On Dating: Hope for the Holidays

Photo, kuddlyteddybear2004, Creative Commons

[Guest Post by Jenny LaBahn] – Is it really possible to have hope for the holidays?

Because the holidays for a single person can be like pouring salt on an already opened wound.

The loneliness is already prominent.

The feeling of being a “misfit” at various functions already exists.

The unfulfilled longing is already present.

For many, this season only serves to further exacerbate the struggle that resides within. It seems to be a constant reminder that we are, in fact, still single, still alone, still waiting. (As if any of us really need a reminder).

Most married people don’t seem to grasp this concept.

It would seem that it is their very most favorite topic to bring up at holiday parties.

“Soooo, are you seeing anyone? Any new prospects?”

It always makes me laugh considering they asked the same question a week ago. Did they really think it was going to change that fast?

“Your sister’s married, when are you going to get married?”

“This is your year. I can feel it.”

Can you now?

Because I am pretty sure you have been feeling it for five years in a row. Your feeler is way off.

Though their intentions are good, all of these are being said in complete disregard of the fact that there is really nothing else we would rather talk about less.

Don’t these people know there is more to our lives than who we are [not] dating?!

I know I am really looking forward to having someone to experience the holidays with–just so I don’t have to sit at the kids table. I am almost 27 years old, and because of my married–single status, I somehow don’t qualify for sitting with the grown ups.

Then there is the sheer Christmas magic that is happening all around us, that just somehow doesn’t feel as magical when one is experiencing it alone.

To those of you who are reading this and are single, I want you to know that you are not alone. I get it.

However, I also want to challenge you with something. And please know that the challenge is extended toward myself as well.

What if this holiday season, rather than complaining about being alone, single, lonely, etc. we chose to remember the reason for the season?

It sounds cheesy right?

I know it does.

But it is the Truth.

What is the point of Christmas anyway? Is it really about Christmas trees, pretty decorations, unneeded presents, over eating, and fun get-togethers, all while having a significant other doting on our arm?


But don’t get me wrong.

Very few people love Christmas as much as I do. I really do believe that it is magical. But all of the embellishments of this time of year are so incredibly secondary to the primary purpose of it all. And that is Jesus.

What if, this year, rather than frantically searching for gifts for every person we know  we sit quietly at the feet of our Savior and give Him a present?

(And for the record–I love presents.)

But what do we give the King, the Savior of our soul and Ruler of the world? He has and owns and deserves everything.

I think there are a lot of things we can give Him.

For starters, we can give Him the full surrender of our singleness.

We can acknowledge the fact that He really does know what He is doing, and trust Him in spite of our unanswered questions and unfulfilled desires.

We can give Him devotion that is not determined by whether or not He has given us a spouse, but rather is deeply rooted in our love for Him.

We can give Him a thankful heart for this time with Him.

Think about it, when will we ever get so much one-on-one time with Jesus? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to waste it. May we use this time to build an intimacy that is rich and lasting; one that is not to be exceeded by a relationship we would have with a husband or wife.

Let us, together, set aside the struggles that come with this season; move beyond our pain and our own fear; open our eyes to the broken world around us; join and participate with our friends and loved ones this year, rather than checking out and counting days until it is over; let us celebrate the birth of His majesty.

The Savior has already come.

He has already saved us.

He already made the ultimate sacrifice.

He has given us everything we could ever want and need.

This Christmas, may our greatest gift not be the one we receive, but the one we give, to the One who is most deserving.

Jenny LaBahn has a heart for singles, trying to find their way in a world of pairs. She is a hair stylist and English Lit major who eat fishies (Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, yes, the ones that are served in pre-school), every single night, and even keeps a large box handy by her bed. She blogs at http://www.mydoubleportion.com.