There has been a lot of talk about being single in my life these days. I hear the heart aches of women who long for a husband and men who desire to share their lives with a woman and pain is felt. Why does it hurt so badly? Why do people long so deeply for another person? What is it about the marriage relationship that causes people to actually have visceral reactions to the lack there of?
These are questions that I ask. I think of them at times for myself and at times for others. Being single is an interesting journey for sure. It is one that we are not taught how to navigate well and therefore, people are left with a constant sense of waiting for mr or mrs right to come along so life can really get started.
I continue to learn how walk well as a single woman. I may not know exactly why it hurts physically or why people long so much for something they do not have. But I have learned from experience what to do to navigate the emotions, questions and journey of singlehood. Here are a couple of things I’ve learned that may be helpful.
1. Have married friends. When you are single it is easy to find all the other singles around to hang out with, but we miss out when we don’t engage with others who are in marriage relationships.
2. Dream about life now. Continue to live in a way that is open to new things.
3. Be honest about desire. Don’t hide your desire because it feels vulnerable, but instead treat it as something of value that is shared with the right people.
4. Cry every now and again. It’s okay. Let it out. Feel the lack of a spouse. Be REAL with it.
5. Take care of yourself. Don’t wait until you meet the right person. You are worth taking care of if for no one but you!
6. Find something good in every day. Make a practice of looking for good. You will find it. It’s easy to get stuck in the pattern of thinking that, “things will be good when…” But there is good to be had now. Enjoy it! Look for it! Share it! and Invite others into it.
7. Adopt a family to be yours. Do your married friends have children? Make a habit of spending time with the whole family. Do errands with, do life with and contribute to the family.
8. Find friends who will be in your singleness with you. Friends who will be your cheerleader. Friends who will be your shoulder, your work out buddy and so on. Have good friends! Surround yourself with good people! This will help you when you’re married too.
9. Care about something other than yourself.
10. Contribute to the needs of others. Find an issue you care about and spend time contributing!
11. Know that the goodness of God is not contingent upon the arrival of your spouse. Instead, trust that His goodness will provide what you need and what you want. Pray. Trust. Talk. Listen. Depend.
12. Have friends with whom you can be raw and practice honesty.
13. Don’t marry someone in your mind! (see blog post on divorce from a few days back)
14. Pray. Growing intimacy with God is as easy as telling him the things he already knows. Don’t hold back. God can handle your tears, questions, fears and doubts. Speak them.
15. Enjoy the time you’re given!
Being single is not a death sentence, but it isn’t the common story. So if you’re single and reading this. Choose to live well in your uncommon life!
For those of you who are single what have you learned that is helpful? What would you like to add to the conversation?