So, you’re single. You know it. EVERYONE seems to know it. Your parents won’t let you forget it. All the engagement photos every two seconds on your Facebook feed won’t let you forget it.
Sometimes, our relationship status seems like the most important fact about us; as if it were telling of our value to society or in general. Sometimes, it feels like you don’t add any real value to your situation or context unless you’re in a relationship (cause hey, there’s gotta be a reason no one wants to be in a relationship with you, right?). If someone wanted to be in a relationship with you, it would mean you’re important enough, pretty enough, or ‘worth it.’
Honestly, if people weren’t so disappointed every time they heard you were single, you probably wouldn’t notice too much that you’re single.
Some of us don’t realize how single we are until we go to the movies with a group of friends and everyone is ‘boo’d up (cue Ella Mai’s song)’ while we’re all alone like Donkey from Shrek. Some of us realize how single we are around the holidays and it seems as if everyone has a special someone to spend it with, except you. Or, we have that annoying (God bless ’em) relative that’s asking or hinting, “When you gone get married? You ain’t gettin’ no younger!” (Grandma, chilllll).
It’s funny how we talk about “how” single we are as if there were degrees. (There’s levels to this).
While the opinions of others can greatly effect how we see our singleness, sometimes, we’re our greatest enemy. Before we move forward, I want to establish that singleness is not a process or season to rush out of. It’s not a holding ground, purgatory, or the DMV line. It’s an important lifelong process that we never escape, married or not. There is always work to be done within ourselves. We ought always to be seeking to grow and mirror our Father in all things.
If you’re single and thinking you’re ready to mingle, consider these things:
- Do you care a considerable amount about being single that it’s sucking the fun out of it? If you find yourself constantly thinking about the fact that you’re single, your answer may be ‘yes.’
- Do you have unrealistic expectations? Many of us want our significant other to ‘make us happy.’ We want them to fill every empty part of ourselves. They may very temporarily fill the empty parts of you; but beware. As they pour out, they become empty as well. That makes for a broken, unfulfilling, and unproductive relationship. Also, the reason some are willing to pour into you in that way is because there’s a codependency. They find fulfillment and identity in playing that role; because, truthfully, they’re broken too. Trying to complete you gives them purpose. Your purpose can never be found in another person. It can only be pursued alongside another person. Purpose is given by God and therefore found in God. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God didn’t just accidentally create you; he did so with purpose. There are specific things to be done through you on this Earth.
- Do you have false expectations about what you can handle? ‘Huh? What does this even mean Darveiye?’ Have you considered that you can’t handle a relationship right now? Are you in a position or have you been given the green light by God to support someone as they grow? Sometimes, we want to support someone so badly because it gives us identity and a sense of purpose. This isn’t productive in the long haul. We should foster mutually supportive relationships in our lives that help fulfill purpose, not become it. Your relationship isn’t your purpose. It’s a vehicle and resource for it. This is why we must choose wisely when we link up with someone. We have to ask, “What would I be pulling from this relationship to facilitate the fulfillment of purpose in my life?” You’re only as strong and productive as who you link yourself up with.
- Have you first completely embraced being single? Some of us can’t stand to be single for very long. There’s nothing wrong with being sad after a breakup. That’s normal. There’s nothing wrong with going through a grieving process. The issue is we insert a new relationship before we can feel the pain of being alone. We invite someone’s company into our jumbled mess and hope they complete us. We hope someone sticks around long enough so that we’re never alone with our own thoughts. Therein lies the problem. Because we’re never alone, we never develop an intimacy with ourselves. We don’t learn who we are, our likes and dislikes. We simply learn who we are in relation to someone else. The relationship begins to shape your identity, character, and destiny. Hopefully, you’ve chosen well. It’s unlikely. Brokenness will distort your vision and cause you to choose for pleasure and not purpose. It will cause you to choose what you think you want and not what you need.
If your answers to these questions indicate you may not be ready to mingle, that’s okay. Sometimes, we feel like we have to be ready right now for everything we’ll ever want or have in life. This is unrealistic and places unnecessary pressure on ourselves. It’s okay to go through a process to get ready. Also, growing while you’re single, isn’t all about preparation for marriage. It’s about reaching wholeness and functioning in your purpose. If that’s your focus, being single will become so much easier!
For further study:
There’s a book I read a few months ago that has changed my life. ‘Wholeness: Winning In Life From the Inside Out’ by Touré Roberts. If you have found that you’re struggling with being single, struggling in marriage, in your career, you believe in God, you don’t believe in God, etc.; this book is for you. You can purchase it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Wholeness-Winning-Life-Inside-Out/dp/0310351944
Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, OK did a series earlier this year called Relationship Goals. The first two sermons talk about singleness and it will wreck your life in the very best way. I recommend listening to the entire series. There’s something in there for everyone! Pastor Mike manages to deliver hard messages about relationships in a very honest, transparent, and fun way. It’s easy to understand and easily applicable to your current situation. Find it here: https://youtu.be/H7h5BHax06c
Until next time…
Over and out.