I just turned 30 and I'm feeling a bit down, because I wanted to be married by this age, and I don't even have serious dates, much less marriage prospects. I stopped going to church because I was questioning a lot of things, and I work a lot. I meet many people in my job, but the men I'm interested in never seem to be interested in me, and vice versa. I don't want to go back to Jesus the way I came, but neither do I want an unfulfilling relationship. Where do I compromise? I would love a husband and kids, but none of that even seems like a possibility now. And even if I meet someone this year, it will be years before we get serious, and I just don't have time. What do you recommend? Should I just throw caution to the wind and date the men who have shown interest, but who I'm not interested in? I want love and all those nice things, but the last man I liked and approached told me I was not his type, and that crushed me, so I'm scared.
Listen, be encouraged. I'm not sure why you're panicked about "time"; you're still young. Once you're willing to be bold, adventurous, and to invest a little in yourself, you'll be fine. Please, don't be too caught up with AGE, instead prioritise STAGE, and readiness. This way you'll better achieve the fulfilling relationship you want, guaranteed! But until the relationship happens, make an effort to truly enjoy being single.
Wanting a husband and kids is great. And yes, God does give us "the desires of our heart" (Ps. 37:4). Yet, there are things He requires of us, to ensure we deal properly with what and whom He sends us. This is where many people, including Christians, struggle — the proper participation toward proper preparation.
Finding Mr or Ms Right is different from keeping them. You can find the right someone, but you must then acquire the skills necessary to keep them. It's like finding the right pet store and then choosing the right, cutest kitten/puppy. After "getting" comes the "keeping" of that cat/dog. So readiness is imperative and that's not just about age.
Understand the pool: There's indeed a limited pool of men to pick from. If you're looking for a Christian, 30 to 40 years old, educated, no children, etc, each category shrinks the pool further. And there are others fishing in that pool, too. So understand why finding someone can be a challenge. However, the right plan and the right execution makes finding the right one doable.
Get ready: Ensure you're mature and ready for a partner. Cleanliness, personal hygiene, self-discipline, etc. Clarify what you're really looking for in a guy, write it down, and work that pool. And be emotionally available — deal with any crippling emotional baggage. Be physically available — willingly socialise and not just "work". Also, invest in yourself — your dress, hair, health and general fitness.
Be bold: Get out of the "box". Visit other churches and attend events locally and overseas. Join self-development and professional development groups, such as Toastmasters, Kiwanis, etc. Join groups that fit your hobbies, such as dance, book reading, cycling groups, etc. Find internationally connected groups.
Be adventurous: Take trips to other countries and go on tours, and don't be afraid to go alone. If you're open to dating foreigners your pool increases considerably. However, please don't throw caution to the wind.
Keep your faith: Despite the challenges, keep your faith. Keep praying and be willing to ask for prayer too. Get counselling if you're still struggling. You can also get a copy of my book, So You Wanna Be a Wife to help with your preparation.
I pray you'll truly enjoy being single and then when the time is right, enjoy being a wife and mother.
Get on The Counsellor's Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.