Being single (and ready to mingle) in this day and age can sometimes seem overwhelming and hopeless. Society in general is growing evermore non-committal, while at the same time there is a lot of pressure to find the right one, the perfect one for you. That makes the situation altogether very narrow and constricted. In fact, if we follow the trends of the time, there are so many things we could possibly worry about: Am I attracted to this person or just desperate? Are they funny enough? Are they fun? How will I know when it’s the right one? How come I only know when it’s not the right one? What do I even mean when I say “right one”? Is there just one? Is it mainly based on how I feel? Does it matter that I have or don’t have that “special” feeling right away? Is it not based on feelings at all? Should it just simply be a decision based on pure logic? The divorce rate is so high, is trying to find a spouse seriously even worth it?
There are so many questions, and to be honest, if we go about dating directed by these questions, we may become so burdened with our lack of answers that we are bound up in our own heads and never free. Free yourself today. Learn not to overwhelm yourself with what might be or how to tell what is right. Find freedom in becoming what you’re supposed to be right now. We can’t live in the future. We have to live in the present. For you that might be in the state of worry-free single-hood. To free your mind, aim to grow in these following four areas:
Our worth is ultimately found in something beyond the sum of the things we’re capable of doing (or not doing). I am capable of doing a lot of things, but I’m not the best at anything. This can be a downer for me. Why would a woman like me when they could have that guy who is so much better at so many things?! The very concept of “self-worth,” however, means that other people’s opinions and abilities are taken out of the picture. Sometimes the most destructive thing is when we begin to put a lot of weight to what other people are saying about us (and this includes positive things too actually). Fundamentally, it’s not our talents and abilities that make us worth so much.
In the history of the universe, there has never been someone like you and there never will be again. You are the only person exactly like you that will ever exist. There’s no price to that, and you can’t measure it. More than that, you are made in the image and likeness of God. You continue to exist as the person you are because that is what God wants. He sustains our existence by his love for us. We don’t have to do anything to prove ourselves. All there is for us to do is to accept that we have immeasurable value or reject it. If you struggle with self-worth, know that God made to you to be the best you that you can be. Seek friends who confirm this in you and grow daily in knowing that you are in fact one of a kind, made in the extraordinary image of the Creator of the universe, and you continue to exist as you because he wants you to.
2. Use Being Single for Good
When we are single, we generally have some free time. When we are not dating anyone, our schedule isn’t packed with work, family, friends, and finding time to give to a significant other. A lot of times, when we’re single, we can get complacent and it just makes the worrying we do so much worse. Here’s a short, albeit corny, principle that can be a helpful guide in finding things to do with our free time: When we don’t have a significant other, do other things that are significant.
Here’s a list of helpful thoughts to get you started on good things to do: Get involved in your church. Help people with special needs, especially kids. Serve the poor. (Good Christians have been doing that for millennia.) Volunteer for something you’re passionate about that brings some good to the world. Become a missionary. Are you a writer? Start a blog or write a book (or write for this blog!). Commit to being a better a friend. Spend time with people that influence you. Spend time with people that you can influence. Spend time with people that make you happy. Spend time with people that challenge you. Learn a new hobby. Don’t worry about your life and do some good in the meantime!
In the end, it’s not primarily about taking our mind off the situation that makes us free. We are not free simply because we are available. We are most free when we exercise our ability to pursue something good in life. Be free and use your singleness to pursue something good and make an impact on the world.
3. Gain Virtues That Will Make Your Marriage Amazing
We do not simply find someone and magically turn into the person we have always envisioned ourselves being. As a teacher, when I have to reprimand a student, sometimes they tell me they are really a good person, but they act out sometimes. My response to this is that we don’t become good simply by saying we’re a good person. We become good by the choices we make on a daily basis.
For some reason we have been trained that it’s more attractive to be fun than virtuous. A lot of times people break up because the fun wears out and that’s all the relationship was ever built on. But let’s be honest, when temptation comes to your future spouse (and it likely will), do you really want them to be a person who is fun but not virtuous? What about you? Are you more fun than you are virtuous? What kind of spouse will you be when things get difficult and temptation rears its ugly head?
This is really an extension of the previous point about doing good things, but we can aim to do good such that we build habits for important areas in marriage. For example: Learning to speak in kindness, even if you might be irritated. Learning to be generous with your time, even when you are busy. Learning to listen when you’re preoccupied (that’s mainly for us guys!). Grow in the habit of practical responsibilities. Pay your bills on time. Do your dishes. Take out the trash. Clean your home. Manage your finances well. In the end, I do not a have a comprehensive list, but the goal for freedom is to become a man/woman for others. I can only imagine that in 5 years of marriage being fun, sexy, or rich is going to be merely sideline noise compared to the strength of being a real man or woman of integrity and habitual service to others. When we fix our gaze on becoming the man or woman that makes for an amazing marriage, our minds will be free from the restless worry our singleness.
4. Grow Closer to God
This is really the simplest yet hardest point. Make God everything. You’re heart was made for more than any one human can completely fill. Times of singleness can really open us to the reality that we will always long for God’s love. Being single is a great time to learn trust in him, something you will also need in marriage and family life. We are single because he wants what’s best for us and not for us to settle with something less just because we’re impatient or lonely. Again, God wants what’s best for us, but if we’re far from him, that’s hard to see. So, get close to God in your singleness. Will you say that his love is not enough? In the end, strive to learn that only his love is enough. You will bring that into your marriage and it will be beautiful.
Be free today. Become the most you can be for God and others while you’re single and leave the rest up to him.