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Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Singles Survey: Part 2

Photo by: Feelart

If you haven’t yet seen the first part of the Singles Survey results, please check out my last post, here.  

Q  What is awkward for you as a single lady?
A  Being the odd one out, the only one not married
A  People thinking/telling me they think it’s my fault I’m not married
A  People who try to match me up with single men. (Note from editor: several of the women said they felt insulted when the men people had in mind—or actually matched them up with—were out of church and not serving the Lord.)
A  The perception that I’m a second-class adult because I’m not married
A  Entertaining
A  Not knowing how to act around men, both single and married
A  Being physically separated (put in a different group, especially in a church setting) from married people and families
A  Questions like, “Why haven’t you gotten married?” and statements like, “You should go get a husband,” “It’s your fault you are single.” Those hurt.
A  Being defined and pointed out as single
A  When it’s time to pay at a restaurant, and I find myself in line with a group of husbands

One lady missionary put it this way:
"What makes me feel awkward: 
  • I would rather there not be a separation of missionary wives and single ladies. Why can't we all be 'missionary women' or 'missionary ladies'?
  • When on furlough, I would rather stay in the hotel with all the other missionary families, rather than be put in a room at the church or with a family “so that I won't feel alone or scared.”
  • It makes me feel awkward when the missionary wives don't travel with their husbands and there I am, going out to eat after church with all the men and the pastor and his wife.
  • It makes me feel awkward for my “singleness” to be mentioned over and over again as if it defines me.
  • It makes me feel awkward to always be seated at the kids’ table or the widows’ table at church functions.
  • It makes me feel awkward when missionary wives aren't involved in their husbands’ ministries, relying on me to do all the work. I realize many are mothers, but my mother was a Sunday school teacher. She taught a weekly kids Bible club. She worked in the nursery, etc. And my mother was just a regular, faithful member of the church. Is that too much to ask for missionary wives to do the same?
  • It makes me feel awkward to attend pastors/leaders meetings with few women in attendance."

Q  What makes you feel loved and accepted?
A  A hug
A  A genuine smile
A  Sincere thanks
A  Feeling valued and trusted
A  Having a close girlfriend
A  Being included in families/groups of adults
A  Not being singled out and labeled as “single”
A  When others treat me as an equal
A  When other people help me out with my car, computer, etc.
A  Genuine friendships
A  Knowing other singles (both men and women) who are living for God. They encourage me.

"I have found a group of (married) women that even though I don’t have any children, they still include me and don’t exclude me when talking about their children. That is a huge help in feeling accepted. "
"Things that makes us feel comfortable: When you treat us for who we are. Women. Not strange birds because we don’t have kids or a husband. It’s society both in Christian circles and in secular circles, which has made singles to be outcasts. It’s surprising how many singles are out there, but they seem to be cast out because they don’t conform to the patterns of “church couples” or even society. Do not “single” us out or match us with someone. Don’t act like we have a disease or we are sinning, and that is why we don’t have husband."
"One of the greatest blessings for me is working with a couple and team who value single people and don’t treat us as different than married people when it comes to our capacity for service. . . . I have some great married friends who don’t treat me as though I’m in another category because I’m single. My small group at church is mostly married couples but I feel very at ease with them. It’s because we all treat each other as humans, brothers and sisters in Christ, rather than marrieds or singles."

"I feel appreciated and comfortable when people recognize that singleness is a legitimate and God ordained position in life, that it’s actually a good thing if it’s what God wants for you. I feel I can relax more when the people around me acknowledge that. It’s also nice to be able to be honest about desires to be married without people making an issue of it like you are desperate or something. The fact is we all have desires of different kinds that God may or may not grant. For some reason, if you admit you would like to be married and it doesn’t happen, everyone feels sorry for you. God’s good and He will give what’s best. I like when we remember that. "

"I do have many married friends that have been awesome at including me in their lives with no awkwardness—for this rare breed I am forever grateful. They open their hearts and homes, making everyone feel welcome, accepted and wanted."

"What makes me feel loved and accepted is when others take me as I am and treat me as an equal. I feel loved when others show me that they genuinely care about me by trying to understand me, by listening to me, by asking questions about my life and ministry and then by responding to needs that I may have. I also feel loved and accepted when others are interested in my opinion about things, as if they actually value my life experience."

We’re not finished yet! Check out my next post for some heart-warming (and challenging) quotes from our survey responders.   


  1. Es raro ver como todos tienen el mismo sentir con respecto a lo que les hace sentir bien y lo que les hacen sentir rechazo. Esto posiblemente les sirva a las que han participado en la encuesta para ver que todas se sienten igual y que a todas les hace sentirse bien también las mismas cosas. También pienso que estos post sobre este tema puede ayudar a los demás a saber como hacen sentir a las solteras con algunas de sus preguntas o conductas. Pienso que servirá de beneficio para todos.

    Bendiciones. ;)

    1. Tienes mucha razón. Pienso que será de mucho beneficio para todo el mundo. Eso espero. Gracias, Tere, por tus palabras de ánimo. Bendiciones.

  2. Srsly? Some churches have a "widow's table"?

    1. I guess so. I think we all need a re-think on how to make everyone feel included and loved.

    2. I was surprised at a "widow's table," too. What are people thinking?! What a way to make people feel ostracized.

  3. It's so good to get these things out. I think we so often wound single friends without realizing it.

    1. Yes, I think we can all learn from the things these ladies have shared. Thank you, Barbara.


Please share your thoughts.