Many people have told me that they don’t understand how I can be so content or at peace as a single person, who would probably like to be married one day. Truthfully, I have not always nailed this. I have had seasons when my attitude toward my life and my blessings was not one of gratitude. I have wrestled with feelings of what I “ought to have by now”.
Over the past months and years, I’ve intentionally strived to find peace, patience, and purpose as a single person, and in all areas of my life. Here are five practical ways I’ve found to help make this a reality…
1) Build a life that you love.
When you are busy doing what you love, you will not have a lot of time left over to sit around and feel sorry for yourself. Whatever you do, DON’T ISOLATE YOURSELF! I feel this is one of the biggest mistakes singles make. (Yes, I’ve been guilty too.)
Intentionally place yourself in some positive, healthy environments with positive, healthy people. Get involved in things that energize you and excite you.
This will also serve you well if and when you do end up in a relationship- because the pressure will not fall on your partner to comprise your entire social life and weekly calendar!
2) Don’t be afraid to venture out alone.
Don’t put a dream or an adventure on hold simply because you have no one to do it with you. Some places are worth going and some things are worth doing even if you are by yourself.
Also, you may need to venture out alone a time or two in order to find those friends- so that you will have people to accompany you in the future.
For example: When I signed up for my first ballroom dance lesson, I knew no one at the studio and prayed to God that my dance partners would not be total creeps! A year later- I have obtained a whole community of friends through dancing!
My advice- Take some risks, and put yourself out there, even if it means flying solo during takeoff. You will likely pick up some fellow sojourners along the way.
3) Cut out the things which leave you feeling empty or discontent.
Your life matters, so do not actively engage in things which leave you feeling the opposite. If ample time on social media leaves you feeling depressed or deprived as you compare your life to those of your engaged or married friends- then limit the time you spend scrolling through your news feeds.
If romance novels leave you feeling seriously discontent and ready to settle on the next half-descent prospect, so you too can begin your love story- then don’t read them!
For this reason, I personally had to take a break from Hallmark movies during my senior year of college, when many of my friends were about to tie the knot. (I know what some of you are thinking: “You should seriously take a break from those permanently; they are horribly predictable and cheesy!” I know, okay. Don’t judge me.)
4) Embrace a life that is not all about you.
When we focus on fulfilling our own desires, preferences, and expectations all the time, we tend to feel more anxious, discontent, and defeated.
So try this instead: Focus on being a reliable and dependable friend, family member, or co-worker for others. Think about a need one of them has that you could actually help to meet.
I would also encourage you to pray regularly, keep a journal of people or things you’re thankful for, and do some things outside of yourself that put your soul at peace.
5) Go ahead and accept that you will have some hard days.
When you prepare yourself for this ahead of time, sometimes it lightens the blow. There are likely some triggers which activate your sense of dissatisfaction with being single. We all have them. It’s good to remind yourself that the next few minutes, hours, or weeks may really sting… BUT you will get through them, and you can make it out victoriously.
For example- When I fly to my hometown to visit my family, they are at the airport to welcome me with warm greetings and hugs. When I fly back to my current residence, it’s typically just me driving myself home from the airport. No one really knows I’m back or gets hyped over my return. It’s a little lonely, and I feel the sting of not having a partner or a family of my own to welcome me home.
However, I remind myself that this sting will only last through the night. I’ll be re-united with friends over the next few days, and they’ll be happy to see me and to hear about my trip. I may feel lonely for a few hours, but I am not actually alone in living my life.
During tougher days or seasons, I aim to remind myself- These are just a few passing waves of grief in my overall blessed and beautiful life.
So for singles- and for anyone in any uncertain season or state or life- May you fully discover and embrace your sense of peace, patience, and purpose.