So, I’ve been away for awhile…thanks to all of you who took the time to encourage me to come back. We all need encouragement!
Well, then–what have I been thinking about all this time? Connectedness.
A friend and I were talking a few weeks ago about being single women (sorry, guys–this does apply to you, too, in a slightly different way! Keep reading!) and I got to thinking about how we relate to those around us. On seeing two men meet for the first time, often the first question that is asked is “What do you do for a living?” For two women meeting for the first time, the most common first question by far is “Are you married?” or variants of the same (“Where’s your husband?” or “which of these is your man?” etc).
Now, this is not a hard question to answer. “Oh, I’m not married.” But this now puts the other women in a tough place. She relates to other women, and has likely been related to for much of her life, through marriage and possibly kids but if she is talking to a single women she may feel out of her depth. What usually happens, sisters, AFTER you say that you aren’t married? “Oh, that’s too bad. Don’t worry, It’ll happen one day” and then they’re off to find someone that they can comfortably relate to. And we are left on the sidelines…again…
Because of this we tend to feel unconnected. Now this is mostly not OUR fault but really that of society and the church for laying such an emphasis on family that they have almost excluded those who are unmarried in their midst. But note that I said MOSTLY not our fault…
We need to take on the responsibiliy of ENGAGING people. When that new acquaintance asks the inevitable “Are you married?” question we need to speak truthfully (“No, I am not married.”) but don’t stop there. They are trying to relate to you, to connect to you, so help them out. They don’t know what else they can talk to you about so show them.
“No, I’m not married. BUT there is something that I’m quite passionate about and that is…(insert interest here).” It can be anything that you are interested in–working with the youth, cooking, golf, reading classic novels, painting, hanging out with your adorable nephews, running, jumping up and down while your hair is on fire…whatever. Just give them SOMETHING with which to connect with you. ENGAGE their interest. The ball is in your court–go in for the point! They have unwittingly opened the door for you to connect to them through something other than marriage or children. Take control of the moment. You could even ask them about their family and kids (something that is likely near and dear to their heart!). If you engage them it is more likely that they will feel comfortable talking with you again as they have something to ask you about. “How are your nephews?” “How is youth going?” “I’ll bet the rain has put a damper on your golf game!”
We as singles need to help people out and show them how to relate to us. Then we will develop meaningful connections (which is essential for singles) and will perhaps teach others how to relate to the next single person they meet.
Reach out and get connected! Don’t leave it to others to involve you! Just dive in!