messages and phone calls began. One day, I was watching a movie with my kids and I had left my phone in the other room. After the movie, I retrieved my phone to find repeated messages from him. The final message said, “Well, it’s obvious you aren’t ready to be in any type of relationship.”
Now, this message really left me scratching my head. Somehow, I was not even aware I was in a relationship. He had my phone number, but we had never even seen each other outside of work. And, to my knowledge, he was still married! I later discovered that he had told the entire hospital that he was dating me!
I began to find myself looking around every corner, praying I wouldn’t meet him at the hospital. It was a game of duck and hide, see him and run the other direction. However, I never stepped up and simply said, “Go away!” After a few angry outbursts from him and my failure to respond, he eventually went away. But I never stepped up and told him to go away.
There are other hair-raising stories. There was the man who couldn’t send a text without a sexual innuendo. I finally got the courage to tell him that I didn’t find his attempts at humor the least bit funny. I am not an object to gratify his lusts, and I had no interest in someone like him.
There was the man that I went out with once only to have him interpret it as we were officially “dating.” He got mad when I was always busy. (Really? I am a single mom of three kids. I had two jobs at the time. Yes, I am always busy!)
Then there are the mamas…
If you are single, you probably know the mamas. “I need to introduce you to my son. I know he’s been married five times and has kids with two other women he’s never been married to, but they were all losers. You would be perfect for him!”
No thanks. But, before you know it, Johnny Boy has your phone number and is calling you.
And, I’m too stinkin’ nice to tell them I’m not interested.
I guess I’m just not cut out for the single life. My standards are so high that I find myself running from most men. There’s not an ounce of interest in them. Unless you have an unparalleled passion for the Savior, a burning desire to be a light to a dark world, an addiction to the things of God, don’t even bother trying to pursue me. I will be repulsed, uninterested. But, I probably won’t tell you to go away because I am too stinkin’ nice!
I am so thankful that God has honored my request that He not allow any man to come into my life unless it is the one He has for me forever and always. Yes, men—like the ones above— have come along, but I usually manage to avoid them until they go away. My stance on dating is that I’m not interested—until I know without a doubt that God has ordained this relationship to last until death do we part.