‘Singleness can very much be a cross, a source of struggles and suffering offered up to God as you journey towards him. It’s also an opportunity, however short or long-lived, to serve God and others in a unique way,” Emily Stimpson writes in The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years: The Nuts and Bolts of Staying Sane and Happy While Waiting for Mr. Right. She talks candidly with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: There are 96 million unmarried Americans — 43 percent of adults over age 18; 24 percent are divorced, and 61 percent have never walked down the aisle. What’s that about?
EMILY STIMPSON: How long do we have? This answer could take a while. If I’m just giving you the thumbnail version, I’d say that it’s the fruit of a sick and wounded culture. Contraception, cohabitation, and pornography — not to mention the idea that love is a feeling, not a choice — all have a lot to do with the number of unmarried people in America today. So have our parents’ failed marriages and dating habits that have conditioned us to relational patterns that are anything but “for as long as we both shall live.” Consumerism, which can make us think finding the perfect mate is like shopping for that perfect outfit (and convince us to hold off on making a decision because something better might be out there) bears some responsibility, as does a vision of happiness that has more to do with dollar signs than babies. Really, put it all together and it’s amazing that as much as 57 percent of Americans are married.
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