Having gotten tired of referring to myself as “divorced” more than 40 years after that youthful experiment called “marriage” and now certainly not looking to repeat the experience (never having gotten into dating anyway, just raised my child while working through the worldly ordeal of relationships in the postmodern era), I no longer want to refer to myself as either divorced or “single”.
Single implies incompleteness. I am complete in Christ. My old lover is now a dear friend, miles away. I seek no other. I renounce the world more every day, and find contentment in its place.
Celibate also is not* quite *the right word because of its emphasis on sexual abstinence and implication of unsatisfied desires, even though it fits. I am blessed with full satisfaction in my solitary state. The carnal truly does fall away as we grow in the Lord. I did not decide to renounce carnal desires, but I seem to have shed them like old skin.
Solitary says it all. I’m not a hermit or a recluse because I do not renounce the society of my friends and brethren, but I am solitary in my walk with them.
I think parishes should consider adding “solitary” as a label in their demographics so that they can plan activities for this group, distinguishing us from the “singles”.