Singles Staying Single: Is It Selfishness, or Self-Preservation?

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,663
1,967
113
#1
Hey Everyone,

Some of the conversations in the threads had me thinking. We all know that in many societies, singles are staying single for longer periods of time, if not for the rest of their lives. I've heard some say that this is because singles are selfish and only looking out for their own best interests, which I can definitely understand (and agree with) in some cases.

Now, goodness knows, I can be the epitome of selfishness myself (but I think we can all admit to having bouts of that), so in all honesty, I have personally come to see staying single (for now, at least) as being an act of self-preservation (and also maybe a measure of protection for the other person!)

My life's wake-up call came in the form of 12 years of long-term relationships that I probably should have never gotten into in the first place. People often ask me why I'm still single, and my best answer is that I could probably find a relationship, and even a marriage, if I really went looking, but the hard truth is, it would just be more of the same things that didn't work out in my other relationships. I don't know about anyone else, but I seem to attract similar people and situations over and over again and I just know (from trial and mostly error) that I would not do well in those circumstances (I start to self-destruct), and so I avoid them.

There are just some situations (particularly drug, alcohol, and porn addictions, certain family dynamics) where I am much better at being a supportive friend rather than a girlfriend (let alone wife.) I can't be in a relationship in which someone is hoping I can save them from something or make them better (that's basically what I tried to do during those whole 12 years I'd rather forget and leave behind.)

And so in my mind, staying single is an act of self-preservation (both for me, and for the other person, because I can't be what they need.) But even then, I question myself, and I would like to ask you:

* Where is the line between preserving our own selves, and just plain being selfish?

* When is staying single fulfilling a life calling, such as ministry or a career, and when is the decision to stay single just doing what you want to do, without considering anyone else?

For example, the past several years, I've been very thankful to have a small circle of female doctors to choose from, and many of these women do not have children because they decided to focus on their careers.

I know some will say this is a selfish decision, but I tell these women how grateful I am because when doctors are trying to figure out whether there's something wrong with, let's say, your uterus--it's nice to be able to talk to someone who actually HAS a uterus--and can understand a bit of what you're trying to tell them.

Along with working, another reason I've backed away from dating is because of all the constant unrealistic expectations from those who wanted things that they themselves did not have to give. For example, it wasn't enough that I didn't have kids. Single dads 10 years older than me would approach me on dating services and they not only wanted a woman with no kids, but she had to be 25 and built like a cheerleader. And I'm sure the guys on this forum have plenty of tales about unrealistic expectations women have had for a man's wallet.

Therefore, one of the reasons I see staying single (for now) as self-preservation is because I am purposely trying to remove myself from all of the unrealistic unicorn hunting--on both sides--because I honestly feel a lot happier away from all those pressures.

And so, fellow CC readers, I'd like to ask your opinion:

* When is staying single only looking out for yourself... and when is staying single looking out for yourself in the best possible way?
 

CharliRenee

Member
Staff member
Nov 4, 2014
4,778
5,420
113
#2
I love this topic, one I think about often. I think there are probably so many reasons why.

Broken hearts, fears, insecurities. Like with what you said, I realize men my age generally want much younger. For me, I think it is that if I get to have that the options become minimal when I have my must have list, lol.

He has to be a man, lol, a man of God. Plus not married or attached to another. He has to not expect or want you know what outside of marriage. and we have to run into eachother, lol. I work at home and home a lot. Plus, I just don't do well on the dating sites because of all my wants, lol. Plus I'm not a spring chicken so that is alot. I think it will take a miracle, especially since I want friendship first, before anything else. Again making the likelihood less. So knowing all that, He has been helping me to accept and be content. For His grace is sufficient.

In order to cope, I stop looking or yearning... If it is to happen, yay, if not also yay, because either way I have Him.

Not sure if that answers your question but it has been healing talking about it so thank you.
 
Aug 2, 2009
22,649
2,433
113
#3
I don't think it's selfish at all, assuming that "selfish" means having a blatant disregard for others.

