Singleness is great. I could go on and on and on about the benefits of being a single pringle… but I won’t. Because let’s be real here, sometimes, it also sucks.
Comments like, “The perfect one will come along, just keep waiting!” and oft-repeated conversations starting with “So, who do you like?” make me feel as though singleness is something I need to (and should) escape from, a.s.a.p.
Yes, marriage and relationships are beautiful gifts from God – I am surrounded by so many amazing families and couples – but as my Mum pointed out, being single is just as great a gift, too. Singleness isn’t a consolation prize, a minor league or a pre-season game.
A few years back, I thought it would be a good idea to make a mental list of all the characteristics ‘the one’ worth waiting for would and should possess. I had it all planned out. Amongst many other things, my future husband should be cultured, ambitious, adventurous, super talented, reflective, sensitive, corny, and passionate about making an impact for Jesus (think Mother Teresa – male version). He should also be tall, dark and incredibly handsome. Yeah. All of these things. And more.
Looking back, I probably spent too much time thinking about what the right person for me would and should be like, and not enough time being the right kind of person myself.
Also, I realised a few things:
My hope is in God, not my relationship status. Or anything else, for that matter. God has exciting things for me to see and be and do right now, and frankly, waiting for someone to come along isn’t one of them.
Your future and your faith aren’t tied to your relationship status. Regardless of your relationship status,, you’re here to run a race - a race in which He is at the finish line, and not some guy (or girl). You don’t have to cave in to societal pressures that say you are 'less', just because you don’t have a man. God can work in you and through you, exactly where you are with what you have right now.
Sure, I will always have my standards – they just look a little different now. I realized that my previous list was more about me and what I want, and less about how I can glorify God. So, I put all of that aside, and decided to make a new list - not a list of all of the things a guy worth waiting for can do for me, but one of all the things that I can try my best to do and be today:
And so on.
Do I want to be in an awesome relationship one day? Of course! I’m a human being. But can I live and flourish without one today? Of course! I’m a human being. While we are indeed relationial by nature, we were designed by God to be fully-functional individuals. God longs for us to carry out His purpose in every season, regardless of the presence or absence of a plus one.
“Whether you are married or unmarried, God wills to sanctify you, to make you more holy, more Christ-like. And he does it. He is not somehow limiting your sanctification because of your singleness. He does not withhold holiness if — for a time or forever — he withholds a husband (or any of the other things on which you may set your hope).” (You can read the rest of the article, here.)
So, get out there. Instead of praying for someone who will meet every criteria on your list, pray to be a better version of yourself everyday. Get busy. Look for ways to use your current season to make God more famous. Stop waiting for bae to come. Hope for things that have nothing to do with being in a relationship. Pursue your career goals. Shower your family and friends with love. Explore. Give yourself the freedom and grace to start dreaming for yourself again. Be good at being single. Just stop waiting.