Archives For Singleness

I dug into my brownie Sunday as I asked him to catch me up on the last fourteen years. Jeremiah and I had lost touch after college and only recently reconnected via Facebook. Despite more than a decade of silence, we fell back easily into friendship. We’d both lived overseas, survived faith crises, never married, and felt our lives to be on the verge of something new. Neither of us expected our stories to turn out this way. Our other college friends got married, had kids, and lived in the cities they’d planned on with the jobs they’d hoped for. But not us. God doesn’t have us on the group plan. 

Photo 1448493802524 07e5f8e3cb0c

I know Jeremiah and I aren’t the only ones who can feel like we’ve missed open registration for God’s group plan. Most of us tend to compare our personal slice of adversity to everyone else’s plenty. If the doctor diagnoses us with a chronic disease, every one on Facebook just glows with health. While we scrimp on groceries to pay the rent, everyone around us drops twenties at Olive Garden like it’s no big deal. When another month passes and our hopes for children get dashed all over again, another five couples at church announce their pregnancies Continue Reading…

“Maybe you’ll meet a man, hijack the wedding, and get married yourself,” my friend, Raimie, said. Bless his optimism, but Raimie came late to the Christian dating scene.


Unfortunately, a good number of us church-going singles ought to attend ASA–Awkward Singles Anonymous. Blame it on I Kissed Dating Goodbye if you want, but the damage is done. 



Photo courtesy of Josh Felise via


So, during the reception Chad asks Melanie to dance, hears her mumble “No, thanks,” and then watches her escape to the bathroom like a gazelle fleeing from a cheeta. 


At another table, Andy admires how fabulous Sarah looks in her blue holter, but says nothing. Sarah stabs another crumb with her fork and wonders, “Why do I get all dressed up, if no one notices? Continue Reading…

This summer, my family rented a cabin in the Adirondacks. For a glorious week I escaped the Texas inferno and romped around with my two nieces who are, without question, the cutest humans on the planet.  


One evening, as my brother, Jason, laid on the couch two-year-old Ruby climbed onto him and sprawled across his chest. For a moment, envy shot through me. I wanted what Jason had—my own family, my own kids. 


4005467582 12fb825b0c b

Photo courtesy of Abby Bischoff via


But, while parenthood is a gift, it isn’t the promised land. Before the week of family vacation was over, that reality check had already bounced. There are some definite perks to not having kids. So, in case you need a reminder of what those are, here’s a short list from my week in the Adirondacks Continue Reading…

I wrote this article for Kindred Spirit’s Summer 2015 issue “Singles and the Church.” Kindred Spirit is the magazine of Dallas Theological Seminary.

*       *       *      *      *   

1. See us.


  • If you’re a speaker, talk about marriage, but also about the possibility of celibacy and prolonged singleness. Revere all options—like the apostle Paul did. 
  • Broaden views of male and female roles beyond breadwinning and childrearing.  

2548658198 e89e9cc157 b

Image courtesy of Hoola Talullah via


2. Validate us.


  • Celebrate how God is using us by admiring our contributions at work or how we met that single parent for lunch.
  • Convince us of our significance—help us understand how we can use our schedules, our relationships, and our aloneness to bless the church and fulfill the missio Dei Continue Reading…

I opened the break room door. The smell of fajitas met me, along with a man in scrubs. He stood up and shook my hand—all six feet and four inches of him and looking like someone from People’s Most Beautiful 2015.


One minute, it’s a normal Friday. The next, I’m fully aware of my sexuality. For the rest of the day, every muscle buzzed as if I’d guzzled a gallon of coffee.


Photo 1434210330765 8a00109fc773 Photo courtesy of Lechon Kirb


I realize that we singles aren’t the only ones who have to keep our sex-drives on a leash (see: Celibacy Is No Fun). Married people run into flirty strangers, too, and have to deal with temptation like the rest of us. Still, being single and choosing to defer sexual enjoyment until marriage has its moments (and days) of frustration Continue Reading…

My last neighbor owned a red Dodge Charger that gleamed as bright as his shaved head. He lived below me, and when his lady friends spent the night I wore earplugs. 


