Purpose of singleness?

I’m in my early 20’s and have never been in a relationship. As someone who has had a strong desire for the married life as long as I can remember, it has been extremely difficult being single. Guys who have been interested in me usually aren’t Catholic or if they are, they are not even semi-devoted to actually living their faith. It was hard, but I resisted dating people just for the sake of having someone, thinking that it was the “right” thing to do. As much as I despised being single, I tried to take the common advice and “embrace my singleness” viewing it as a gift. I worked on trying to be the best person I can be. I’ve graduated college, am financially stable, healthy, physically in shape, and have developed great friendships with many friends. I’ve remained involved with my church, volunteered leading youth groups, and participated in multiple young adult/Christian fellowship groups.

I’ve been trying to take the advice people give to singles and put it into practice, but I can’t help but feel like it isn’t “working.” (Of course, the goal is to grow in faith, not just do these things to find a spouse) but I have always felt such a strong desire in my heart for the married life, and I don’t believe the best way for me to serve God is through the single life. No matter how hard I try, I always feel closer to God when there are “potential love interests” in my life. :confused:

So my main question is what is the purpose of my singleness? I do not feel like I am reaching my potential (in terms of glorifying God) as a single person.

When I take a look at my Catholic friends who are in serious relationships, most of them don’t want to get married, they all use contraceptives, some live with their boyfriends, none of them want more than one kid and the ones who are open to having one child want to do so several years into the future and although they are good people, it doesn’t seem that their relationships are truly “Christ-centered.” (not to sound judgmental, just observations.)

So, why would God not bring someone into my life when I am committed to glorifying God in a relationship, I’ve never used any birth-control/contraceptives, I want to have 5+ children and I feel prepared for the married life. I hope I don’t sound like I am complaining, I am genuinely confused and looking for advice on how to deal with my growing sadness, disappointment, and seemingly unanswered prayers. Does anyone have any input on this?

Any thoughts or insight would be very helpful! Thank you!!

There is that somebody out there. As someone who hasn’t had any experience with relationships and coming from a male perspective it is really difficult.

It is hard to find the right type of person that doesn’t do what your “Catholic” friends do.

I don’t think your complaining, it is tough being single. I must say you can’t keep waiting in your tower for prince charming to come by and rescue you. It will take some actions of your own doing.

For example try finding other people who are single and devoted to the faith. Some good places to look if possible are parishes that have the Mass in the Extraordinary form.

Early 20s is way too early to be concerned (although it’s also very natural to do so, and I certainly worried at your age and younger).

If you do achieve your dream, a good husband and a home full of children, you’ll find it’s suddenly difficult to do simple things–to buy groceries, to cook dinner, to go shopping for clothes, get a haircut, go to the doctor, go to a cousin’s wedding, or to have lunch with a friend. There will be compensations, but everything will be suddenly harder and more expensive (dinner or plane tickets for four or seven are way more expensive than dinner or plane tickets for one) and the money that you previously spent on you will be going elsewhere (for instance, for music lessons for the kids). Books won’t get read unless they are parked in the bathroom and read a page or two at a time.

Also, when one has a family, that family occupies 80% of one’s energy. There’s no time, money, or energy for saving the world, because there’s a family to be raised.

So, try to enjoy what you’ve got while you’ve got it. Here are some ideas for the meantime:

  1. work on you (health, diet, education, career, appearance, spiritual life, etc.)

  2. put time and effort into your relationships with friends and family

  3. read

  4. be financially responsible. If you have debt, pay it off. Take a personal finance class. Save money. Put away money for your retirement. When you are married (which will almost certainly happen eventually), neither you nor your future husband is ever going to say, “Wow! If only we didn’t have this extra money. What are we going to do with it?”

  5. Travel and broaden your horizons locally.

Best wishes!

What wonderful words of wisdom!~ :thumbsup:

This is such great advice! Too bad so few of us follow it when we are young. To the OP: from where I sit, you’re doing almost everything right while waiting for the right man. My only suggestion is to be a little more proactive. And pay heed to the above words of wisdom: you’re only young once.

God helps those who help themselves. If you’re truly concerned that you haven’t yet had a relationship, I highly encourage online dating.

Just because you haven’t met someone yet, doesn’t mean you never will. Not sure of your age, but a lot of people don’t meet someone they want to spend the rest of their lives with until their thirties, sometimes forties…fifties…

You described some of your past, but you didn’t give one important detail: Have you ever met someone you were interested in?

Why have you “despised” being single? What is there to despise about it??

Your “purpose” of being single is whatever your “purpose” is to be alive.
Jesus and many of his apostles/disciples were single. Does that mean they had no purpose?


When I was your age, I felt the same way. At 44 I have never been married and have no kids and at your age, I never would have believe how great it could be. I see all the sacrifices married people/parents make and it doesn’t look like any fun to me.

