Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Bent Toward Singleness?

on June 4, 2015
image courtesy of Vlado/

image courtesy of Vlado/

Recently I had dinner with a woman in her sixties who is soon to be retiring from full-time ministry in the church. She never married. I was surprised to learn this. After all, her generation did not produce many lifelong single women.

As I learned more about her life, it seemed to me that a trauma she underwent during her young adult years, and the response of her parents to this trauma, significantly influenced the direction her life took toward singlehood.

My conversation with her got me to wondering about the rest of us life-long singles. Are there circumstances of our young lives that, unbeknownst to us, affected us in a way that has impeded our desire to become wives?

My own youth was less than ideal. My parents divorced when I was very young and I grew up with a struggling alcoholic in my family. There were bad times. I like to think that, by the grace of God, I have been freed from the baggage of those difficult beginnings. But I cannot help wondering about the connection between the traumas of my youth and the intimate relationships that I form or seem unable to form. This is an even trickier question when I consider that my siblings, raised right alongside me, have no difficulty with long-term relationships.

When I think about my older friends who are still single, I notice that we have in common less-than-ideal experiences in our youth.  Though it is also true that I have friends who have had traumatic beginnings and who are married.

My question here is, even if it is definitely possible to marry well in spite of childhood issues, have some of us been bent toward singleness by events occurring in our young lives? And if we have been bent in the direction of singleness, can we be unbent?


4 responses to “Bent Toward Singleness?

  1. Carole Brown says:

    Some good tho’ts to ponder here.

  2. nosyjosie says:

    I would imagine so – to both of those last questions. I know that I have a fear of abandonment because of something that happened in my youth. Its been reinforced through past relationships as well. Although I claim to give everyone a “fair chance” with me….I don’t. Because in the back of my mind, I’m waiting for someone to walk out on me.

    • Alease B. says:

      So then I guess the next question is, if it’s possible to be unbent, how do we do it? One way to start, I think, is to do what you did here-acknowledge the “thing”. Aside from counseling, though, I have no idea what comes after that. Any thoughts? Thanks for your transparency nosyjosie.

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