Put a Ring on It – A Singleness Ring: Guest Post by Gretchen Baskerville
[Bella’s intro: Why is this married woman wearing a ring to celebrate her single years? When I heard Gretchen Baskerville’s touching story, I asked her if she would share it with “Single at Heart” readers. Thanks, Gretchen, for agreeing to do so!]
Put a Ring on it – A Singleness Ring
By Gretchen Baskerville
The Benefits of Singleness
I believe nearly everyone can benefit from a long stretch of singleness during their adult years, even if that isn’t their life-long destiny.
Singleness, if embraced, can lead to great friendships, new skills, strength, independence, and a delightful comradeship of like-minded men and women who are truly inspiring. These are the gifts of singleness and are difficult to develop any other way.
Today more than 70 million people are never-married singles and more than 40 million people in the U.S. are single again, having been married at least once. Embracing these single years is key. Although many people who are not readers of this “Single at Heart” blog run away from the concept, research has shown that you can experience a lot of personal growth.
- Being single forces you to be a better person. You are more likely to be a good employee, friend, relative and neighbor. You have no automatic safety net, in the form of a spouse, and many single people create and nurture their own circles of people who are important to them. They are reliable and responsible, whereas some married people stop growing and just coast.
- Being single gives you time to contemplate life and become deeper. You get to know yourself when you are alone. You find out what really matters: integrity, self-awareness, and your core values. You don’t have to conform to peer pressure. You can be authentic.
- Being single allows you to be available for interesting adventures. Married people spend a lot of time with each other. In fact, they feel obligated to spend a majority of time together. But single people have the freedom to explore new ideas, new places, and new people.
- Singles have richer friendships. Most married people spend time with their spouse and kids, and maybe a handful of friends. Singles develop deep relationships with all kinds of people, including their extended family members.
These experiences and close friendships helped me define my own path as a single after divorce. After several years, I bought a gold ring to memorialize the amazing journey. Just as some people wear a class ring to show their pride in their school, I wore my “singleness ring” to show my gratefulness for having made it in life. I had an inspirational Bible verse printed inside. (Psalm 71:20-21).
Successful Singleness to Successful Marriage
For those who wish to marry, developing reliability, courage, and relationship skills make them better at “pair bonding.” After all, great marriages often include two people who are good friends who can roll with the hard times.
In identifying potential marriage partners, long-time singles can identify dangerous people more quickly and eliminate them from their lives. Those relationships don’t feel right. Singles have years of experience with deep and meaningful friendships. They aren’t desperate for intimate connection because they already have it. For them, it’s easier to sort the givers from the takers.
I am married now, and I wear my “singleness” ring with pride every day. My husband shares my appreciation for singleness. He was single for a long time too, so we have best of both worlds.
Honoring the Single Years
Just after I married, I got a new car. The young woman at the dealership asked all the usual questions for the ownership form. I had kept my name, so I gave a brief explanation.
I told her my story and showed her my hands: “This is my wedding ring, and this is my singleness ring. I still wear it because I am proud of the courage and growth that happened in those single years. I raised my kids myself and we all turned out great.”
She had tears in her eyes.
I could see she needed the message: “Being single is okay. In fact, it’s more than okay.”
Gretchen Baskerville has led single mothers groups at her church for many years, and is the author of the upcoming book The Christian Woman’s Guide to Divorce Recovery. You can follow her on Facebook at “Support Christian Single Moms Network.”
@2017 Gretchen Baskerville
[From Bella, again: Thanks again, Gretchen! My personal favorite part is: “Singles have years of experience with deep and meaningful friendships. They aren’t desperate for intimate connection because they already have it.” Oh, and Gretchen just shared with me this delicious postscript: “I chose my wedding rings to match my singleness ring — approximately the same size and color gold. I knew what I wanted before we got engaged!”]
DePaulo, B. (2017). Put a Ring on It – A Singleness Ring: Guest Post by Gretchen Baskerville. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 23, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/single-at-heart/2017/09/put-a-ring-on-it-a-singleness-ring-guest-post-by-gretchen-baskerville/