‘You’re single?! What’s wrong with you?’ this phrase seems to echo in society to people who are single. The thought of being single in today’s world is unheard of, especially when one reaches a certain age that unless they are a consecrated person, they are ‘expected’ by society to be in a relationship. Being single conjures up ideas of loneliness, rejection and unhappiness in people’s minds. Therefore the only solution is to be in a relationship, whether it’s a fleeting one where there is no commitment or one which is more stable.
Yet in reality, single people have much to offer and are very valuable to society. In reality, they are not bound by certain commitments and can give more freely of their time to build up community and the world. Many volunteers in third world countries are single people and they carry out loads of work to help their fellow humankind.
Being single affords more time to invest in friendships. Looking at Aristotle’s three kinds of friendships, some relationships are based more on utility or pleasure. But real and true friendships are those who bring out the best in the other and help one to grow more as a person.
It is important that a person takes time to know who they are as themselves. Only in knowing one’s self will one be able to share themselves with others. Knowing your capabilities, limitations, talents, etc., will help one to live a full life and be open to know others better.
It is recommended to spend time in prayer and in quiet in this busy world. These are like the glue to enhance who we are and what we do. Quiet time can be deafening at first but the more one stays in it, the more ‘quieter’ it will become leaving a sense of peace.
Changing the status on Facebook from Single to ‘in a relationship’ should not make someone feel more accepted, or part of the ‘in group’. Single people should not be conditioned to feel that they need another person to fulfil them.
On the other hand, everyone has a mission to fulfil whether as a single, married or consecrated. In fulfilling our vocation, will we be happy, so one needs to ask God for guidance and to see where their vocation lies.
If it’s to the Consecrated life as a Priest, Sister or Religious, even if you’re unsure, there are people who you can talk to about it. The Vocation Director for the Diocese of Parramatta is Fr. Warren Edwards, and he can be contacted on 8883 4063. Feel free to give him a call.
If it’s Marriage, that you feel might be called to, contact us, the Family and Life Office on 8838 3440 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Catholic Care or your local parish with any enquiries that you might have. Your local parish and community will appreciate your support as a single person in its many areas of outreach.