To the Girl Who’s Never Been On a Date

The subject line of an email I received in my inbox last winter read:

Screaming, Crying, and Pulling My Hair Out – Literally!

It was January 1st, and before I even opened it my heart already started throbbing for the young, single girl on the other side of the screen. I knew exactly what she was feeling, and I wasn’t at all surprised by what I read.

She described New Years Eve — that dreadful day for a single woman — which outweighs all the hopeful possibilities a new year could bring. The scene she painted was nothing new.

Everyone was coupled up at the party…except her.

Midnight came, kisses of celebration were shared, and, as she wrote, “I stood alone.”

I held it together at the party, but the moment I got home, my empty apartment, I broke down, and cried uncontrollably. I laid on the rug of my living room, in the dress that I wore.
I wrestled with God. I yelled at Him. I was angry at Him.
I told Him that I felt like He was withholding something good from me, and I didn’t understand why. Why me?
Then it came.
I think one of the major things that I struggle with the most is that I have never had a date in my whole life. 
After 24 years of being dateless, you start to, and you can’t stop, wonder if something is wrong with you. Satan uses these thoughts to question my standards. Well, maybe if I put myself out there more, or if I ask them out. I want to scream at the top of my lungs how alone I feel, and get some attention. Any attention.
TO THE GIRL WHO'S NEVER BEEN ON A DATE

What is wrong with me?

This was the question, lodged deep inside, that was tearing her apart.

We live in a culture where singleness is no longer revered as a state of integrity, a place of honor to wait in purity and wisdom for God’s best.
Instead, even if you’re not married, young people are encouraged to find a boyfriend, date, and even hook up.
You’re encouraged to not be alone because being alone equals not being chosen.
And if you’re not chosen, then by the world’s standards, something must be wrong with you. But I want to open your eyes to another possibility.

What about grace?

Having a lot of dates, getting attention from guys, dating someone steadily, or even being kissed seems very glamorous…romantic comedy-like. In our culture, it is almost a rite of passage, and until you cross over these, thresholds you’re not a real teenager or a real adult.

But what if, in God’s grace, He is protecting you?

Any time I talk or write about singleness I am always hesitant with the words to use. The last thing I want to do is give a canned church answer. When I was a single woman myself, those answers used to irritate me, even if they were sometimes truthful.

However, this is not a canned church answer from the girl who eventually got married and lived happily ever after.

This is an answer from the girl who did finally get married but envies those women who aren’t yet.

Before I met my husband I dated a few people who I shouldn’t have dated. Most of the time I even knew I shouldn’t be dating them. However, like most young girls, the attention was nice. I liked fulfilling my rites of passage. It felt good in the moment.

Except that now there are scars.

I envy the girls who didn’t have boyfriends before they got married.

I envy the ones who were completely whole-hearted on their wedding day without the memory of disappointments and break-ups and tears. I often ask myself, “Why not me, God? Why didn’t you protect me?”

And God did protect me from a lot, there is no doubt about it, but I wish He had protected me from all of it. Of course, He uses all things for good, and I am sharing my life with you now because of those experiences.

I still envy one less tear, though.

A  Hedge of Protection

Single friend, every experience you have before marriage, even the pure ones, you will take into your relationship with your husband. This does not mean that you do not step forward when God leads, that you move about in fear, or botch down any opportunity. There is some risk in every relationship, and you have to take the risk to feel the joy.

But in this time of waiting –– this time of no dates, no texts, no boyfriends, no kisses — don’t forget about the grace.

His grace that is a hedge of protection over you. Trust, hope, and praise God, thanking Him for His grace.

That right there proves that you are already chosen.

What kinds of struggles have you gone through as a single woman? What wisdom do you have to share with those currently dealing with such struggles?

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3 thoughts on “To the Girl Who’s Never Been On a Date”

  1. Pingback: To the Girl Who's Never Been on a Date

  2. Brenda, I wrote on this very topic a year and a half ago (similar title, too!) and took a different tact. Quoting my post: “Dating in its purest form is sweet and tender. You’re opening yourself up to the possibility of love. It should be fun and exciting. Even bad dates turn out to be great stories. People do make mistakes in relationships but hopefully they learn and grow from them as well. So, no, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to date. We can talk about expectations, how we shouldn’t view members of the opposite sex as our saviors, how no one can fulfill us other than God…But when I read your question, I got the impression that you’ve heard that before and that your relationship with Christ is your priority but you wouldn’t mind going on a date with the boy you like.”

    For anyone who’s interested in the whole post: http://www.leighkramer.com/blog/2012/02/to-the-girl-who-has-never-dated.html

  3. Brenda, that’s for those words of wisdom. Definitely something I need to be reminded of. I’ve been in that place of wishing I was on the other side of the fence. The grass always looks greener in someone else’s yard. Truth is, I still struggle with that from time to time.

    As a never-married single, trying to live a chaste life for God’s glory, it’s really, really hard to sit back and watch friends get married, have babies, and then grandchildren. I am one of those women who has had only a few dates. I can identify with that girl from the email. It’s hard not to buy into those lies that you hear from the world and from Satan. However, the Lord has been teaching me during the past year that those really are lies. As you said, the lack of dates and relationships truly have been a hedge of protection around my heart. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s so easy to give my heart over to a man. When it doesn’t work out, the pain is unbearable. God’s been sparing me from the pain and for a greater purpose.

    God’s also been teaching me through married friends that the grass is not always greener over there. It’s a reminder to not fritter away these days of singleness. It’s not easy to treasure days you don’t particularly want to be alone and would rather have some attention from a man. Yet, God’s proving to me that He’s willing to step in and fill those lonely times if I will ask.

    Hang in there single friends. It’s tough, but a lot of married women look at our lives and wish they had what we have. If you don’t believe it, start asking some married women. Finally, be thankful to God that you don’t have a whole lot of baggage to carry from relationship to relationship. [I’m preaching to myself here, too.]

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