The holidays are coming up, and with that means some interrogation from well-meaning friends and family at your home church. As a seasoned single church-goer, I thought I would just answer all of the questions I’m asked every so often here, so that if you ever get fed up with the never ending stream of inquiries, you can simply forward them this article. You’re welcome.

“How the heck are you single?”

(Feel free to mix and match a combination of the following) I haven’t met the right guy yet. I haven’t been super eager to put myself out there. I’m bad at flirting. I have a fear of commitment. I prefer cats to guys. I’m too busy writing papers and editing articles. It’s kind of a two-way street, so my plague of “singleness” isn’t exactly all on my shoulders. Our culture puts too much pressure on guys to find the girl they’re going to marry before they even date, and I’m not looking to marry some guy in the next few years. I need to get a good job so I can support my future cats.

“God has a great plan for you, including a great spouse.”

Maybe. But I might also end up alone. Maybe I’m meant to travel all over the country and lecture and write way too many books. Maybe I’ll become a reporter and go into war-torn areas. Maybe I'll become the head editor of some giant publishing company. I don’t know what the future holds.

“But you’re so happy when other people get into relationships… You must be completely distraught that you’re not in one of your own.”

Well, I can be happy for other people because I genuinely enjoy seeing other people in healthy relationships. The world needs more of those. Also, I’m planning to fall back on a career planning dates for clueless guys like Will Smith in Hitch, because I am a multidimensional woman, so I can be a hopeless romantic as well as being independent.

“Well, if you just changed this about yourself, maybe you would be less intimidating to guys.”

First of all, I’m a petite 5’3” girl who falls down way too easily, locks her keys in her car accidentally every other day, freaks out when she sees a puppy, and cries four times a week, so I feel like if guys are intimidated by me, that’s not exactly my problem. Secondly, I realize that I’m also stubborn and impulsive and well-educated and unafraid to stick up for myself, but these aspects aren’t bad things. These aspects make me... well, me, and I shouldn't have to compromise that. It’s not like those parts of me are just going to go away once I achieve the highest title a girl can receive: “girlfriend.” Besides, if he can’t handle those parts of me, we probably shouldn’t be dating in the first place.

“Wait, so you don’t see yourself ever getting married?”

Maybe! I just realize that a relationship takes two people, and planning for a relationship that I don’t have control over seems like a bit of a waste of my time. Besides, I don’t want to plan my life around a partnership that may not happen. I would rather do what I feel God is leading me to do, and if some guy someday happens to come alongside and is compatible with that, I would be thrilled. However, I feel like I’m selling myself short if I can’t believe that I am complete in myself and God.

i do not want to have you
to fill up the empty parts of me
i want to be full on my own
i want to be so complete
i could light up a whole city
and then
i want to have you
'cause the two of us combined
could set it on fire
-rupi kaur