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A Letter to Single Women Who Wish Eligible Men Were More Mature

Dr. Audrey Davidheiser

Crosswalk Contributing Writer
Published: Jan 24, 2023
A Letter to Single Women Who Wish Eligible Men Were More Mature

I wonder if this is how God sees all His children in general. Perhaps He makes it a personal policy to focus on the inch we’ve managed to add to our spiritual stature rather than the failures we’ve committed. 

I married a Redwood.

That’s my conclusion after meandering through these tall trees. 

No, this isn’t a piece on horticulture. I’ll get to your annoyance with immature men later, but may I start by sharing my solo journey prior to John?

Before my husband, my single status felt like a parasite I couldn’t exterminate. That freeloader stuck with me throughout college, grad school, after earning my license, and even after starting my private practice. 

My peers were busy getting married and assembling IKEA furniture and skipping sleep to tend to their newborns. Some even went so far as to divorce their first spouse and marry another.

Guess who dragged her sister to birthday parties and get-togethers through it all?

Yep. Your new friend over here has definitely traipsed through the singleness wilderness. 

It wasn’t like I didn’t meet anyone during those years. Elsewhere I wrote about “Matt” the evangelist and how I learned he wasn’t the one. 

None of the men I encountered felt right.

Oh, how I wish we could swap stories about Mr. Wrongs over coffee and cake. I’m sure you can regale me with your own false starts. 

During those alone years, I flung a bunch of questions at the Lord. Why am I still single? Is there something wrong with me? Will I ever get married? 

I imagine you have your own versions of these questions, too.

Perhaps you’ve gone a step further and compiled a list of probable answers for why you’re still single—at your age, to boot:

  1. There are no decent candidates.

  2. There is, indeed, something wrong with you.

  3. Eligible ones are immature.

Let’s take them up one by one.

No Decent Candidates

Many have dismissed online dating as depressing. Meeting a potential partner in person, meanwhile, feels like a fairy tale reserved only for novels and rom-coms.

It doesn’t help that more women than men attend church. How can you hope to meet a potential date at church when the pool is so tiny there’s hardly room for both feet to splish-splash?

I get why you’d think there are no good candidates. 

Or rather, my sister did.

Back when I used to doubt my prospect of landing a decent guy, she reminded me, “it only takes one.”

The thought cheered me up. I didn’t need to date half of LA or lower my standards and date non-Christians. All I needed was to trust the Lord to introduce me to the right man.

May her wise words encourage you too.

Something Wrong with You?

If this question has assailed you before, relax. All it proves is that you have an inner critic that’s vocal about its low appraisal of you. 

The good news is most of planet earth shares your plight. That is, most—if not all—of us hear a critical voice inside, ready to pounce on our chipped tooth, grotesque birthmark, or a million other reasons why it thinks we fall short. 

Just because you’re still single—at your age—doesn’t mean you have a deficiency. 

Still, it’s wise to glance at the mirror. Introspect. Go inward. 

Because I’m a certified IFS therapist, I recommend an IFS therapist to walk you through this process. This model has helped many transform their lives. 

Of course, you can soul search on your own. But if you do, watch out. Don’t slide into a shame spiral.

Eligible Ones Are Immature

Let me detour back to the Redwoods for this point.

These trees are resistant to an impressive array of intruders: Fire. Bugs. Freezing cold weather. 

Well, okay, not exactly freezing. I just called it that because I grew up on the Equator, where the average temperature hovers around a pleasant 80 degrees. Year-round. 

But back to Redwoods, who just stand there and resist hazardous environments.

And grow—albeit slowly.

Take a particular Redwood as an example. As of this writing, the tree is 308 feet tall and 1,400 years old. Let me spare you the math to give you the bottom line: someone planted this tree in AD 622, and to date, it has been growing by 2.2 inches every year. 

Which means that the tree only grew by about the width of your credit card every 12 months.

If you visited it by, say, its 35th year, you might have dismissed the sapling as unimpressive. There wouldn’t have been any discernible change height-wise even if you scrutinized it for a whole week.

But if I were to tell you that by the 21st century, this stubby thing would have towered over humans and even hotels, you might have grimaced my way on your way out.  

Which brings me back to the topic at hand.

God drew my attention to their slow growth rate at an opportune time. 

I had lent my expertise to help my husband overcome a familiar—but unwanted—issue the day before we visited the Redwoods. Right before we arrived, however, another episode had reared its ugly head. 

My interpretation of this incident? John failed to change fast enough. 

Which, in turn, prompted my emotional outburst. Why isn’t John changing faster? 

Let me translate this sentiment to better suit your predicament. Why aren’t eligible men more mature?

Onward with Patience 

There could indeed be various answers to your inquiry. 

It could be you’re right, and these men need to do some maturing before they qualify as marriage material. 

Or perhaps the Lord might ask you, as He did me, to take the New Testament seriously—specifically, to let patience have its perfect work (James 1:4, NKJV). 

For me, it means appreciating the 2.2 inches’ worth of growing that John has faithfully done in this past year. 

So what if he’s still grappling with his issues? Don’t we all have our challenges? Besides, I need to give credit to whom credit is due (Romans 13:7). John’s bouts with his personal thorn in the flesh have lessened compared to the first years of our marriage.

How patience applies to you might be different. First off, you still have to decide on who to marry. Whether you’re still early in the dating stage or whether you’re now engaged, it’s okay to keep asking the Lord for verification that you’ve got the right guy.

When your guy misbehaves or does anything to stir up your dissatisfaction, remember the lesson of the Redwoods. He may not be growing fast enough, but it doesn’t mean he hasn’t attained more maturity today compared to some moons ago.

I wonder if this is how God sees all His children in general. Perhaps He makes it a personal policy to focus on the inch we’ve managed to add to our spiritual stature rather than the failures we’ve committed. 

Perhaps that’s why He is ever ready to forgive and grant us new mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24). 

But I digress. 

When your guy disappoints you again, no need to throw a tantrum or threaten to leave (unless God has made it clear that you’re supposed to exit). 

Instead, pray that he can withstand the pressures in his inner world—not to mention the world at large—and keep growing. Pray that his faith won’t fail (Luke 22:32). Pray for you and your own growth too. Pray so you can see all the growing he has done.

Your future self will thank you when years from now, he morphs into a 300-foot-tall spiritual giant. 

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Prostock-Studio

dr. audrey davidheiser bio photoAudrey Davidheiser, PhD is a California licensed psychologist, certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist, and IFSI-approved clinical consultant. After founding and directing a counseling center for the Los Angeles Dream Center, she now devotes her practice to survivors of trauma—including spiritual abuse. If you need her advice, visit her on www.aimforbreakthrough.com and Instagram @DrAudreyD. Disclaimer: her advice column isn't therapy.

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