Are singles losers?     Three things to remember

Are singles losers? Is there something intrinsically wrong with those of us who are not married?

Many people think so. In an age of body-shaming and just about every other kind of shaming you can think of, singles catch a lot of ridicule, especially after we pass a certain age.

Ironically, our culture's upside-down standards demand that everybody be allowed to do their own thing, whatever that is, but being unmarried in your 30s, 40s, and older causes many people to assume there's something "wrong" with us.

Are singles losers? What is 'normal?'

This judgmentalism didn't start recently. In most societies, the "ideal" situation is considered marriage, with a family. That goes back thousands of years. We even see it in the Bible.

While there are no mentions of a Bible character fretting because they are still unmarried, we do see several cases of wives in despair because they are childless. In ancient Jewish culture, a large family was considered a blessing from God. No children was considered a curse, something to be ashamed of.

Modern Christians, especially Evangelicals, still think the same way. Do you listen to Christian radio? The family is idolized. There are at least a half dozen nationally syndicated radio shows singing the praises of family life.

Christian radio programs just for singles? Not one.

Local churches don't seem to know what to do with us either. Many pastors still follow the old Jewish notion that a family is normal and singleness is not. Except in the Catholic Church, pastors are married, but I can tell you as a former Catholic that priests are relatively clueless about the secular single life. When I was a child, you weren't considered a "good" Catholic unless you were married and had a large family.

I condemn the hypocrisy that implies it's fine to be male and single in your 40s but pathetic to be female and single at that age. There has always been a shameful double standard for men and women in this country.

Comedian Elaine Boosler once joked that "I told people I was divorced instead of never married, so they wouldn't think there was something wrong with me."

When someone asks "Are singles losers?", here are three things you need to remember.

1. Shaming reflects on the hater

So what makes a loser in today's world? Here are some folks who are declared "losers" in our society:

  • People who wear the wrong brand of shoes.
  • People who are too heavy, too tall, or too short.
  • People who have acne.
  • People who drive a rusty car.
  • People who don't belong to the "right" clubs.
  • People who don't have awards, degrees, or honors.
  • People who aren't beautiful or handsome.
  • People who don't go to the "right" college or don't go to college.
  • People whose jokes aren't funny.
  • People who don't live in the "right" neighborhood.
  • People who aren't rich or live in a mansion.
  • People who have never married.

And winners? What constitutes a "winner" nowadays?

  • People who lie and cheat.
  • People who are rich but have no morals.
  • People who have talent but are irresponsible.
  • People who have foul mouths.
  • People who intimidate others to get to the top.

When you see it in print, it drives home how pathetic society's values are. We worship all the wrong things and criticize all the wrong things. Are singles losers? What's behind all this tormenting?

There's an old saying in India: "Some men try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others." It means that insecure people make themselves feel superior by belittling others. We see it on the Internet; we see it in the workplace. It's as old as time, and it will never change.

Mature people are confident and kind. They don't need to run down others. The people you admire most are not petty. They understand that singleness doesn't matter; it's character that counts.

2. Feelings are not facts

Here's a confession: I have often felt like a loser myself because I'm single. How about you?

The truth, however, is that feelings are not facts. They never have been and never will be. Just because you feel a certain way about yourself doesn't make it true.

We singles need to be wise enough not to let others dictate their standards for us. If we do, we'll be forever struggling to conform to unrealistic demands. When someone asks "Are singles Losers?" in social media, movies, television, or even our group of friends, we cannot allow ourselves to be bullied because we're different.

Everybody wants to fit in. It's human nature to want to be liked. We learn in grade school, however, that everyone is not going to like us, no matter what we do or how hard we try to please them. It's time to shed the false guilt and realize there is nothing wrong with us.

Singleness is nothing to be ashamed of. We need to quit acting as if it is.

3. Look to the right place for approval

Thanks to the Internet, we're living in a time when people act like piranhas. They take a sick delight in attacking whatever they can about a person, and singleness is one of those distinctions.

If you get your self-esteem from the opinions of people, you're setting yourself up for hurt. Listen to what Robert S. McGee says in his landmark book, The Search for Significance:

"We don't have to have success or anyone else's approval. Of course, it would be nice to have success and approval, but the point is clear: Christ is the source of our security; Christ is the basis of our worth; Christ is the only One who promises and never fails."

Fellow single, we all worship some god. If you're not a Christian, you worship yourself or the approval of others. How's that working out? Self is a weak god, capable of making lots of mistakes. Sooner or later the self-worshipper finds out they're not as invincible as they thought. Those who depend on the validation of others for their happiness discover they're no better  than a marionette, with someone else pulling their strings.

Are singles losers? As Robert McGee says, Jesus Christ is the only true basis of our worth. Jesus is not a hater. His love is unconditional, not based on how you look, how you perform, or what you own.

Until you put your trust in Him, you will always have doubts about your worth. Believe in Him as your Savior and you have acceptance that lasts through eternity. Make it real in your life. Know that his opinion is the only one that counts. There simply is no other way.


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