First off, Happy Valentines day! I hope your day is filled with friends, family, and loved ones! I've wanted to do a post on relationships and being single, for a little while now, so what better time, than Valentines day?! To begin, let me preface with; I am single and I have never been in a serious relationship, therefore I am NOT, by any means an expert on the topic of romantic relationships nor will I claim to be. I simply want to sit down and chat with you about being single and being OK while you're single. So, here goes!
Growing up I always had this picture of what my life would look like when I became an adult. I'd graduate from high school, go to college, meet someone and then we'd get married and live happily ever after. I'm sure most of you ladies out there had a similar view of your adult life (holla to all the movies that tell us that's how it's supposed to work). I figured, I'll meet someone and be married by the time I'm 21. But, my 21st birthday came and went and there I was still just a single lass. After my birthday I thought surely it'll happen within the next year or so...And I kept telling myself this, year in and year out. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Only to feel sad and disappointed when another birthday came and went, meaning my plan wasn't going to happen. Last year I turned 25. The "big scary" 25 (Let me fill you in, it's not big or scary, it's JUST A NUMBER). Turning 25 was actually really great! And I feel like I've come to a few realizations over the past year or so and I want to share them with you.
1. IT'S OK TO BE 25 AND SINGLE. It's really ok to be any age and be single, I just said "25" for effect. We live in a world that is obsessed with love. We watch movies and television shows about people falling in love. We read books and blog posts about people falling in love. The media is laden with which celebrity is dating whom. And there's this weird social pressure to be in a relationship. Like you're some kind of leper if you're over 18 and single. News flash - it's not a race. When we turn choosing who we'll spend the rest of our life with, into a race, I think we miss the point. Don't be in such a hurry to "have a valentine", that you end up selling yourself short.
2. SINGLE DOES NOT = LONELY/UNHAPPY. Let me enlighten you with some dialogue from an ACTUAL conversation I had with someone who'd recently gotten married;
Girl: "Holly, are you dating anyone?"
Girl: "Aww man! Why Not?!"
Girl: "I mean, I just want you to be happy!"
For real? Since when did being single mean that you're unhappy? Now, I will acknowledge the fact that some people do feel lonely and unhappy because they are not in a relationship, we've probably all been there at some point. However, the key is, DON'T STAY LONELY and UNHAPPY. I was recently talking with a friend about dating and she mentioned that she really wanted to be in a relationship and that she wasn't sure if it would ever happen for her. So, I encouraged her with this:
First and foremost - GOD IS GOOD. He is Faithful and if you have a desire to get married, then you will. God puts dreams in our hearts, not so He can laugh at us when they don't happen, He puts them there so we can cherish, cultivate, and pray over them. If you long to be married, talk to God about it. Take it to Him and acknowledge that you want to get married. It's no shocker to Him, He knows, because He gave you that desire! And thank Him for bringing the right person into your life.
I also encouraged this friend to pray over her future spouse. You may not know who they are, but you know they're a person and they're living life just like you! Why not pray for them like you would pray for a friend? Pray for their protection, health, finances, wisdom, job, relationships, character, etc.
3. RELATIONSHIPS DO NOT = VALIDATION. A relationship will not give you worth. Just because you're dating someone or married, doesn't mean that you're holier or closer to God. Honestly, I love the fact that I can focus solely on my relationship with God, right now. I know that's a total "christian girl" saying, but it's absolutely true! Use this time to seek the Lord about who He wants you to be and the plans He has for you! Focus on His promises and become confident in who He's made you to be. I do believe that a relationship is a beautiful thing and that each person should uplift and encourage each other, but how can you expect to uplift and encourage someone else, when you don't even know who you are and what God has for you? Learn about who you are in Christ before you start pursuing or being pursued by someone else. I love this Creflo Dollar quote; "No one will ever be just like you. Furthermore, being single is not a bad, negative or unhealthy state of being. And neither is it anything to be ashamed of; rather it is something to be pursued, because it highlights your individuality and uniqueness!"
4. PURSUE YOUR DREAM EVEN IF IT MEANS YOU'RE DOING IT ALONE. I've talked to so many well-intentioned girls that are putting their dreams on hold, until they get married. They don't want to go on a mission trip, until they're married. They don't want to cut their hair, until they're married. They don't want to get a tattoo - because what if their future spouse won't like it. PEOPLE - Why are we holding out? If you have the opportunity to do something you dream of doing - DO IT! Go on adventures and make memories! Get that pixie cut or nose piercing! I guarantee the person you end up marrying will find that "go getter" attitude, more attractive than you think!
5. HAVE FUN. It's fun being single. You can pick up and do anything at any moment! You just have to take care of you, right now! Go on that road trip or take a vacation. The world is your oyster! Enjoy this season pouring into your friends and family! Bonus: if you want to sit at home and veg out eating mexican food and watching Netflix on a Friday night, no one has to know. :)
All in all - I just want you to be encouraged! You're not the only single person out there! We've all struggled with single-hood, but there's no need! You are awesome and I am awesome, so let's go kick Valentine's day's butt!