But it might not be wise considering how expensive everything is now... So expensive that it's practically necessary to have two incomes just to live comfortably unless you're making a six-figure salary, but that would put you in a very small percentile of the general population.

NOTE: I'm not saying that one should hook up just so they can live comfortably.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
14,817
2,632
113
#4
Oh no... oh no oh no ohnooooooo! Kim WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! This thread is going to be an MGTOW magnet! We're practically begging guys to complain about how women take advantage of men and the legal system backs them up.

*Lynx throws some extra food and water in his bunker and seals himself inside for the duration.
 
R

RodB65

Guest
#5
.

And so, fellow CC readers, I'd like to ask your opinion:

* When is staying single only looking out for yourself... and when is staying single looking out for yourself in the best possible way?
Well, I'm still thinking about what you posted two weeks ago. I'm still trying to answer that one. And now, here's another deep thought from Seoul Search.
:eek: :D
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,067
1,078
113
#6
Well, I'm still thinking about what you posted two weeks ago. I'm still trying to answer that one. And now, here's another deep thought from Seoul Search.
:eek::D
That's what seoul search does best.
 

Solemateleft

Honor, Courage, Commitment
Jun 25, 2017
1,233
1,048
113
#7
OHH Heck...
This is such another one of your great thought provoking posts... and in this case seemingly irresistible to not partake...
I'll take a quick much needed break away from my immediate daunting task of gathering 'Discovering' for the imminent conclusion of my 27 year failed marriage...
So much of what you describe certainly resonates with me and seems to constantly be on my mind... especially as I strive to channel his strength and guidance constantly wondering what he might have in store for me...
I too suspect that it would not be too difficult to put myself out there 'in search' of the one HE knows awaits me in his master plan...
But I know that if I am 'looking too hard' that I am more likely to only get in my own way - only to relearn the anticipated lessons of so many of you who have shared so many of your experiences and life lessons...
Does he have plans for me to be there for someone who has been praying for HIM, or someone who is lost, suffering and needs help in their struggles to re-find their faith and salvation? am I even prepared to be there for someone else, while I am still so broken and in need of so much rest and repair...
After all I do know - there is no such thing as a 'perfect' someone - as I do know that that 'imperfect someone' will ultimately have to settle for my couple/few imperfections (hahaha) as well.
I suspect that my immediate vulnerability is my passion, and compassion - and my desire for human comfort (PG-13)...
Don't get me wrong - my dog has been my best friend and an amazing companion - but I confess - while he is a great listener - he really doesn't say much...

Interestingly, it wasn't until today that I really thought about what kind of example do I want to set for my adult kids during my transition period..
I suspect that I owe it to myself to keep my guard up for a while for some much needed self reflection and self discovery... To reassess my personal value and my personal relationship with HIM...

So NO - the desire or need to be single is not necessarily selfish - it can absolutely be all about self preservation and self protection - which are very real human survival characteristics...
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,067
1,078
113
#8
Hey Everyone,

Some of the conversations in the threads had me thinking. We all know that in many societies, singles are staying single for longer periods of time, if not for the rest of their lives. I've heard some say that this is because singles are selfish and only looking out for their own best interests, which I can definitely understand (and agree with) in some cases.

Now, goodness knows, I can be the epitome of selfishness myself (but I think we can all admit to having bouts of that), so in all honesty, I have personally come to see staying single (for now, at least) as being an act of self-preservation (and also maybe a measure of protection for the other person!)

And so in my mind, staying single is an act of self-preservation (both for me, and for the other person, because I can't be what they need.) But even then, I question myself, and I would like to ask you:

* Where is the line between preserving our own selves, and just plain being selfish?

* When is staying single fulfilling a life calling, such as ministry or a career, and when is the decision to stay single just doing what you want to do, without considering anyone else?

Therefore, one of the reasons I see staying single (for now) as self-preservation is because I am purposely trying to remove myself from all of the unrealistic unicorn hunting--on both sides--because I honestly feel a lot happier away from all those pressures.

