As a 25-year-old woman, I’ve spent nearly all of my eligible dating years as a single woman.
I love being single and have found so much joy in it that, obviously I want other people to find the same joy I have! I didn’t always really love or enjoy or really even notice being single as something great or even something to talk about.
When I first became an intentional disciple of Jesus Christ, I was advised that perhaps abstaining from dating for a time and being single would be best as I would be able to focus all of my energies on this newly formed relationship with Christ. Before this conversion, I was attempting to stay away from boys because even without the light of Christ in my life, I could identify that the cycle of unhealthy relationships I was involved in were poisonous to my life. It seemed logical, then, to extend this train of thought into this new venture.
The widespread problem many people have with being single was really brought to my attention after my conversion. I remember one girl saying something along the lines of being unhappy in her relationship with God because she was still single. I was very confused by this and was tempted to think that something was wrong with my relationship with God because I was at least two years her senior and still single. It was then that every fiber of my being began to rebel against this notion that life is not complete, you are not fulfilled, etc, unless you have a significant other.
The problem with being single wasn’t just restricted to my new found Christian community, but I now noticed the same thing everywhere.
From the time I was in high school to my early twenties, I spent so much time and effort trying to get boys to like me and I had succeeded once as a fresh faced 19-year-old. I remember I was over the moon that finally a boy liked me and wanted to date just me! Finally, I had a boy to validate me and give meaning to my life! That’s what everyone always dreams of, right?! We dated for almost two years and as our relationship began to deteriorate, he cheated on me. Now what?? That was certainly not something I dreamed about, and I had invested so much into this relationship like how does life go on?!? OMG!
Finding the wonderful world of singlehood.
This distress eventually led me to Jesus Christ and his Church which then led me to going to Scotland to tell high school students about this wondrous life with Jesus Christ! During that year spent serving with NET Ministries, I was on a dating fast imposed by the organization so that missionaries can truly invest into the work we would be doing. I suppose the wonderful world of singlehood really opened up to me during this year abroad, away from everyone I knew. Exploring the world with just me, myself, and I (not even a cell phone!) was seriously the best.
During this year I was able to come to know myself so much better and develop meaningful relationships with others striving after Christ. I wanted to take everything I had learned and transition back into life and at least initially, without a boyfriend.
It turned out that I wouldn’t really need to worry about fending off all the boys who were asking me out when I returned because there were none. And, to this present time, I am still not dating anyone! I’m still single!
Has my life been a meaningless and worthless pit? Have I been endlessly peering around every corner waiting for a man to give me direction and hope?
This is the time I have been given to be single so why should I waste it on wishing I wasn’t?
I’d like to think of myself as an optimist and someone who would seek the goodness out of any situation and make the most of it. So why should this be any different? I will continue to smell the flowers that I bought myself, deepen the relationships with those that I love in my life, explore the things that I am most passionate about, meet new people and hope that they leave me better and happier than they were before, and continue striving for sainthood all the same.
I’ve heard it said that youth is wasted on the young and I think sometimes it could be said that singlehood is wasted on the single! We don’t realize what an opportunity we have now while we are single to experience life in this unique way.
Literally everyone will experience singlehood at some point in their lives so we cannot let this time pass us by! As Mother Teresa would say, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
“Don’t you long to shout to those youths who are bustling around you: Fools! Leave those worldly things that shackle the heart and very often degrade it… Leave all that and come with us in search of Love!”
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