That’s right. I’m making a blog post on how to be single. Because I think it’s time we single people finally stop fearing our singleness, hating it, and desperately praying that it be taken away from us soon.
It's time we start owning it and seeing the magic it holds.
I was watching a YouTube video once on singleness, and the YouTuber was talking about how an older woman came up to him, asking about his love life. When she learned that he was single, she got all soft and said something along the lines of "Oh wow. You have the gift of singleness." To which he commented in the video, "Um gift? Is it really? Because if it is, where is the return receipt right now??"
If this is you, I want you to know that no, there is no return receipt. And if you’re going to ask, How much longer do I have to wait until I find my person and finally be complete and happy? Then I think it’s important to establish that if it's really love that you want to experience, then:
a) You don’t have to have a love life in order to have love in your life.
b) Just because you have a love life doesn’t mean you have love in your life.
That’s right, people can feel isolated and alone in their own marriage. Maybe you've seen this in the marriages or dating relationships in your life. People have arguments, it's not all pink. Having someone by your side doesn’t guarantee feeling all the good feelings and being happy every second.
Just to clarify: I am not bashing relationships or marriage, because I know these can be very good and beautiful when the timing is right. But I think there is this huge illusion and extreme way of thinking that we single people tend to fall into (I know I've been guilty of it), where we think that a love life is the thing that will satisfy all desires of the heart, and the only thing that will finally bring us happiness, and this is simply untrue. This expectation can bring a lot of sadness and misery and hopelessness, which is something I don't want you to feel.
A deep friendship with yourself and God, and the ability to be honest and true to yourself is the only thing that will consistently allow you to keep your heart open and let love in.
When I was in college, let's just say that I went through a phase when I was really hard on myself. I closed my heart to any self-love since I didn't think I deserved any, and this led to a lot of unnecessary sadness and suffering. When I met my boyfriend at the time, slowly, I started to feel hope and happiness again. After we broke up for various reasons, I would complain to my sister how I missed the relationship and how it was because of him that I was able to feel joy again. And then my sister said something so true that I will never forget it. She said, "Stephanie, maybe it wasn't the fact that he loved you that healed you. Maybe it was because you learned how to love yourself."
And when I heard her say this, I knew it was so true. Learning to love ourselves is the first step to learning how to be single and regaining joy in our life.
Here are some things you can do to help you do this:
1. Give some love
I know, it seems so counter-intuitive. Why would I want to give love to someone else if it's really me who needs love?
I will tell you why. It's because the fastest way to make your day better is by making someone else's day better. Try it. Those who refresh shall be refreshed. Those who forget themselves in the service of others are the ones who end up finding themselves.
How can you help someone today? Is there someone you know who needs some encouragement? Maybe you can share with a friend how much you appreciate them. It doesn't have to be any special occasion. Just send the text or give a surprise call. Perhaps you can surprise someone by doing a nice gesture for them. Washing the dishes randomly. Paying for the person behind you at the drive-through. Helping a co-worker with something they thought they had to do on their own. Try it and see how pleasantly surprised people are, and how great it might feel to do something nice for someone else :).
2. Think about what you're good at and do that
The amazing thing about being single is that you have so much time on your hands to do the things you love :). So friends, what are we waiting for?
What's something that you've always wanted to do but always made excuses not to? Maybe you like plants– make a succulent garden on a windowsill. Maybe you're really into organizing events– get some friends together and plan a wine and cheese picnic at a museum. Or perhaps you love video editing– make a YouTube video on something you're passionate about (it's free and anyone can do it!).
3. Find your people
One of the best ways to find joy in the single life is to find your people. That's right, the people who know how awesome you are and who want to see you grow and be happy.
Don’t have anyone like this in your life? Then I think it’s time you put your friend-making skills into action.
Did you know it takes an average of 8 intentional meetings with someone for that person to start considering you as a friend? I tried it. It’s true.
Everyone likes having friends but no one really enjoys making them. The truth is that it’s hard. It involves consisency and making time for others.
If you would like to see yourself with more encouraging people, I think it's time to take a moment to 1) pray for God to send you good friends and 2) make an effort to grow the good friendships in your life that you haven't attended to yet.
Remember, the best time to make friends is before you need them. You want this to be more than something you do out of fear of being alone. You want this to be true, genuine friendship.
These are just some starting points for how to be single; I may write a follow-up post with more tips, because there are more!
But hopefully, this gives you some ideas on where to start and make your single life into something so magical people who don't understand will see you so happy that they'll ask, "Did you meet someone?" And you'll have a secret smile because only you'll know it's much deeper than that...
Sending you so much love,