The Singleness Post

So a while back I alluded to the fact that I was going to write something on singleness while I could still remember my single days enough to say something with sufficient empathy.

Here’s the post.

The best advice I received on singleness was from my incredibly wise, old, grandfather. Ever the pragmatist. He was deeply committed to my gran and they were married for a long, long time. His sage advice to me, a young upstart bemoaning my single state one afternoon in Inverell was:

“What are you worried about, I was 48 when I married your grandmother. You’ve got plenty of time.”

That is all.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

29 thoughts on “The Singleness Post”

  1. I was given very similar advice from a friend. She said to me: “you might think you’re waiting a long time, but whoever you marry will probably have been waiting just as long, if not longer”.

  2. Hmm… yes and no.

    At this age you sure don’t need to start “worrying” for a long time (not that we should ever worry). But we don’t have all the time in the world. Unless you want to be fifty and chasing after 2 year olds? (That is, if a 48-year-old woman successfully conceives at that age… not that it can’t be done!)

  3. Umm, given that the example I gave was my “grandfather” I’d suggest there’s some sort of proof of concept – as in he must have managed to reproduce and parent my father… and his sister.

  4. Yes, but I doubt he married someone 48, otherwise he wouldn’t be anyone’s grandfather. Not convinced there’s “plenty of time” on that one.

  5. Gran was 30.

    It’s a fair point. I guess I’m writing from a male perspective and noting the anxiety that singleness causes my male friends. Male friends my age (early to mid 20s).

  6. I have two aunties who had children in their early 40s. So it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

  7. Marriage is more than just about having children. Sometimes you get married, even when you still have “plenty of time” and don’t get to have children.

  8. I have a mother who had a baby when she was 40. The average age of first time mothers is 31.

  9. Yes, true (though I do think that biblically, having children is a very big part of the reason for marriage).

    And yes again to those sort of encouraging statistics – though I have never heard of a woman having a baby at 48 or beyond, so the reality is that women have less time than men on these things.

    Anyway, maybe more guys ought to take your advice Nathan and then there might be more options left for women in their thirties :).

  10. Yeah Yeah!! (Sorry, that was my bitter and twisted outburst :) …).

    Though the fact that your grandfather then chose someone 18 years younger than him with ample child-bearing years left is the not-so-encouraging bit.

  11. The choosing requires willingness on both parts though – I’m sure, committed bachelor though he was, that he would have been open to other offers earlier.

  12. To throw something in the other way though – I would say to all those single people – enjoy your singleness!

    It is strange from the other side of the fence having spent my entire adult life with somebody, and never knowing what it is like to be totally independent.

  13. And seconding Queenstuss. Not having children doesn’t make your marriage any more or less valid.

  14. And also, while I’m on a roll – age should be more of an issue for men to consider with regards to children – there is a fair bit of research coming in that older fathers can lead to risks of health problems just as much as an older mother.

  15. Not to mention (according to research) dumber children. My dad being the obvious exception…

  16. You wonder how young then before it starts going the other way…

    Sorry, I misread. How much smarter would he have been if your grandfather was younger.

    These stats are all averages of course, but it does give you something to think about.

  17. I’m curious about this implied notion of women making men “offers” …. (but let’s not have a “dating rules” discussion).

  18. I’m certainly not suggesting that due process be ignored. But it’s much easier to make an approach if you’ve got at least some idea what the answer will be. Proposition was probably a better word. I think my point was that he wasn’t necessarily a committed bachelor lured from his intended path but instead someone who waited a long time for the right person. Though I may be wrong.

  19. No, well that all sounds fair enough to me. I think there is definitely something in the “right person” notion, because experience suggests that no matter how hard one or both people try in some situations, or even how interested two people are in each other, or which rules they break or keep, sometimes things just simply do not work out. It would seem that no method or game is ever going to work if God is not in it. And there, perhaps, your grandfather was right – in that things will happen if/when they happen and there is no point worrying about it.

  20. Though I must admit to being kinda amused by the post after all nathan you did move to NQ, chasing someone being a major factor of moving. Do what I say not what I do?

  21. I don’t think that’s the point. The point I’m making is not that you shouldn’t act – it’s that you shouldn’t stress.
    They’re not the same.

    That’s not a particularly fair comment.

  22. Yay! I was quite pleased to discover that I can actually get in here, coming from the email, since I am in at work today, but I was actually going to comment, before reading your follow-up post: Good on you for chasing!

    Personally, I think men who chase is a good and attractive thing (provided we’re talking about men within the realm of mental balance and not the PAM (potential axe murderer) kind here).

  23. Chasing is good – shows dedication!
    .
    But it’s much easier to make an approach if you’ve got at least some idea what the answer will be.
    I like this. Is this why my husband asked me a couple of times to marry him ‘just to check my answer’ before he proposed properly?

  24. “Unless you want to be fifty and chasing after 2 year olds? (That is, if a 48-year-old woman successfully conceives at that age… not that it can’t be done!)”

    Can you clarify the intended meaning of this comment then?

    I’m not sure I suggested you said “couldn’t” more “wouldn’t want to”

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