Don’t get me wrong, if you meet the right person go for it. But being single can be quite a happy life as well. The travel I have done gave me priceless memories
And one last thing, just because you are financially stable now does not mean you will always be. I have been downsized often enough to know money can go in a second

I am not trying to rain on your parade, simply offering a different perspective


No one gets married until their late 20s’/ early 30s. The purpose of being right of college is to date and try out lots of partners. Join Match.com and meet new girls. Your dates will probably suck but at least you will be out there. Also, you are a guy. Catholic guys are allowed to have a lot more purposes than Catholic women, whose only purpose is raising kids. I’d envy being a 20-something Catholic guy to my own situation. You can have so much fun.

You have posted these untrue and unsubstantiated claims on multiple threads. I hope you will read the documents of the Church to learn the truth and get some counseling for your bitterness and contempt for the Church.

And the OP is a female.

Sometimes it is not about us. Sometimes God places us where we can minister to others. Perhaps God is using you in ministry to other young single adults.

Be open to whatever he brings your way, and stop trying to second guess.

I spent 10 years actively in “young adults” mainly to meet people in my new city. I went to bible study, did social outings, played on sports teams, served at Mass, and served in leadership positions-- I’m a good organizer, a good leader. Our YA group grew from a dieing organization to over 200 members while I was involved and building programs like bible study. People came and went, completed sacraments, returned to the Faith, met and married, had children. None of those people would have met each other, none of those families formed, without our YA group. I don’t know why I never met anyone through that group, all I know is that I was needed in that group at that time.

I didn’t meet my husband until I was 38.

Very true. There is nothing wrong with pursuing a marriage, but pursue the Kingdom first.

*But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. *
Matt. 6:33-34

No matter how much someone wants to be married, there is nothing lonelier than being in the wrong marriage. It pays to wait for a spouse that is a good fit. :thumbsup:

I certainly can’t answer the question of why God hasn’t brought somebody into your life yet. I don’t think that anybody here can.

But one piece of practical advice I can offer is to be proactive.

I used to think it was just a matter of time before I would meet the girl I was meant to be with. Year after year went by, and I just sat waiting for this girl to come by. After a long time, I finally realized that I wasn’t going to get anywhere just sitting around waiting. What if God did have the right girl for me, but instead of being somebody I would randomly run into and fall in love with, it was somebody I met at a single’s event? Or an online dating site? It wasn’t easy for me to go down this route, especially because I used to be fairly shy. Eventually, I did end up finding my wife (at an online dating site).

Perhaps you are already being proactive, and I’m just preaching to a younger version of myself. But I would recommend taking concrete steps to find the right guy, if you aren’t already. Prayer should call us to action!

[quote=EasterJoy]No matter how much someone wants to be married, there is nothing lonelier than being in the wrong marriage

This. Took me a long time to realize how true this statement is.

Good relationship > Single > Bad relationship

Thank you for putting the single life in a positive light At 49 I have never been married either…

OP, I’m incredibly happy for you for not settling for poor relationships simply for the sake of having someone. You’ve done yourself a LOT of good in that regard. (I unfortunately stayed in poor relationships because I was “lonely” and the outcomes have not been good at all :o )

That being said, I agree with the other posters that it is important to first seek the Kingdom of God. You have to trust in Him that His timing is perfect. I’m slowly leaving the early 20s and entering the late 20s. I totally understand how difficult it is at this age to have to wait for a special someone to come along. It’s hard, but we really don’t have much control over having to wait do we?

Interestingly enough, my current and past experiences with cancer have really helped me internalized the reality that death can occur at any time. While it would be unfortunate if you never got the chance to get married and have children, there will come a time when you will have to leave earth and live in Heaven, where our true home is. Heaven is our ultimate goal, we should always keep our sights on that goal. Marriage is a beautiful thing and I will pray that you get to experience it. But please always remember that the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with Jesus.

I can’t give you no answer, only God can. I understand your frustration, I am also in a similar situation, and sometimes it’s hard. I can only tell you not to be discouraged and don’t low your standards, you deserve a godly man that loves you, I pray for you, God bless!

I didn’t know that. Even as a girl, she has some time. However it is nice that girls and guys are not really that known. It makes me feel good that gender isn’t assigned. And I’m sorry, but as a single girl who isn’t a nun in her thirties what is my role again? Every bishop and every pope describes my role as having babies. I don’t want to be a nun, so that is my only role in the Church. Heck Pope Francis criticized couples who are child free and don’t have babies. I’m not sure where that leaves me. Does that mean that I am a lesser Catholic or even sinful because I am in in 30s and not married and pregnant? Do the bishops and especially Pope Francis hate me because I’m not married and pregnant? Francis seems weirdly focused on a woman’s fertility. I think that he thinks that women will sprinkle specially “mommy dust” on the Church and make things more delicate and compassionate. I don’t really know what I am supposed to do with out having kids. I think that the Church hates me because I am not a mother in my 30s.

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