How to Begin Embracing Singleness When Everyone Around You is Dating
As we’re navigating through this thing called life, relationships can be both beautiful and absolutely complicated at the same time. I feel like this complexity goes as far back as kindergarten when my first crush sent me a note that read: “Do you like me? Circle yes or no.” Hopeful expectations are suddenly paired with unnerving stomach butterflies.
But what happens when we fast-forward twenty years forward, and fairytales we see in our fave 90’s rom-com’s haven’t happened for us yet. There’s something in us that can quickly feel inadequate or not good enough...because after all, what’s so fun about being single, right?
When we don’t live up to everyone else’s standards, we begin to question our own and wonder if our Zac Efron-look-alike husband-to-be asked for directions somewhere along the way and got lost.
Seriously though, am I the only one who’s ever thought about this?
I remember the summer of my junior year in high school being freshly single like a Pringle. I had been in what at the time was my most committed serious relationship to date. I fell for a guy on my church’s worship team who had the Justin Bieber-hair-flip thing going on. But when things didn’t work out between us, I was back to square one. Of course when we find ourselves in that kind of season, it can be discouraging scrolling through the ‘gram––or at the time Myspace for me––and find all of your friends happily dating.
The feeling that we’re not measuring up to someone else’s standards can be exhausting and ultimately self-defeating. Instead of dwelling on the things you feel like you’re not, here’s how to build yourself up for the season of singleness you find yourself in:
#1: Stop wishing you were her.
Comparing ourselves to other people’s race/journey can leave us trying to fill a role or personality type that we were never created to fill. When we find ourselves in a season where we feel like we’re lacking something, the enemy tends to use comparison as a tactic to question our own confidence.
It’s looking at two different flowers, two different foods, to different countries...and expecting the same results. You can’t compare with other people’s journeys until you’ve walked through what they’ve walked through.
If we’re looking to cultivate healthy relationships that are worth our while, we have to define that for ourselves––not based on other people’s journey. You are you. I am me. They are themselves. Our originality makes us who we are because God didn’t create us to be copycat versions of one another.
Wondering why your dream guy hasn’t showed up at your doorstep at the same time your friend’s did? It’s because that’s not the story God’s writing for you. There’s actually a lot of freedom to be experienced because of that.
What this means is you have the liberty and opportunity to be fully present and engaged in the current season you’re in because you can trust a God who is faithful to write out the story that you’re meant to have.
#2: Start appreciating what you do have.
I love in Psalm 9:2 where it says, “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” In every season, there is always something to be grateful for: amazing friends, a supportive family, a functioning car, good health. Instead of hyper-focusing on our lonely hand, take notice in the things God has given you in this season.
During my season of singleness before I met my fiancé, I found myself spending SO much time with my friends. We had weekly movie nights, sleepovers, fro-yo dates on Friday nights and work-out hangs at the gym. These moments filled my time with life-giving memories that I still look back on ‘till this day seeing how those fun times shaped the best parts of who I am. My fiancé was actually part of a lot of those memories and hang-outs...and in the moment, I’d had no idea he’d be my person. I was too busy focused on my personal development and appreciating the amazing community I found myself in.
If gratitude doesn’t come easy to you, grab a journal and make it appoint to say thank you daily to the Lord for all the things you’ve been given. I’ve learned so much in life that He doesn’t withhold good things from His children––that’s me and you. But while He’d love to give us the desires of our hearts, He’s more concerned with the condition of our hearts before we can step into the fullness of what He has for us.
#3: Step away from the things that make you feel less than.
Whether it’s a friend group or your social media accounts, it’s not healthy to be constantly surrounded by something that’s making you feel like you’re not enough. Surround yourself with friends that call out the best in you and remind you of the importance of your journey. I’m not saying it’s time to detach from friends who aren’t in the same season as you. But set up boundaries with these things that rob you of your joy in this season so you can fully embrace what God is calling you to at this time. Maybe it’s time for the social media detox to refresh your soul. Or perhaps, you need to have some real, authentic conversations with friendships in your life where you’re at.
If you’re struggling with the comparison, let people in! It’s totally to get vulnerable and real about your struggles. I remember feeling so broken during this season...many nights of loneliness, tears and pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I couldn’t understand what God was doing with my life––my heart, at that. But it was in the loneliness, I began to see the power of knowing God is with me.
We can trust God with our hearts because He will never make us feel less than. He meets us where we are to remind us we are chosen, set apart and made in His image (Genesis 1:27).
Dream big in this season of singleness, pretty girl.
Remember, seasons are temporal. Make the most out of your solitude by self-improving. The best person you wish to end up with, and someday, a person worth your time will catch up to you to run the journey with you...to bring out the best in you without making you feel less than.
You’ve got this.
Someday you’ll look back on this season and realize it was the most defining season of your life. The beauty of waiting is the promise of time well-spent.
Will you take a chance and trust Him in the waiting, friend? From a girl who’s on the other side of the season of singleness now, I can say it’s so worth it.