How to Avoid Your Single-Life Crisis
[WARNING: If you’re single and in your late twenties or older, this post might be difficult for you to read, but if you know and love family and friends in the 16-25 age bracket, you might consider putting on some tough skin, reading it and, if you relate to what I’m trying to communicate, forwarding this post to them. Or you might prefer to read this post.]
I have just one word of warning for you (well, actually it’s five words):
Beware Your Single-Life Crisis
Yes. This is a thing.
A big thing.
It will occur sometime around ten years post graduation, so if you go to (or have attended) grad school it may hit you later in life. Regardless, after focusing on career pursuits for this many years almost every still-unmarried person will meet it. I’ve seen it over and over again.
It’s a different experience for everyone.
Some wake up and bemoan…
“My life doth sucketh (KJV)! I can’t believe I invested all that time and energy in getting the degree(s), then getting all those jobs, climbing the corporate ladder by kissing the corporate tush and this is all I got… I’ve got to get married!”
Others wake up and proclaim…
“It’s been a great life so far! I’ve accomplished a lot of my career goals and I am in a great place financially. I think I’m ready to complete the package, settle down and get married.”
Now, clearly the latter person seems like they’re in a far better place than the former person, but both individuals and everyone who falls somewhere between these two extremes all have one thing in common: they’ve spent the majority of their lives almost entirely focused on their career. And the hard reality is that in most cases (not all) this is another way of saying, “almost entirely focused on themselves.”
- Their passions
- Their dreams
- Their goals
- Their gifts
- Their strengths and weaknesses
Does that sound harsh?
Then allow me to jump to their defense, because they didn’t get there by themselves. This is how our culture has trained us. For many hitting their single-life crisis today, their own parents and mentors have encouraged them in almost every single decision that got them there. (“Don’t worry about settling down! You’ve got your whole life ahead of you! You’re too young for a serious relationship. You need to focus on your career for now.“)
No, I’m not blaming the parents. Again, it’s the culture. Just like a fish thinks little of the water in which it swims, so we think little of the career idolization embedded in the education system and entertainment world in which we are immersed.
Regardless of who you choose to blame, if you wake up at age 30-something with the sudden realization you want to be married – like now – you will be the one stuck in your single-life crisis.
Fortunately, the odds will be forever in your favor that you’ll find plenty of matches, because you won’t be the only one participating in these hunger games. Indeed, a little more than half of the adult population in the US is single today. Imagine how many available bachelor(ette)s and will be available by the time you’re interviewing dating prospects.
However, this is when I have to clarify that even if you manage to find someone with whom you’re matched up with in 29 different dimensions of compatibility it’s the 30th one that will kill you, because the one compatibility you’re sure to share is that you’re both selfish sinners.
And at age 30-something, you’ll both discover you’re also a bit more set in your ways than you were ten years earlier. Maybe a lot more. So the maturity you will have hopefully gained at this later age, will be offset to some extent by flexibility lost.
Look at it this way. Up to this point, you will have lived the majority of your adult life revolving around your career. Then even if you find the perfect computer-selected soulmate, you suddenly have the daunting task of changing the whole orbit of your universe from circling around the sun of your career to circling around the sun of your marriage. Or even more complicated, you’ll try to sustain a dual-sun solar system where your life revolves around both your career and your marriage.
If that doesn’t quite sound like the future you were hoping for there is good news! If you’re still in your teens or early 20s you truly have plenty of time to get married. You do!
But you won’t want to spend all of that time consumed with your career. You want to learn how to prepare for your future marriage intentionally and intelligently as well. And just like your career, this preparation is best started earlier rather than later.
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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!