Just recently I received an email asking me to address a certain topic here on Purposeful Singleness. I’m happy to do that in today’s post. If you would like to see a topic addressed let me know either in the comments below or by using the contact form. I won’t promise to answer them all, but I’ll gladly consider each one.
Here was the recent request:
“Hi, thanks so much for this website it has been a huge help for me. This type of stuff is rarely talked about in the church and because if that it can be isolating sometimes. I myself am decidedly single. Anyway, I was wondering if you can write a post about how to deal with well-meaning people who assume you want to be ‘introduced’ to people. It is something that has frustrated me recently. I can understand why someone would assume that a single person is looking for a relationship since so many singles hate their status but not everyone is the same. Not all singles are looking to be un-single. Personally, I would appreciate it if people would ask me first before taking it upon themselves to match me up. Thank you!”
First of all, thanks so much for your kinds words about the website! It’s always encouraging to hear that the content here is a help and encouragement to those reading it.
Dealing with Well-Meaning People
I’m not sure there is any one right technique for dealing with those dear people in our lives who mean well, but sometimes create problems rather than solving any. Responding and relating to them depends on the personality of the person, your own personality, the relationship between the two of you, and what was actually said or done. Most of all, it depends on what God is leading you to do or not do. I’m always amazed how the Holy Spirit can give us words and responses in the moment that we would never have thought of on our own, even if we’d had plenty of time to think it over!
Our Inward Response
It’s easy to let our default feelings take over and react negatively to people who say or do things we don’t like. It always helps me to consider what their motives might be, though I admit to frequently reacting – inwardly, at least, if not outwardly. If I can view things from their perspective, though, it always helps.
In this case, the well-meaning person likely enjoys being married, and wants the same for you. Or, they assume getting married would be your dream come true, and wants to help move things along to that assumed goal. Bottom line is, this person likely cares a lot about you, so they want to help you find what they assume will make you happy. If you think this is likely the case, be grateful to have a friend that cares about you, even if it is a bit misguided.
Our Outward Response
If you find yourself being unwillingly introduced to someone for a potential relationship – even with the best of intentions – things can get awkward quickly, depending on what is said by the well-meaning matchmaker. Treating others as we’d like to be treated, though, is always a good policy. We can be pleasant and polite without committing to something we don’t want. Who knows what new thing God might be orchestrating through this introduction – a great friend, a ministry or business opportunity, or a link to someone or something else God wants to bring into your life for whatever cool reason He has up His sleeve!
There’s nothing wrong, though, after the dust has settled a bit, with talking things over with the wannabe matchmaker. Depending on what your relationship is with them, their personality, and the likelihood of their pulling such a stunt again, it might not hurt to let them know you’re not interested in being introduced to potential spouses and why. Unless you tell them otherwise, they’ll continue to assume marriage is your intention, just like it was likely theirs. After all, they can’t read your mind! Sometimes people who are happily (or even unhappily) married can’t comprehend someone being happy and content unmarried. You may not convince them, but at least you’ll have given them something to think about.
God has given us so many different people in our lives – some easy to get along with, others not so easy. Often when encountering unpleasant people or situations, I remember His promise to work everything together for good for those who love Him. I realize that, after all, the One who created me and the purpose for my life truly does know what will bring about the best end result. We can trust Him for grace to deal with the unpleasant parts of that plan – even well-meaning matchmakers!