As a mid-twenties Single person (103 days until my wedding!), I have always been baffled by strange and insensitive comments Singles receive, especially within the Church. Often times, the Single life is described as an easy life where one gets to run around with friends, drink champagne, live un-virtuously, and roll around in piles of money, since, ya know, the no kids thing.
|*Photo not mine|
This outlook completely ignores the loneliness and confusion that the Single life has. It is not easy to discern that marriage is the state God intends for you, but that he has not introduced your spouse to you yet. There is no "12 steps program" to finding a spouse. God's time is God's timing. This can be very lonely, confusing, and distressing.
Then the "single life is more selfish" comments. Oh, please! As if God doesn't give us all the opportunities to die to self. This may not be in the same way as married couples are called to die to self, but he calls us all on the path to holiness, and suffering is always a part. I despise the ranking of who gets called to die to self more; it is totally inane.
Lastly, I don't know many Catholic singles who are carousing with tons of free time and oodles of money. Have you met the economy? Since I graduated college in 2009, I've worked at an amusement park, one unpaid internship, one internship that paid the same amount as my 17-year-old sister's hostessing job, half a year working six days a week and barely surviving, working at a parish, and finally in 2012, a job that pays a living wage.
I would love to see Catholics address the Single life in an encouraging, prayerful, and thoughtful way. Over at Ignitum Today, Elynne published an excellent article that expands on the "Three Myths About Single Life in the Church and Some Reflections for Dispelling Them." I would encourage everyone, single, married, or priest/religious, to check it out! Let's get a conversation going!