Will all the single ladies please stand up? (Sorry Bey, for defiling you by mixing you and Eminem up.)
At this point I have been single for one year. With the coming of a new year, I decided to tackle writing about what this past year of singleness has been like for me. It’s been hard. It’s been interesting. It’s been rewarding. Here are a few things I’ve learned.
It is hard. Singleness is not all Beyoncé. Even in the Christian community I feel like I hear singleness romanticized as being easier than it is. “Fall in love with Jesus first” has value, but it has become somewhat of a dismissive cliché. I do love Jesus, but I am also a human with emotions. And singleness can be really lonely. There are points at which you look around and feel like every conceivable person around you is dating someone. There are points at which you feel sorry for yourself and wonder if something is wrong with you. It’s ok to admit those things and to talk about the hard parts.
Blind dates and being set up look dreamy in movies, but be prepared for awkward. I have a lot of confidence in my friends and was pretty excited about meeting the blonde guy who I was certain would be my summer fling. Our engineered meeting wound up being far from perfect, however. Without delving into the story, all you need to know was that it ended with us having several five-minute conversations before he fell asleep on a basement couch in the middle of a party.
Appreciate your girlfriends. Most of my friends are not single. My best friend from home is in a committed relationship of over two-years. My roommate just celebrated her one-year anniversary with her boyfriend. My best friend at school is in the honeymoon stage of a brand new relationship. It’s not always easy to find people to relate to. But this year God grew my relationship with my friend Courtney and called us to walk through this season of singleness together. Find other single people who will hold you accountable and call you out and celebrate your victories and breakthroughs with you. Not that you can’t do this with all of your friends, but this level of intentionality and vulnerability with other single friends is invaluable. They can relate to your times of loneliness and remind you of your worth during those times. They can pray with you and for you as you struggle with similar things and grow alongside each other. And you’ll have the opportunity to be that for them too. Pray for God to show you who those people are and keep them.
Even when it’s difficult, don’t let yourself get distracted. Listen to your friends when they tell you it’s a bad idea to stay in the same tent as your ex boyfriend at the campout you’re all having. And quit obsessing over the girl he eventually starts dating and comparing yourself to her. Don’t waste hours Facebook stalking every cute guy you see in one of your classes. Focus on learning what it means to know yourself and love yourself well. Remember, this is an opportunity to pour your energy into growing and becoming more like Christ. Don’t spend that energy on thinking about all the boys you could be dating.
It’s ok. Really, it is ok. In a culture where hooking up or wedding up is expected, it’s ok to be by yourself. I didn’t have a New Years Eve kiss. I have not been on a single date in over six months (actually since the failed set-up). I don’t like anyone right now. And given all of those things, my worth is unchanged. All things considered, I am grateful for my season of singleness. In spite of the times when it has been miserable, I am better for it. So if nothing else, hang onto that. God is using this to make you even more beautiful. Someday He will make that crystal clear; He promises it.