Single and (trying to be) Unashamed

Hello, I’m Leah G. Alfonso. I write so that I may speak.

At first, I didn’t want to write this. For one, I didn’t think I had anything to say that no one else has already. And for another, romance is a touchy subject for me. I see/hear a lot of people saying how much marriage rates have dropped in the last few decades, and I think “Clearly, you haven’t met anyone from my college, because half of the students are either engaged or married less than three months after graduating.” I even have an uncle who, the last time I saw him, checked my ring finger to see if I was engaged, and then asked me why I’m still single. Most, if not all, of the reasons behind my singleness are personal, and I at least wanted to wait another year or so before answering that question.

However, a few things happened over the last few weeks, convincing me that this is the time for me to write about it. These things varied from small comments that annoyed me to whole blog posts dedicated to advertising marriage to young people that make me feel sick even as I’m sitting here thinking about them. It got to a point where I finally realized that this is something that needs to be written.

With that said, here are my reasons for being 23 and single.

1: My experience with romance is virtually nonexistent.

I’m not a social butterfly (and if you tell me all I need to do is be one, I will elect to ignore you), therefore my experience with romance hasn’t gotten past getting into the friend zone. I’ve never used online dating sites, and since they’ve never appealed to me, I don’t see any reason why I should.

2: I want to become the kind of spouse that I want to have before I commit.

In my last year of high school, I took a class on relationships (no, really, it was called “Relationships and Family”). Early in the semester, the teacher gave us a homework assignment that asked us about what kind of person we wanted to be with. Here’s the catch: that was only the first part of the assignment. The second part challenged us with the thought “Am I willing to be what I’m looking for?”

After that, when I thought about the kind of person I want to be with, I realized that I myself don’t always meet the qualities I want in my significant other. I’m looking for someone who exudes attraction from the inside out; in other words, what makes him attractive comes from his heart, not from his looks. At the same time, that’s how I want him to see me, to be more attracted to the kind of person I am rather than to what I look like or how much money I have. I want him to be kind and compassionate, but I also want him to be a man of conviction. At the same time, I want to be a kind woman of conviction. I want him to care about me, but I also want him to care more about God than he does about me. At the same time, I want to care about him more than me, but I want and need to put God over everything else.

The last quality I mentioned brings me to my third and final reason:

3: I want God, not marriage, to be my number one priority

Just because I don’t dream of being married now, that doesn’t mean I never did. As a matter of fact, it was something that I obsessed over as a little girl and a young teenager. But the older I got, the more desperate I was, and it led me to making some stupid—not permanent, but still stupid—decisions that I still regret to this day. Once I got through college and started figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be, I finally noticed a pattern in the guys I crushed on and decided to pursue: Most of the time, I couldn’t answer if I liked them or if I was in love with being in love. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how wrong it was to put my relationship with romance over my relationship with God. And if I want to thrive as a Christian and as a person, then I need to put my relationship with God over everything else.

Those are my reasons for being single. Does this mean I’m against marriage altogether? Absolutely not. I know a lot of people who’ve been happily married for years, and that’s a sign of hope as well as reason to celebrate. If I do find someone I love unconditionally who feels the same way about me, and then marry him and have a future with him, I’d be thrilled. However, there’s also a chance that this isn’t what God might have in mind for me. And if that’s the case, I want to be okay with it. So at this point, I’m open to love; I’m just not looking for it, because there’s something else that I need to pursue and fight for first.

Until next time, this is Leah G. Alfonso saying “So long.”

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