Before you get all excited… I am still single & writing this post. Nothing has changed about my relationship status the last 21+ years. However, with it being Valentine’s Day, I wanted to write this post for all the singles out there. There are so many things I wish I could tell my high school self or even my 20 year old self about singleness. I have learned so much in these last few years about singleness that have been monumental for me. I wish I had had someone tell me these things because it would have saved a lot of time & stress.
In high school I had a timeline of when I thought I would start dating and get married. As I entered college, I was expecting to go on dates & meet ‘the one’. All along there was this desire to want to be with someone & to be appreciated and I was just begging for my time to come. And boy, has God taught me so much along the way. These are the things I wish I had known about singleness when I was in high school & college. Wherever you are in your singleness journey, you can apply these truths.
- Don’t have a timeline or plan it all out
If it was up to me, I would love to be dating now or in some sort of relationship. If it were up to me, my timeline would look incredibly different. As previously mentioned, I had these expectations of when I thought I would be dating and getting married. With undergad college coming to an end, my past self would be shocked to hear that I am still single as a pringle.
My #1 tip is to not have any expectations for when you think you will start dating or get married. Don’t think: I would like to be dating by ___ or I’m sure I’ll have a ring by ___ or I have to be married by ___. These thoughts can be toxic and create unrealistic expectations. When unfulfilled they can cause us to question God, lose hope & take things into our own hands. Because the truth is that you may be single after college. You may not be dating until your 20s. You may not find ‘the one’ until your 30s.
I know culture and our friends and our families can put pressure on us to shape the process– but I’m telling you it needs to stop. I’ve learned that God’s time table looks a lot different than ours: that what we think may be late is on time for God. Often times His plan is so much different (and better) than ours & we just need to be along for the ride. We should find comfort knowing that that His ways are higher than ours & His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 59:8). And we need to remind ourselves of that when we feel God doesn’t hear us or that He is late.
In fact, 2 Peter 3:9 says, ‘The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you.’
The timetable needs to go out the window. We need to fully trust God with our singleness & when He will change our relationship status. I so so so wish my younger self did not have these expectations, but instead was content with however long I would be single.
2. If you have the desire, God will give it to you
When I was younger, I thought ‘how will I know if I will get married’ or ‘If only I knew how long I were single, then I could be content’. Or I even wondered ‘I hope God is not calling me to be single forever, but how will I truly know’. Little did I know that we can be sure of God & look to his promises in Scripture. The passage I have held to is Psalm 37:4 which says, ‘Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.’
Now there are some key aspects to point out with this verse & we must not take it out of context. Firstly, we must be following God & in tune with Him & surrendered. Proverbs 16:3 also says, ‘Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.’ When we are seeking God & surrendered to Him, our desires become His & we desire His will. If our desires are of the flesh or out of anger, then we may not get them. But if we are fully seeking God and our desires align with His, there is the possibility that they will eventually happen.
Secondly we should remember that God knows our needs and provides for us. Philippians 4:19 says, ‘And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.’ God will provide for us & we can find comfort in that. Not only does God give us what we need, but He blesses us abundantly and is a good Father (Matthew 7:9-11). We can trust that He is good & that He has given us more than enough.
Now, He may not do it in the timing we think or in the way we expect, but I am a firm believer that if God has put a strong desire in someone’s heart to get married, God will come through in that. This gives me the hope & faith to trust God’s timing. I can enjoy & make the most of my single years because I know God will come through. We just need to stay seeking Him.
3. You are not the problem. You don’t need to change yourself.
Man, I could preach on this point. So many people need to hear this. You are not the problem. You don’t need to change yourself to find acceptance. I thought the reason I wasn’t dating or that boys wouldn’t come up to me is because I was ugly or too heavy or not cute. I believed this lie for so long, thinking that I was the problem and that if I strived hard enough then things would change.
However, after many years I learned that firstly, you should not change yourself for a person or to be accepted. But also that someone will love you and accept you for who you are if you wait for it. It is not about appearance because you will get old and wrinkly some day. It is not about ‘catching’ someone because your true colors will come out eventually. You do not need to lose weight or become someone you’re not. Maybe it’s just not God’s timing. Or maybe this is a season for growth.
Something that greatly changed my perspective was choosing to trust God’s protection and see myself as being hidden, rather than unseen. This means that now might not be my time. That maybe God is protecting me or shielding me from possible mates so I can end up with the right one. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, ‘For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven’. It is not that I am hidden, but that I am unseen from the wrong eyes so that the right eyes may find me. It won’t be this way forever, but I can trust God’s timing & His plan & know that He is working for my good.
Some other little things I want to tell you are that God’s timing is truly best. He is faithful & trustworthy & knows so much better than us. Trust his closed doors and protection. Choose to be thankful & see the good in all things.
Please know that you are not behind & that there is no ‘supposed to be’. Enjoy the season you’re in & find contentment as soon as you can. Chase wholeheartedly after God & be obedient to Him and He will lead you where you are supposed to be.
Now this doesn’t mean singleness doesn’t suck sometimes. But it means that we have the true source of love to turn to when we don’t feel loved. We have a friend when no one else is our friend. We can have hope in situations that feel hopeless.
Comment below what is something you wish you knew in singleness or something God taught you in singleness!
Also, if this post was encouraging, be sure to check out my other posts on singleness: Practical Things You Can Do To Make The Most Of Your Singleness & 5 Benefits of Being Single.