And so, fellow CC readers, I'd like to ask your opinion:

* When is staying single only looking out for yourself... and when is staying single looking out for yourself in the best possible way?

I think selfishness can be an inherent danger / temptation of singleness just like lonliness and sexual temptation can. I don't think there's necessarily anything inherently selfish about being single; it just takes a whole lot more effort to be around people who need (and possibly have a right to need) something from you on a daily basis if you're single than if you have a spouse or family to come home to who want some of your time and energy and interaction.

Unfortunately there's a definite prejudice in the church and probably in society at large to where taking care of your family is a legitimate and inherently unselfish act, while a single trying to carve out time to care for themselves is viewed as being inherently selfish. Similarly to be concerned about your spouse's emotional and spiritual needs is good and Godly, but if you're a single who expresses a legitimate emotional or spiritual need for yourself most often you are selfish or lacking faith. Truthfully having spent so much time in church where that felt like a predominant attitude was probably part of the cause of me getting burned out when I was overseas (and part of my continuing struggles with church culture); I have been trained to view my personal needs as selfishness or lack of faith instead of as just a legitimate part of being human. To be fair though, the church probably also bears a lot of blame for the part of me that thinks it's not ok for my life to degenerate into work, entertainment, and posting on social media and I consider that a good thing.

For many people staying single isn't an intentional decision so I don't know how much we should talk about it as a decision and how much we should view it as the lesser of two evils (not that being or deciding to be single can't be good, but for a lot of people it probably falls more in the category of better than the alternative rather than good in and of itself). The question is not so much is staying single necessary to fulfill a life calling (though if you feel a strong calling to something this should be asked), but how do we live so as to be fulfilling our mission and calling while we're single?

And yeah I'm all about staying out of all the unrealistic unicorn hunting, even if I might be part unicorn myself.
 

Pumpkinspice

Well-known member
Sep 22, 2018
512
313
63
#9
My mom would always say when God wants to give you someone (the real one) the devil always wants to cut in and give you a fake one to make you think its the real one. #itsnotbadtobesecond
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
25,203
2,711
113
#10
cowboy.png

Good.........

Mark 10:5) And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
7) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
8) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

drop.png

 

CharliRenee

Member
Staff member
Nov 4, 2014
4,778
5,420
113
#11
View attachment 190461

Good.........

Mark 10:5) And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
7) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
8) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

View attachment 190462
So what does one do if that is not possible due to death of a spouse or divorce, should they be struck with the feelings of wanting and yearning, like somethings missing? Are we not to get on with it, trusting that His grace is sufficient?
 

LightBright

Senior Member
Mar 18, 2017
2,152
838
113
19
#12
I had like a whole thingy but it decided to go away and I'm not gonna type that again, plus much more intelligent people have better input anyway.....plus I'm young too so maybe this isn't my place....idk
 
Oct 26, 2018
38
17
8
#13
Erybody is in relationships for getting what they can out of it so selfish one way or another . Might as well be selfish alone
 

Pumpkinspice

Well-known member
Sep 22, 2018
512
313
63
#14
I had like a whole thingy but it decided to go away and I'm not gonna type that again, plus much more intelligent people have better input anyway.....plus I'm young too so maybe this isn't my place....idk

Lets hang out in the CC anonymous lol
 

LightBright

Senior Member
Mar 18, 2017
2,152
838
113
19
#15
Erybody is in relationships for getting what they can out of it so selfish one way or another . Might as well be selfish alone
Yea you definitely have a point but i don't think we are completely selfish, i can be extremely selfish at times but i also think i tend to be kinda oblivious to my own needs at times too. Yea when we think of relationships we tend to think of perfection, someone who will make us happy so on, but (could be me) but i also want to do things for that person, i want to give as much as i can, i don't ever want a wife who has to constantly carry me or even give me what i want i want to somehow give something. I don't want to get married just because what i can get i also want to give as much as i can....if i were only to think of myself I'd hate myself even more then i already do...I'd be pretty disgusting i don't want to be like that and as long as i am like that then i won't marry, and quite frankly don't deserve a wife. Ultimately i want to be more like Christ i just would like someone to help me on my way their but even more then that i want to help them...im not sure why that's just how i am ig maybe I'm weird or something idk
 

Mel85

Daughter of the True King
Mar 28, 2018
7,896
4,189
113
#16
View attachment 190461

Good.........

