I’ve been thinking about something… how does the Church view singleness? The way I see it, there’s a time for everything…and being single helps people to grow as individuals, to grow spiritually, to learn more about God, and prepare for either marriage or religious life or continued single life (depending on their vocation). I also believe that people are only truly ready for a relationship when they feel peace with being single, because then their relationship will be based on love (agape, self giving) , and not to fill a void in their heart that only God can fill. So I believe in having a strong relationship with God before getting married.
I wanted to ask here… in your view, how does the Church view being single? In the world, it’s seen as either a way to advance your career, or to date different people, etc, and sometimes I get a little annoyed that people think I’m single because I’m selfish or too career-oriented or somehow “less Catholic”. btw, I’m in my early 20s. In the Church, it seems that marriage is really emphasized, and that’s great, but what about people who either haven’t found someone yet or are not feeling called to marriage at the moment (or ever)? where do they fit in?
To your question(s): The Church, of course, views being single as a completely viable and blessed state. If a person is single for their lifetime, it will be a vocation to the single state and can become a great and profound way of perfection and avenue to virtue if practiced as such and dedicated to God. In other words, it’s completely legit and perfectly fine to be a single Catholic woman, be it for a time or a life-time.
As the mother of a 40+ year old daughter who is also single, I absolutely understand what you say about marriage being so much emphasized in the Church, as well as how that can impact (and sometimes hurt) men and women who are single - whether by specific choice or by circumstance. Being Catholic, however, is about being responsive to the universal call of God to all of us to be holy and to become saints!! (whether married, in the secular single state or in the consecrated life).
It’s evident by what you wrote in your first paragraph that you have a deep and spiritually mature understanding of love, and the goal for all of us regarding love - whether married or single. You must be a very prayerful woman. Stay, then, with that; stay with what you know is the truth – and not with the opinions of others. From those opinions (of others) you stated, it’s clear they are predominantly secular and ‘worldly’ in their mindset. You know better, clearly, so don’t give all that a second thought.
With each moment and each day dedicated to and lived for the love of God and with the sincere desire to do His will in all things, you are assured of the peace and happiness only He can give - and your life, lived single or otherwise, will be just as He desires it to be.
God bless you and your striving for ‘true’ love in your heart! You are an example to all of us…