Love seems to be the center of everything, doesn’t it?
“Love is all you need” according to everything. Society tells us that we need to be in a relationship in order to be happy. We need to get married and have a family in order to live a life to the fullest. Getting married and raising a family is something I would love to do someday if it is God’s plan for my life. However, I feel as though having that be the focus of my life at this age is not healthy.
In college, so many people are dating or on the hunt to “find the one.” People are settling into relationships that are unhealthy, but the thought of another breakup would be too devastating to go through. It’s also easy to encounter couples who have been together for so many years that they practically feel married. It doesn’t matter how unhappy they are, they feel as though they can’t move on from all those years. I’m surrounded by all sorts of relationships. Not all of them are bad, but not all of them are good. And what’s sad is that not many single people are content with the status of being single. Even Christians aren’t content with being single.
Do we forget that God is love?
Isn’t it weird that so many sermons are about marriage and relationships? Where are the single people preaching about how awesome it is to be fully in love with God, yet single? I feel like we don’t hear about the positives of being single enough. How many times do you hear singles moping around about the fact that nobody likes them and that they are never going to find someone who loves them? Why does that have to define the quality one’s life? It’s foolish to believe and hope that one relationship will fix everything one day.
I think that this focus is way off. You see, it’s not about finding the right person. Actually, it’s about becoming the right person! When we are single we can work on being the person that the person we’re looking for is looking for. When I went through this breakup, rather than letting it get me down and hating myself, it got me thinking. How easy it is to let one relationship mess with someone’s life. We have to choose whether we want it to make us or break us. I was believing lies about the necessity of being in a relationship. I realized that the single life is totally underestimated! Now, I’m not saying that I want to be single my entire life, but at the same time being single isn’t as bad and lonely as people make it out to be. I believe that this time in my life is unique and provides opportunities that I won’t always be able to have once I’m in a serious, committed relationship and or married. When you are single and independent it is a time to cherish rather than loathe! I think it’s time to rethink singleness.
For me, being single hasn’t been viewed as a positive thing until recently. I’ve dealt with low self-esteem and had very negative thoughts about my body image and appearance. I’ve hated myself to the point where sometimes I’d wish I wasn’t even alive. Sometimes I still have these thoughts come back to haunt me however, I’m learning to recognize them as lies.
In this time of my life, my happiness isn’t coming from the affirmation of some guy. But rather, it comes from the confidence in knowing that there is a God who loves me and is jealous for me and has a plan for my life. He is crazy about me. He always has been and always will be. So when I have those dark thoughts, I am able to fight the battles within myself by turning to Him and listening to the truth. My self worth does not come from whether or not I am in a relationship. For once in my life, I am finding self-worth and confidence in myself as a single individual. I can honestly say that I like being single and this is a good place for me to be. I’ve come a long way in my life. In this time, I’m choosing to focus on God. I’ve actually decided to give Him this year, as weird as that sounds. I made a commitment to God that I’m not going to date for an entire year. With the thoughts of other guys, it has been so distracting in my faith and so by taking myself “off the market” I have been able to rethink dating. The first couple months were spent getting over my ex, but now it’s shifting into the pursuit of my love for God. I’m investing my time in Him and have started falling in love with Him, for real! I’ve always loved Him, but I can’t say I’ve always been in love with Him.
I’m about three months into this commitment and it has been life-changing. When you are single, you have more freedom. I’m not saying that people in relationships have no freedom, however they have more of an emotional and time commitment. Now, with this freedom you can choose what you want to do with it. For instance, because I am single I have the ability to leave the country for four months without the stress of having a long-distance relationship to worry about. Right now nothing is holding me back from this adventure ahead of me.
Also, I have more time to focus on myself. Like what I said earlier, I am working on becoming the right person; a better person. I can focus on myself not in a selfish way but in a necessary way. I have learned some things about myself and have been also seeing areas in my life that I need to be working on. I have also seen guys in a different way. Rather than seeing a guy as a someone I would potentially date or my “future husband”, I see them as a friend, a brother, or just a normal person.
My standards have gone up as well. Because of being hurt by guys in the past, I have put an emphasis on getting to know someone really well and building a quality friendship before starting a relationship with a guy. I know that it’s going to take awhile before I can trust another guy again. There are some other personal standards that I am reevaluating and sticking to, but all I can say is that the next guy I date has a lot to live up to.
Taking myself “off of the market”, viewing guys differently and re-evaluating my standards have made me excited for the future and optimistic. Because I am building this confidence in being single and setting my standards high, I can be confident that I won’t settle for just any relationship and in the midst of being single I can truly be happy. Even if it is for a lifetime of singleness, it’s a beautiful thing to know that I am loved and that will never change.