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There are so many different reasons that a person might be single. Whatever your particular circumstances are, you are not alone. Statistics show that in 2020 there were 36.2 million single person households in the United States alone (Statista, 2021). That’s a lot of people, but most likely, that statistic does not make you feel any better. No matter how many other people are in your same situation, the difficulties of being single are still real. 

This blog will cover a few topics that single people struggle with including the question of “Why hasn’t God sent me a help-mate?” (Gen 2:18); loneliness; social anxiety; feeling tired of attending superficial social events; and living life always wishing a future event would take place, such as getting married or being consecrated or ordained. 

Why hasn’t God sent me a helpmate?

Regarding the first question, “Why hasn’t God sent me my helpmate?” There are probably as many answers to “why” as there are people asking the question. There might even be ten answers “why” for every one person asking the question. This question can quickly devolve into thinking, “God must not love me.” “This must be a punishment for something.” “I must not be good enough to have a spouse.” When we notice ourselves moving into negative attributions we need to stop. The fact that you are single, does not mean that God does not love you. The great Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor was single. Does that mean God did not love her? On the contrary, being single allowed her to devote her life to creative writing. “My single state must be a punishment from God.” Hold on. First of all, if the thought that God is punishing you comes to your mind regularly, seeking spiritual direction on a regular basis to help you make sure your image of God aligns with who God really is would be recommended. Yes, God is just, but God is also merciful. Secondly, we are no longer living in the old testament where virginity was a thing to be mourned. Being married is not the highest ideal in life, and not getting married, the biggest failure. The highest ideal in life is doing God’s will for us, which is manifest to us on a moment by moment basis. If the thought, “I must not be good enough to have a spouse” is coming to mind, beware of your “not good enough” filter. Sometimes we have a false core belief about ourselves that tells us we are “not good enough.” We want to challenge that false belief. The book of Genesis can provide one good argument that we are “good enough.” After God created the entire world, God created man. As God made each earthly feature and each animal, God said, “it is good.” But after creating mankind scripture says, “And God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good.” (Gen 1:31) The argument that we are “not good enough” to have a spouse just doesn’t hold up. If you notice that your “not good enough” filter is coloring your interpretation of life’s events, we recommend seeking counseling. Changing the lens of your filter to “good enough” is an arduous process, but it can be done with God’s grace. 


Probably the most difficult aspect of being single is dealing with the waves of loneliness that strike when you are not expecting. For anyone who has ever eaten at a restaurant alone, or gone to the movies on their own, you know the self-conscious feelings, and deep and painful feeling of loneliness. Some people decide to never eat out alone or go to the movies alone again. Others discover that they enjoy the solitude. For those in the first group, we acknowledge your pain. Living on your own in an apartment or a house can feel piercingly lonely for some, while others enjoy the quiet time and peaceful silence. Loneliness is particular to single people, but it is not exclusive to single people. We want to validate your experience, but also clarify that being married does not eliminate loneliness. At some points in everyone’s life, we all feel lonely, even if we are married. There are moments when on a deep emotional level married people do not receive the comprehension from their spouse that they need, and therefore feel lonely. There are moments when because of schedules married people do not see their significant other for days or months on end. So marriage is not a cure for loneliness. If you want to get married so you don’t feel lonely, take a step back. First, we need to be able to give ourselves what we need, and receive from God what we need. We need to be able to stand on our own, and be happy with who we are. Only when we are able to be individuals are we ready to then join ourselves to another. Sometimes, we can push people away when we are too lonely, too (and we hate this word) needy. When we are too dependent on others for our happiness, we put too much pressure on them, and they end up pulling away from us. If this is a pattern you notice happening in your relationships and your friendships, seek counseling to help you develop what we call a healthy sense of self. This healthy sense of self will allow you to stand on your own and be ready to stand next to someone at the altar when Our Lord brings that person into your life. 

Social anxiety 

Approximately 15 million adults in the USA suffer from social anxiety disorder (ADAA, 2021). Signs of social anxiety can be physical such as increased heart rate, sweaty palms, nausea, and shaking, or emotional, such as fear of being judged, seen as boring, viewed as stupid or akward, saying the wrong thing. Intense social anxiety can greatly limit a person’s chances of finding a suitable spouse. It takes dedicated time and effort to find a spouse. In most cases, a person has to put themselves out there on repeated occasions until they find someone who is a suitable match. The idea that “if it’s meant to be, they will find me” is not realistic. If social anxiety keeps you from attending social events where you might meet a potential spouse, we recommend seeking counseling. A counselor can help you to learn ways to deal with the anxiety and in some cases decrease the anxiety, so that you can resolutely engage in activities where you can meet a potential spouse.

Feeling tired of superficial social events

Another phenomenon for someone who has been attending “young adult” events or networking extensively is burnout. Going to weeknight social gatherings, meeting new people, and putting your best foot forward can be exhausting, especially if you are not seeing any results. We encourage you to stick with it. Perhaps take a break for a week or two, or scale back to the social events you feel most connected with. Perhaps go to the ones that not only provide you opportunities to meet people, but also feed you spiritually, or are professionally enriching. Plan outings or join groups that like to do what you like to do, hiking or biking for example, art gallery gatherings, or bible studies, not just the happy hour social clubs. By joining these groups, you’ll not only meet your need for social connection, but also increase the likelihood that friendship and shared interests will be the basis of your romantic relationship, which is an excellent base to build on. 

Living for the future

It can be very difficult to be single, especially if you have discerned that you are called to marriage. There can be a temptation to always live for the future, thinking that once I am married, once I find the “right” person, I’ll be happy. This is a trap. When we live for the future, we miss what is happening in the present. God’s grace is always in the present moment. A person who is in formation for the consecrated life can also fall into this trap of living for the future, waiting for the moment of the profession of their vows or ordination. When we live for the future, it seems obvious, we skip the present. The thing is, we think that our unhappiness now will end once the long awaited date approaches. But what happens after that special event? That one special wedding day, or consecration day, or ordination ceremony? Life goes back to normal and although some things in our life will have changed, we will still be the same person. We will still get impatient about the same things, we will still feel irritated by the same people, we will still feel the reality of life’s imperfections. So the question is how are we living today, preparing for tomorrow? If we live today fully present to the present moment, if we live today, growing in charity, generosity, and humility, we will be able to live those same virtues in the future. If we want to be happy in the future, the time to start is now. What do we have control over? What do we need to change in our present circumstances, or our present way of seeing things, that will help us be joyful now? How do we handle conflict? How do we handle difficulties in our closest relationships? How do we foster gratitude for life now, as it is? If you are living the present moment well, you will live the future well too. Do not get stuck in the trap of wishing your life away. Life is too short as it is. 

We hope that this discussion of how to navigate some of the challenges of single life has been helpful. While this was in no way an exhaustive list, we hope that we’ve given you food for thought and a few helpful suggestions. If you have other topics on the single life you would like us to address, please let us know. Also, if you are interested in working through or processing some of the things mentioned in this blog, feel free to contact us to set up an appointment with a counselor. 



Anxiety & Depression Association of America (2021). Social Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. 

Chasing Sacred. (2021). Helpmate the real meaning of the word. Chasing Sacred.

Statista Research Department (2021, May 18). Number of single-person households in the United States from 1960 to 2020. Statista.