It has come to my attention that some people claiming to be practitioners of the Orthodox Faith imply or assert that there is in fact a third blessed path in Orthodox Christianity: that of the lifelong bachelor/spinster.
As is commonly communicated in Patristic writings, summaries of the Faith (like The Law of God, Archpriest Seraphim Slobodsky), and through catechesis, there are two paths in life that the Church blesses: marriage and monastic tonsure.
And example of this is reflected in Fathers: "There are two forms of life and states of life. One is the usual life for mankind, married life; the other is the angelic and Apostolic life of which there is no higher, virginity or the monastic state." (St. Athanasius, quoted from The Law of God)
Apparently, the third path is autonomous (not following within the authority structures of either a marriage or a monastery), career oriented (so presumably omitting the disabled or those who never reach emotional maturity), and critically concerned about worldly concerns (such as fair labor laws).
Of course, claims could be made such as "there are countless examples" of such persons in perishes. If such a claim were to hold any weight, then we would conclude that all kinds of practices are Orthodox: attending Liturgies once or twice per year (Pacha and the Nativity), Halloween parties, bingo, and organs in the choir loft. But those are not traditional nor patristic.
Can anyone provide Patristic evidence to back up such a claim that there is a third blessed path in the Orthodox Church apart from marriage or monasticism?