This is Not Advice for “Surviving Singleness”

This is not a “once you stop looking for someone, God will bring that person into your life” blog. This is not another “I’ve finally found peace and now I’m celebrating my singleness!” post. This is definitely not a “how to survive singleness” blog.

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve read enough of those to have them memorized. And while I usually don’t disagree with them, they annoy me. They annoy me because I already know all these things. Given the opportunity, I could list off any number of reasons to rejoice in this “season of singleness” and many ways to focus more on God and others while investing your time and energy in healthy activities. It’s all good advice. So why do I feel worse after reading them?

Recently, I read a blog post entitled “You Don’t Have to Like Being Single” (http://truelovedates.com/how-do-i-get-over-my-discontent-with-singleness/). The True Love Dates website has been encouraging me, and this post in particular relieved some guilt I had been feeling. For some reason, I felt that I was failing—that by not learning contentment and thankfulness in singleness, I was somehow failing as a Christian. I think that many other single people can probably attest to similar feelings. I was caught in a mental and emotional cycle of forced “contentment,” frustration, and the feeling of failure. Obviously, my relationship with God suffered, and I was in no place to actually begin a relationship. Having my feelings of guilt and shame lifted gave me the opportunity to view singleness in a new and different light.

I’m not sure whether it’s a cultural or maybe even a religious expectation, but I struggle with feeling left out and isolated without a boyfriend. And yes, I know it is not true. No person can complete me, but all the perfect couples’ photos on Facebook definitely remind me that I’m “missing” something. It felt so good to realize that it’s completely acceptable to not like my singleness. But until I’m in a relationship (and even if that takes a very long time), I’m going to stop feeling inferior simply because I can’t check the “plus one” box on all my friends’ wedding invitations.

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I’m not saying that this is easy or that I’m succeeding at it. On the contrary, it’s very difficult, and most days I forget my resolution and end up feeling sorry for myself again. So, I’ve decided to simply remind myself that I am not alone. Singleness does not define me. I’m surrounded by friends and family. I have a new job that I enjoy. And I have a God who loves me enough to care even when I’m constantly whining about one thing instead of thanking Him for so much. If you’re also struggling with these feelings, be encouraged that you’re not the only one. And know that it’s completely OK to tell God that you don’t like being single, because he already knows the truth. Don’t fake contentment—but purposely focus on all the other aspects of life besides relationships. Because honestly, life is good. And there is so much more to life than a relationship status.

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