I remember being in a relationship and changing my relationship status on Facebook from “single” to “in a relationship.” I felt so empowered. I felt special. Now, looking back…I feel silly. Our relationship statuses have become so incredibly important. They’ve started to define us. When I first got to college, everyone wanted to talk about relationships and dating. When it would get around to me, I would just simply say I’d had one boyfriend. People would go ballistic.
“How is that possible?…How have you only dated one guy?…Why wouldn’t you want to date?”
A high school girl told me a couple of years ago that she wanted to have had at least 2 boyfriends before she graduated because she didn’t want people to judge her when she went to college. She didn’t want people to think she was weird or that something was wrong with her. That broke my heart.
I understand what she said about feeling judged, though. I still get that sometimes from people that claim to be my friends. After a while, I started to buy into the lie that I was missing out on something because I wasn’t out dating every weekend or hitting up the bars to meet guys. I spent a large part of my time single being sad. During that sadness, I also felt a lot of regret for ending the relationship. All of a sudden I was boyfriend-less! I had to change my relationship status back! I felt like I wasn’t special anymore. No one was calling me. No one was texting me “Good morning.”
[I’m judging myself a little bit as I write how I felt during that time. I was probably the most annoying friend in the world during this time of the world’s greatest pity party.]
Then, I snapped out of it. (In case you haven’t noticed, I do a lot of snapping out of things.) I don’t remember what happened, but there was this part of me that remembered how loved I was. I remembered how much God desired me. Guys are great, but no desire compares to the desire that our Father and Great Love has for each and every one of us. I love this quote by Louie Giglio, “God calls each and every star by name. It’s not likely He has forgotten yours.”
So, how do we snap out of our single sob story and into making the most of our single status?
One [unmentionables] friend says, “As a woman it’s hard to wait around for the right man to pursue me. I want to chase after them to speed the process and because so many boys don’t seem up for the challenge. But I know trusting God’s timing means waiting for the right MAN (not boy) who pursues me the way Christ pursued us. I feel like I am not ready for Mr. Right to come along just yet…there’s lots of work I still need to do while I’m single!”
Right on! We can choose to be miserable during our time of singleness and worry what other people think, or we can really utilize this time for God’s glory.
She also says, “Relationships take up a lot of time and focus. While you’re single use that time to bring other girls closer to Christ before it’s gone! Talking with other girls about the struggle of waiting for Mr. Right opens so many connections to deep, Christ-centered relationships. You are sure to receive a blessing while being a blessing.”
The communication door has to stay open between young and old regarding relationships. If we rely on our own, young-person knowledge and add in what our culture tells us about relationships – we’ll go down a slippery slope. I can’t tell you how much I rely on my older friends who have had more life experiences than I have. And in the other direction, I have former students from my youth intern days that still call and text me asking questions and seeking advice. It’s so hard for young girls to admit they aren’t ready for a relationship. Sometimes that thought actually seems silly. It’s all part of the whole growing up thing, I suppose.
When I was a youth intern, that summer we talked a lot about pouring into others and what it means for someone to pour into you. I have no doubt that God honors the bond between Christians who pour into each other. That’s at the center of a Christ-centered time of singleness.
We aren’t meant to do life alone, after all.
[next up: a deadly sin.]
Advice from an [unmentionables] friend:
“I would tell younger girls to wait patiently. Unfortunately, I realize that this may be an impractical way to approach a girl, especially the ones that are resistant to that idea. All I can do is to share my wisdom with them, pray for them and with them, and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide and be with them when others won’t be when she needs to make important decisions.”