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faq: are you still single because you are being too picky?

March 23, 2010

I know I am not the only single woman who gets asked this question, especially if the single woman being questioned is closer to thirty than to twenty-five.  It is a valid question for the perpetual single who finds herself all alone after another series of dates with perfectly eligible men.  It deserves a serious open-minded deliberation but it typically receives a hasty answer insisting that term may apply to some but not the answerer.

In the past, I would give the question and my answer serious thought.  I could see how I had been too picky in my younger years.  I had grown wiser and more realistic as time went on, but there were a few specific things on my list that I couldn’t give up.  Why should I give them up? I would say to myself.  Didn’t God promise to give me the desires of my heart?  Well everything on my list is what I desire in a husband so how can that be considered picky? It’s not like I was hoping to meet a perfect man.  I was rational enough to realize 1) the only perfect man to ever exist was Christ, and 2) dating or marrying a perfect man would be rather annoying.  I was confident that out in the world somewhere was an imperfect man who embodied everything on my list making him the perfect man for me.

Well, I decided to give up my list for Lent, along with a few other things.  I was tired of going on a date and feeling like I was in an interview (not only was I interviewing, I was being interviewed too).  Besides, I wanted to prove to myself and others that I wasn’t hiding behind my list of preferences and that having said list didn’t constitute being picky.

Reader, I was wrong.  I hadn’t realized that I had become so attached to my list.  Giving it up was much harder than I expected.  Not only was I letting go of qualities and talents hoped for, I also had to surrender my dreams for the future that had been a comfort during my loneliest moments.

It has been difficult separating myself from the list, but it’s also been quite freeing.  I am finally able to deliberate the aforementioned question with honesty, and I have come to the conclusion that I was being too picky.  Of course, that is not to say I will no longer have any standards whatsoever.  As a Catholic woman, it is important to be in a relationship that is equally yoked, therefore the basic requirements of being a practicing Catholic (and a few others that go along with that) remain.  My list of options, however, has been relinquished.

So to answer the question: I am learning to not be as picky as I have been in the past.  I’m sure some people may see this as settling, but I don’t.  God knows best, which means His choice will be the best choice.   Settling would be choosing my list over God’s will.   Thank goodness I’m over that… sort of… I suppose I should say Thank goodness I’m getting over that!

Note: I’m in no way saying all single women are too picky – I’m just saying that I was.

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