Last night, FutureMrsLarijani and myself attended a Singleness forum at her alma mater, Covenant College. We had been walking on campus two days before, and saw the advertisement. Ergo, we figured we would drop in and observe the talks.
They had a three-person panel: One was a single male who was older. One was a lady who had married older. One was a lady who was in her late 30s and still single. There was a substantial number of students–literally a balanced mix of men and women; it was just about 50/50–who had joined in. I was probably the oldest person in the room.
The discussion was not a bad one. There was no fingerpointing: neither sex blamed the other over the protracted singleness dilemma. All three panelists, almost certainly due to their experiences, focused more on what to do while one remains single. The points were good ones. There was unanimous agreement over the failure of the Church with respect to singles. The man on the panel hit on a very important point: the students were in a unique situation in that there was a very good mix of singles. The men had a significant number of potential mates, and they would not see this situation once they graduated. (I wanted to chime in: ditto for the ladies.)
Unfortunately, what was not discussed was also important.
I would venture to say that most–if not all–of the folks in the room who were single, aspired to get married and/or start a family. I mingled with a fair number of folks afterward, and I did not observe any of the men or women desiring singleness as their calling with respect to marriage and family life.
Here’s the dilemma:
(1) Both sides clearly wanted to get married. There were few–if any–who were in the “marriage avoider” camp. I did not observe any feminists–not even sympathizers–in the mix. None of the gals with whom I spoked–or observed–was fixated on a career. One of them–a friend of FutureMrsLarijani’s who goes to the same church–resembles Christina: she WANTS to be married and have a family, and has stated that as her life aspiration from childhood.
(2) Both sides seemed like decent enough people. We all have our issues, but none of the folks seemed immature or otherwise unprepared to take steps toward that phase of life. The guys did not fit any of the stereotypes. Nor did the gals.
The question that was not asked in this regard: what can the Church–and the families–do differently with respect to singles, in order to make marriage happen?
I’ve harped on the need for better networking, and last night was a clear case for that. I spoke to a couple of the panelists about that.
Personally, I would have loved to have had that many single gals in my midst as a college student. (Where I went to school, the boy/girl ratio was 10 to 1. In my major, it was closer to 20 to 1.) I would have found a gal, and locked my sites on her, and almost certainly would have been engaged by the end of my undergrad studies.
But why wasn’t there more pursuit going on from the guys? I’d bet that you could literally have paired every guy up with a gal, and everyone in that room–who wanted to be married–could have been.
My question for you guys and gals: could it be that the lack of a network–and/or involvement of families in the process–is hindering the men in the college from doing the pursuing?
I posed that to the male panelist afterward, and he suggested that I might be onto something.