I’ve been contemplating whether to write this for the longest time.
I’ve wondered whether to publish this for even longer.
This is about being single.
I’ve been single for 10 months now following the end of a 3 year relationship and it’s been truly…. interesting. That’s the word that would describe it best. I didn’t think I could go grow so much in less than a year but God is showing me new depths of my identity that I have yet to explore. He’s created friendships that are so close to my heart. He’s placed people in my life who are inspiring me to live out my faith zealously while motivating me to make a difference in this world in ways I would have never even dreamed of. God has taught me things now that I would have probably learned before had I paid more attention to Him.
Nevertheless, here are 5 things I’ve learned during this time, that I hope will help you too:
Your identity is found in Christ
Singleness is a time to discover who you truly are. You are a whole person, a child of God and nothing can change that – not even being in a relationship. Focusing on God places everything else into perspective. Trusting in God’s plan is better than worrying about the future because we cannot control it anyway. I heard this quote one time and I’ve had it in mind ever since: “Run as fast as you can towards God, and if someone keeps up, introduce yourself.” Use this time to pray for your future – even for your possible future husband/wife.
Cliché but true: Don’t be anyone but yourself
Figuring out who you are is a journey that starts now. Being aware of your own personality and tendencies would make a relationship more genuine. Perhaps you have also been in a relationship for a long time and your character was sort of shaped around it. Take the time to find out what truly characterizes you and don’t change for anyone– if someone does not accept you for who you are, they are not worth it. Having said that, be open to the people who know you best and listen to what they have to say. Perhaps they have noticed a change in you that you have not noticed yourself and you need them to point it out to you to consider whether it’s really something that characterises you or just something you’re doing as a result of a past relationship or to impress people.
Do things alone, spend time with yourself – get out of your comfort zone!
In this fast and social world we tend to think that going places alone is weird, strange, or lonely. We shouldn’t be afraid to pamper ourselves and do things we enjoy doing whether it is with someone else or alone. If we’re not personally ok, a relationship is not going to be ok either. We need to take the time to figure out our strengths and weaknesses and such growth allows a relationship to thrive, even though we’ll never have everything completely figured out.
Personally, a relationship of almost three years was comfortable for me. I needed to learn to be comfortable with discomfort when I became single in order to get myself out there after the ‘safety’ of the relationship. I grew so much as I focused on what I was good at, failed a few times and learnt from that and challenged myself to be better, and try new things. Don’t let your comfort zone restrict you. It’s out there that something beautiful usually happens.
Friends and family are so important
Getting to know new people is not as hard as you think it is. It gets easier to speak to new people after a few times and in the process, you might meet your future spouse or discover new opportunities or new friendships. Always give importance to those who support you and give you good advice. If you have genuine love between friends and family, how much more will you be able to love in a relationship?
If God is at the centre of friendships, and the start of a relationship is built on one, it is easier to have a relationship centred on God. It takes time to be at peace with being single when friends are in relationships even if you think you’re ok with it. Don’t beat yourself up or consider yourself inferior because you’re single. Use this time to be present with the people around you and genuinely care for them.
It is not the end of the world to be single
The world puts too much emphasis on relationships being the norm. Social media pressures and even the people around you might consider you to be abnormal if you’re young and single. Remember, you are not weird if you have never been in a relationship or if you aren’t in one right now. You are not strange if you’re not looking for a relationship and neither if you like someone new after only a few days/months. Feelings are messy – take the time to know them but don’t let them control you. Remember to listen to your heart but take notice of your mind too. Singleness is a vocation whether it is for a lifetime or not. It is time to see what God is calling you towards, whether it’s marriage or not.
My prayer is that this has touched you in some way, whatever you’re going through at the moment. I’d love to share stories with you, so slide in a dm on Instagram if you’d like to chat! I truly believe that God places thoughts on our hearts to make a difference in people’s lives and that He uses all that happens in our life for our benefit. It’s up to us to see that.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
*title and content of blog post inspired by Gabriel Lia*