To be honest, I don’t know. I was never someone who wanted to be single. I always tried to detach myself from that label. I became intentionally aware of my single status two years ago. Had I recently gotten out of a relationship? Nope, not at all. Up to that point, my last situation-ship had been a year prior and my last serious relationship had been….never. Because I don’t count middle school boyfriends as real boyfriends. But for those who do, my last serious relationship was middle school (saying that is so funny but to each her own).
Yeah. So I was sitting in my apartment sometime during early-to-mid 2019 when I became cognizant of the fact that I was single. Like seriously single. There was no man I was ‘talking to’ and I wasn’t going on dates at the time. No prospects and no prospect of having prospects. And that revelation was…uncomfortable. It was a painful thought to realize that I was truly alone. No man was adoring or pursuing me. I wasn’t seeking that and I couldn’t predict when next I would get into a relationship.
I don’t know how long I grappled with accepting that fact. And I know it sounds silly but how many of us are truly present in the fact of not knowing if a challenging situation or life season that you’re in will change? If you’re like me, you like to ignore the present and focus on what you hope things to be in the future. However, that situation may never become what you hope it to be, have you faced that possible reality?
All this to say, I never wanted to learn to love being single because it’s never been something I wanted to stay in for too long. It’s like making a quick stop at a party where you don’t to stay for long. You go right to the host—never taking off your jacket or making a plate of food—make quick small talk with them giving a reason why you can’t stay long, and leave. That’s how brief I wanted my single season to be.
I imagined myself marrying at 24 and having kids around 28 (I’m now 27). That’s obviously not my reality and I deeply mourned that. It almost ended my relationship with God between the ages of 23 to 25 when I realized my desire hadn’t been fulfilled in my timeframe. When I think about it now, there’s a phantom pain, although I prefer myself as a single 27-year-old than I would as a 27-year-old who married at 24.
I haven’t answered the question.
How do you love being single? You truth is you don’t. “Single” has become such an identifier. It’s like a scarlet letter in our world, especially in the Church. ‘The Singles.’ Like you’re waiting around for someone to love you and through that love, all your potential to be an amazing person is unleashed on this unsuspecting world. You can finally prove to those who may have been thinking it, but not saying it, how you are lovable and worthy of being chosen.
We entwine our marital status with our self-worth. And that is total, pure BS. You don’t love being single. Because that is not who you are. You love being you, whether that person happens to be single or married. Let’s just say that marital status is but one tiny, skinny branch of the tree that is your whole life. It’s not a determinant of your worth.
I stopped allowing being “single” to determine what I got to do or didn’t get to do. I stopped allowing it determine if I was beautiful (I sure am) or worthy (I definitely am). I stopped allowing it determine how I would follow my God-given purpose or the type of woman I will be (I am not a demure woman and the man that doesn’t like that is NOT for me). I stopped using that term to guide my life and what I did with it or when I did things (like travel or hike that mountain I’ve been wanting to hike).
The day I internalized my single season, it was a hard pill to swallow. But I swallowed it, breathed in deep, and stopped worrying about being single and embraced how to love being me. My life became brighter, full of love, joy, and adventure.
If I died today, I’d be content with the life I led and I wouldn’t feel like I missed out on anything better.
I took a long and hard road to get to where I am. I don’t expect you to “arrive” after reading this. Through the ‘Livin’ Single’ series, I will share my journey, the mountain tops and valley lows, in the hope that it instills a sense of a contentment, hope, and joy into the season of life you’re in.