In this piece, I tried to capture the lose-lose situations that seem to permeate the waiting period known as singleness. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe everyone should have their heart broken at some point. It changes your perspective, and the tension between sinking and swimming will develop character. Additionally, alone time forces you to figure out your own identity apart from anyone else and gives you numerous chances to better yourself financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Despite these undeniable perks of uncommitted freedom, there is much frustration to overcome during a period of singleness, and it is out of such grievances that this poem stems. Trying to find someone who has a lovely personality, is somewhat pleasing to your own eyes, holds your same spiritual absolutes, has a tolerable family, can tolerate your own family, lives within a reasonable proximity, shares certain attributes with you, and actually shows interest in you is a tall order indeed. So then, for the one who is always the third or fifth or seventeenth wheel, or whose scrolling on social media is spoiled by constant engagement photos, or who finally tells a crush how they feel just to be turned away, this poem goes out to you.
A GAME TO WED, A GAME TO DREAD, A GAME THAT WON’T BE PUT TO BED
Let’s play a game.
A game of paradoxes and catch 22’s.
Fear not, for there will be chances to laugh and cry, to mourn and rejoice, like all good games.
There might even be romance, and there will certainly be mystery.
This game has even been known to continue on well-after its players have subsided.
It begins when we first meet.
We’ll keep the conversation simple to get acquainted with each other’s disguises.
There are rules, many rules:
Don’t be too superficial, or she’ll think you’re a player, or even disinterested.
Don’t be too forthcoming, or she’ll think you’re too serious, too easily attached.
Don’t mention God, it’ll make you sound uptight.
Remember your faith, it’s an important part of you.
Don’t be too hopeful, you’ll just get hurt.
Don’t be too despairing, give yourself a little credit.
Don’t respond too quickly, you look desperate.
Don’t forget to text her back, you just left her hanging??
The list goes on… and on.
If by some miracle we navigate this labyrinth of unspoken formalities to something that resembles a friendship, we have only departed the frying pan for the fire.
The cards are reshuffled at this stage, yet we basically take turns rolling the dice to see if either of us is bold or interested enough to pass GO.
Again, there are rules:
Don’t get stuck in the infamous “friend-zone.”
On the other hand, don’t ask her out, it’s way too soon.
Also, don’t wait too long, or she’ll move on.
Buttttt, don’t ruin your friendship, wait to see if she’s interested.
Furthermore, get over your fears and go for it! What do you have to lose?
The moment we play all our once mysterious cards, there’s no turning back.
No restarts, no moving back 2 spaces.
If she decides to be my next adventure, the game transforms through meeting relatives, going on dates, maybe even getting engaged, then onto marriage, family, and life together, all with their own rules and twists and turns.
A happily ever after if we don’t play our cards too poorly.
Yet if she says no…
At this point the game’s element of suspense is mostly exhausted.
If she says yes only to say no at a further juncture, the results remain true, just intensified.
We place our game pieces back at the start and leave the table.
The pieces of our hearts, of my heart, are not so easily re-oriented.
Some shards are forever lost, others hastily glued in a disastrous pattern, a brilliant tribute to the chronology of fragmentation.
Oh, but the game must go on.
We try to stay friends, but we are hindered by now-explicit purposes from becoming close friends, thus the conversation withers and fades away.
I’m kept awake by pondering what could have been.
Still rules, always rules.
Get your thoughts down, think out loud.
You’re still writing about her? You gotta move on.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations, let’s be honest here…
Don’t settle for less, you deserve the world.
Holidays come and go, Hallmark and otherwise, and I’m left to lonesome reflection.
As I finish the box of chocolates I purchased solely for my own enjoyment, and fail for the thousandth time to convince myself that we never would have worked out anyway;
I realize that I’m still stuck in this game.
And I’m very weary of playing.
Is there no way out of this endless maze of emotions and attractions?
To be patient without solitude?
To be sincere without fragility?
To be visionary without delusion?
To be courageous without imprudence?
To be fascinated without idolatry?
To be genuine without reciprocation?
To love without all the answers?
For my next game, I think I’ll use guidelines instead.
Here are some final and Biblical notes concerning marriage; a spouse is a treasure and marriage really helps the human mind grasp the sacrificial and selfless relationship between Christ and His church.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.”
However, there is also a danger in marriage, as it can do more to distract one from their relationship with the Lord instead of reaffirming it.
2 Corinthians 6:14
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
“It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.”
1 Corinthians 7:8-9
“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
In light of these passages, I’m thankful to be far removed from the “quarrelsome” woman of my own past, and I’ll try my best to trust in God’s timing day in and day out about a future spouse. If you’re living the single life, know that the Lord has you there for a reason, or even many reasons. I know in my own life that a large part of my singleness has been self-inflicted, gradually building up spiritual walls against the many snares the enemy brings to romance, as well as holding myself to wait for someone who will be an “equal yoke” for me (seemingly a very limited group). If you’re unsure about the ‘when’ or ‘why’ or ‘how’ of this season in your life, pray and ask God about it, seriously. I firmly believe He desires to talk with you about it and much else!
Anyways, as always, thanks for indulging me. Lord bless you!