A while ago, Eric Yang wrote this page about the advantages of being single.
I think he made a good point, but there were parts I wasn’t sure about. He lists three advantages: “The first is that you have more freedom in the way that you can interact with friends of the opposite sex.” That’s true, kind of, but there’s an interesting flip side to that – sometimes, your relationships with the opposite sex can actually be more free because you are hooked up. I’ve just seen examples where people become close precisely because they know nothing’s going to happen (because one or the other is already hooked up). Otherwise, there can be this tension there. I don’t know, I’ve just seen it happen before.
“Number two, life is simpler if you don’t have a significant other. Spats? Breaking up? “Issues”? All gone from your life. Not having a significant other not only gives you more time to do things in general (because you don’t have to spend it with your significant other), but it also reduces your stress level as a whole (because you’re not worrying about your relationship with your significant other).” Also true. but again, there’s a flip side. I don’t know, the relationship described here seems to be more unhealthy than good. I think in a good relationship, you’re not spending most of your time “worrying” about the relationship, but enjoying it. And that’s less stressful than being alone. And I think, eventually, most people don’t want more time to do things in general, they eventually just want someone to spend time with.
“And number three is that you can make major decisions in your life without taking other people into account. This is significant in terms of both career and long-term vision for your life…. However, I would like to point out once again that being single makes these decisions really easy, because you don’t have to take other people’s concerns into account.” This one made me think a bit. I don’t know, I just think yeah, you don’t have to worry about someone now, but you have to worry about someone eventually, you know? If you make a decision that would be very hard on a partner, it’s not just that you’re hurting a relationship if you’re in one now, but you might be affecting possible relationships in the future. Does this make any sense? So like his example is of the female cardiovascular surgeon. If she’s not hooked up, I don’t know if her decision doesn’t have to take anyone else into account – pursuing it might make it harder for her relationships in the future, you know? It’s like, your decisions aren’t affecting any specific person now, but they might be affecting possible potential people in the future. I don’t know, just, I don’t think these kinds of decisions are easy. You still have to consider people. The only difference is, you’re considering possible people instead of a real person.
I don’t know if you buy that, though. And, it’s true that if you make decisions while you’re single, it’s more likely that when (if) you hook up later, your partner will be more amenable to the life decision you made. But I don’t know; why would you want to do whatever you wanted alone? I guess thinking about another person is a drag, but it’s fun too.
But, Eric’s main point is well made. I like what Rich Mullins said once. About marriage. Something like, to those people who weren’t strong enough to be single, God gave to marriage. And to those people who weren’t strong enough to be married, God gave to singlehood. I guess the point is, whatever situation we’re in, we should take advantage of it, and not be wanting something else.