Being in an awkward situation isn’t fun. It happens to us so often that we have even made awkwardness into a cultural phenomenon. You know what I’m talking about:
That awkward moment when someone says “Hello!” and you say “Good thanks!”
That awkward moment when you say “Goodbye!” to someone but you both walk off in the same direction.
That awkward moment when you step out of the shower and then realize there is no towel.
That awkward moment when someone is doing the dishes and you slowly put another dish in the sink.
That awkward moment when unexpected visitors arrive at 11am and you’re still in your PJ’s.
That awkward moment when you’re singing Happy Birthday but you don’t know the name of the person so you just mumble the name part. (this happened to me recently, by the way!)
We all experience weird awkwardness…but I’m here to talk about the awkward moments that seem to happen at church. Being single, attending a church, and awkwardness seem to be woven together for some reason. Why is this?
I can remember an awkward moment at my church when they would give carnations to all the mother’s for Mother’s Day. So in celebration of all the mothers they decided that it would be a ‘nice’ gesture to give carnations to all the young, single girls in the church because we would be mothers one day. (I’m sure they meant well by it…but it made me feel so awkward!)
Another favorite awkward moment for me is when older ladies at church wedding showers/weddings come up to me and let me know that I ‘will be next’. That being said…is it appropriate for me to tell them this at funerals? I didn’t think so.
One more favorite awkward moment of mine at church is when you get asked the dreaded question: “When are you going to meet that special man God has for you and settle down?” How do I respond to that?! What goes through my mind to respond is: “How the CRAP am I supposed to know? You people keep telling me that he will show up when I stop thinking and looking! So, why don’t you tell me!” Of course, I don’t ever respond that way. Reason #1. I don’t think I’m allowed to say ‘crap’ in church. Reason #2. I don’t want to make anyone mad at me because one day I would like for those same ladies to throw me a bridal shower! LOL
Although I desire to be married one day…I don’t think that I need a wedding ring on my finger to validate my existence, and to be honest, it hurts that others do. Now, I understand that they mean well and want me to experience the love, joy, excitement, and blessings that come with marriage. But please stop with the awkwardness. It’s not very fun. I enjoy reading Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like Blog and wanted to share with you all a excerpt from a post he had on it a while back about awkwardness. He talks about “Awkward ‘You’re Single?’ conversations at church” and gives 4 ways to respond:
4 ways to respond when people at church ask, “You’re single?”
1. “Yes, but I can’t babysit for you on Valentine’s Day.”
We married people will trick you into this. If we talk to you the week before Valentine’s Day out of the blue and say, “You’re single?,” please expect a babysitting question. And feel free to shot block it.
2. “Yes, but I don’t feel led to volunteer for 97 ministries.”
As a married dad, I forget that when I was single, I was pretty busy then too. Since I forget that, there’s a chance I’m going to wrongfully believe that being single means you have time to volunteer for every ministry or service opportunity the church offers.
3. “Yes, but if you’re going to yell ‘She’s single’ to someone else you know who is single right now in the lobby of the church, give me at least a running head start.”
I admit, that one’s long, but it might be useful. Often your married friends want to set you up on a date. And not eventually, right this second. If the person asks if “You’re single?” and then immediately starts scanning the crowd to find someone else who is too, moonwalk out of there.
4. “Yes, but I don’t feel like you and I should discuss my willingness to receive Paul’s ‘Gift of loneliness.’”
You might need to drop a smokebomb to escape after you say this one, but even though it’s difficult to get high grade smokebombs these days, it’s worth it. Discussing Paul’s celibacy with a married friend in the lobby of church is one of the weirdest conversations ever. - Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like
Hopefully, you will never, ever need to use one of those four ways to get out of an awkward “You’re single?” situation. But chances are, if you’re single at church, you already had something like this happen. (Minus the smokebomb of course.)
Have you ever had a weird “you’re single?” experience at church?