In my new apartment, I sleep in peace. Still, sex pops up everywhere—the magazine rack at the grocery store, an episode of Parks and Recreation, or the Victoria Secret catalog jammed in my mailbox. 


Craig sunter  flickr   CC BY ND 2 0

Photo courtesy of Craig Sunter via


American sexuality sings like one of Homer’s sirens. Movies and magazines seduce us into believing that happiness comes from a romp through the sheets, and the prospect of a sexless existence feels like an assaults on our humanity. 


For singles who choose celibacy until marriage, a healthy sex-drive can feel like a curse. Despite what married people say about enjoying singleness and the challenges of marriage, sometimes we just want to have sex Continue Reading…

Sometimes, I don’t mind singleness–when I’m hiking between cacti on the border of Mexico, taking a selfie at the Meyerson before the violins warm up, or forking a pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sauce in downtown Dallas. On these days, I might even like being single.

But, sometimes, singleness is the ache to feel a shoulder against my salty cheek, to feel an arm weigh on me as I flutter at the edges of sleep… 


Photo courtesy of Karen Long via

…for the scent of Gillette aftershave to interrupt my French Roast reveries, for the clack of oxfords on the stoop at six, for two steaming bowls of corn and jalapeño chowder, for a kiss that bristles after dark, and for another set of tired eyes to scan the small, black figures on the spreadsheet labelled “House Search.”

What does singleness feel like?

It depends on when you’re asking.

A giant, purple muumuu cascaded over her large, mocha body as she sat in my exam room. I still suspect that catching cold delighted Mrs. Rodriguez*, since it gave her a reason to see everyone at the office. 


A retired kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Rodriguez carried around bucketfuls of pent-up love. Each time I saw her, I got a little dousing–a blue tote that reminded her of her beloved bluebonnets that I must see one day, a heart-shaped necklace at Valentine’s, or gas station burritos. 


4194020892 5a5f6782bc o

Photo courtesy of Phillip Howard via 


“Best burritos in Rochester,” she said. “You’ve got to know where the real Mexicans cook.”  


That day, she proffered this gem: “Enjoy singleness, Shannon. Once you get married, you can’t just walk around the house tooting.” 

Continue Reading…

Dating is not like buying a car. The Kelley Blue Book won’t help you determine–based on manufacturer, year, accident history, and specific features–the market value for the model you’re considering. 


Now, I realize this blog isn’t for everyone, but it may help that sector of dating singles who, like me: 


  • grew up hearing that we should only date people who were “marriage material”
  • have a Myers-Briggs personality type ending in TJ (thinker/judger).
  • self-medicate their decision-making anxiety with pro-con lists  

Unsplash 5243e9ef164a5 1Photo courtesy of Dietmar Becker via


Dating is risky business, so some of us gravitate toward the Blue Book method. Gather information. Assess cost vs. benefit. Compare. Only invest when we’re certain that we’ve found the best deal. 


It’s a good approach for buying a 2009 Honda Accord, but doesn’t help us get to know the man or woman eating tacos across the table from us. Because, unlike cars:

Continue Reading…

A Good Year to Be Single

smgianotti  —  December 31, 2014

“Have you been dating anyone?” The inevitable question floated over church pews and hashbrown casseroles during my recent trip home. The question left me wondering if the success of 2014 rose and fell on my ability to snag a life partner.


On Christmas Eve morning, though, the conversation took a different turn. I was sitting at Leaf and Bean, sharing a cinnamon scone with my silver-haired friend.


“How is life going, really?” she asked.


1431 Picture Perfect FramePhoto courtesy of Travis Silva via

I took a sip of coffee and weighed my answer. I turned thirty-three in November, without a husband on the horizon. In my twenties I looked forward to these years, expecting to stay up each Christmas Eve wrapping gifts with my spouse–Legos and the latest Disney princess for our 2.2 children. Instead, I sleep on the twin-sized air mattress in Dad’s office and wake up to a Christmas stocking stuffed by Mom.

Continue Reading…