I sit here with the cursor blinking, a blank page in front of me, wanting to write, to speak and connect again. It’s been a long time and I miss the way the words used to flow seemingly of their own accord and the feeling of satisfaction when I completed a piece of writing.
But the words don’t flow anymore. I find distraction after distraction just to keep me from facing this drought. Part of me wonders if I really lost that ability to write like I used to, or if it’s what would come out if I did write, that frightens me into silence. To challenge myself, I will try not to let the fears of my mind, whatever those fears may be, force me to backspace the truth lying within the words from my heart.
The theme of my blog has mostly been about finding the sun inside the rain. I try to be positive and optimistic about my situation, here and in real life. Thank G-d, that isn’t all that difficult for me to do. Really. People sometimes compliment me on my ability to be happy and positive and I feel like I don’t deserve it. I wasn’t born with a jealous or negative personality so it isn’t like this is me after working on myself.
But today I deviate from my regular programming and confess: it is really tough being single.
As we grow up, our emotional needs change. What was sufficient at five years old isn’t at ten, and then that changes as we grow into our teenage years and so on.
Naturally, when we reach the age of shidduchim, our needs change. It’s then that we develop stronger, deeper emotional needs that usually are synchronous with married life. However, although we have those needs too, as frum singles they don’t get filled. We are “one half of a whole,” incomplete, missing. (At least that’s what we’re constantly told.) At a certain point, nothing and nobody, even a best friend (if you still have a single best friend) can fill the void.
So what happens when day after day, month after month and year after year, those needs don’t get met? You long to connect, to give, to love, to support but there’s nowhere to channel it. On the flipside, there’s nobody loving you, validating you, respecting you in the way that you were created to need.
So you keep yourself so busy (chessed, school etc.) that you don’t have time to notice the lack. Or you just squelch it until you don’t even think you need anything or anyone anymore. Another way of dealing is by going out and looking for it in less than savory places. You get trapped in unhealthy relationships and have to claw your way out on your own. Or you simply fall when temptation lands on your territory, because you’ve been wanting, needing it for so long.
Perhaps you’re one of the incredibly strong people who holds on to the hope that soon, very soon, it’ll happen and you keep your eyes focused on that, and only that.
I’ve done time in all. And I can tell you: it’s really difficult whichever way you slice it.
So there you have it. If anyone tells you after years of being single (not by choice) that being single is fun, know that they’re lying. Yes, it’s an opportunity for growth; true, marriage isn’t a cure-all, but G-d knows you need a tremendous amount of strength to stay truly happy, healthy and on the right track.