Opinion: Being single is fine

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File Photo

One unfortunate side effect of going to a distinctly Christian college is the subtle mindset that if you haven’t chased down and tackled your love mate for life by age 22, you’re probably going to die on a cold linoleum floor, alone, after eating too many Cocoa Puffs. This is reinforced by the amount of marriages you witness senior year. Trust me, over the past two months, I’ve seen more engagements than I’ve seen hipster girls with one side of their head shaved (and in Grand Rapids that’s no mean feat), thus leaving me vacillating between anxiety at a Cocoa Puff stroke and outright rebellion.

But you see, if you don’t get married right now (or even ever) I don’t think that’s such a big deal. You may have the completely irrational thought that you’re watching happiness slip through your fingers, that you’re going to be that cynical old man or woman who creepily does the exact same thing every day and has intense philosophical dialogues with his or her cat. But you’re wrong (and you’re forgetting the fact that chatting about some Kantian ethics with your cat isn’t all that bad).

First off, a single life doesn’t mean you won’t be happy or live a fulfilled life. Let’s take a look back at history and see who didn’t get married. First off, it would be a shame not to mention Jesus, who straight up saved you. Also, Nikola Tesla, who you may not have heard of, but pretty much invented everything Thomas Edison took credit for. Also, the Dalai Lama. And you pretty much can’t argue against the Lama.

Second, some people don’t find their love mate until later in life. We tend to forget that for every married person at Calvin, there are two that aren’t married (don’t quote me on that because I just made that up). Put another way, in an inconceivable all-out brawl, single people would definitely have the upper hand due to sheer numbers.

And don’t feel bad that you don’t have a mate or potential mate. Heck, I sometimes feel like taking a metaphorical torch to the whole dating culture here at Calvin. And it isn’t just me. I’ve talked to some of my single friends about this, and there’s been some rebel-rousing talk, some take-our-pitchforks-and-storm-the-nearest-castle sort of talk. Like no, I can be a self-governing entity without defining myself by what I am attached to or according to what status of relationship I’ve attained. Marriage by 22! Most of us are still trying to learn how to cook things without the aid of cans.

Okay, okay. So, I don’t despise marriage or dating or even that weird point in between friendship and dating. All that I am saying is that we should take a step back from the intense mindset that you need to get married during or right after college. So go get married if you’re so inclined. Have fun learning the other person in said relationship snores like a barge heading out of port — I’ll be sleeping soundly with my stuffed animals in my single bed. But for all those single people out there, just remember that being single (now or forever) isn’t all that bad.

This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily represent the views of Calvin Chimes, Calvin College or the Christian Reformed Church. 

About the Author

Ben Rietema

Ben Rietema is a Chimes on-call writer for the 2013-14 school year. Being from Boulder, CO, I have in my possession Birkenstocks, long hair, and use the adjective “tight” quite a bit. I enjoy what some might call an over fondness for carrots that gives me eyesight that can pierce through walls, and apparently, I like reading because I’m an English major.

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