Mark 10:5) And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
7) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
8) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

View attachment 190462
Cool pants.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,663
1,967
113
#17
I had like a whole thingy but it decided to go away and I'm not gonna type that again, plus much more intelligent people have better input anyway.....plus I'm young too so maybe this isn't my place....idk
First of all, LightBright, don't ever feel like you don't have something to contribute, so please feel free to share at will. I appreciate your respect towards other posters as well.


QUOTE="p_rehbein, post: 3765358, member: 174109"] View attachment 190461

Good.........

Mark 10:5) And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
7) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
8) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

View attachment 190462

[/QUOTE]

These are great passages, p_rehbein--thank you very much for sharing them!

However, I have to confess that it hasn't been these passages that have been on my mind lately.

Rather, it's been things like this, from Paul in 1 Corinthians, chapter 7 (various passages):

7:8 -- I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them to remain as I am. (After this, of course, is the infamous passage stating that "If they do not have self-control, it is better to marry than to burn with passion," but this does not mean that marrying will cure a porn addiction, etc. However, that's obviously a topic for another time.)

7:27-28 -- Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. However, if you do get married, you have not sinned... But such people will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.

7:32-35 -- I want you to be without concerns. An unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord--how he may please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the things of the world--how he may please his wife--and he is divided.

Any unmarried woman is concerned about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy both in body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world--how she may please her husband.

Now I m saying this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but because of what is proper, and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction.



Now, I am certainly NOT trying to say that marriage is a somehow less desirable or less holy situation, but rather, I've been thinking about the fact that God calls each of us to highly individual situations in life, and that every calling, whether married or single, parent or not, is equally valuable and purposeful to the Lord.
 
Aug 2, 2009
22,649
2,433
113
#18
Rather, it's been things like this, from Paul in 1 Corinthians, chapter 7 (various passages):

7:8 -- I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them to remain as I am. (After this, of course, is the infamous passage stating that "If they do not have self-control, it is better to marry than to burn with passion," but this does not mean that marrying will cure a porn addiction, etc. However, that's obviously a topic for another time.)

7:27-28 -- Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. However, if you do get married, you have not sinned... But such people will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.

7:32-35 -- I want you to be without concerns. An unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord--how he may please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the things of the world--how he may please his wife--and he is divided.

Any unmarried woman is concerned about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy both in body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world--how she may please her husband.

Now I m saying this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but because of what is proper, and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction.



Now, I am certainly NOT trying to say that marriage is a somehow less desirable or less holy situation, but rather, I've been thinking about the fact that God calls each of us to highly individual situations in life, and that every calling, whether married or single, parent or not, is equally valuable and purposeful to the Lord.
Paul also said -- Can't buy me love, love. Everybody tells me so. Can't buy me love, love. No no no. No.
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
25,203
2,711
113
#19
So what does one do if that is not possible due to death of a spouse or divorce, should they be struck with the feelings of wanting and yearning, like somethings missing? Are we not to get on with it, trusting that His grace is sufficient?
I think it is up to the individual............
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
25,203
2,711
113
#20
7:8 -- I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them to remain as I am. (After this, of course, is the infamous passage stating that "If they do not have self-control, it is better to marry than to burn with passion," but this does not mean that marrying will cure a porn addiction, etc. However, that's obviously a topic for another time.)
I was hoping someone would come up with/post these...........I started to, but, shoot, they didn't fit the outfit! :)

As I said above...........in my opinion, I believe it is up to the individual....

I do believe God intended for men and women to be married, and to procreate...........I mean, lets not get too many folks staying single, that would put us on the endangered species list........uh, er, wait.........I read Revelation......hmm.......

Anyway, glad you posted them........