Every season of life is going to have its ups and its downs, its pros and its cons. Whether that be high school, college, grad school, single life, married life, family life, or whatever else. Different seasons. Different experiences. Different stories. I am in a season where I am in my late 20s and find myself single. That is the point of view from which I will be sharing with you. I think it is important to be honest about where we are because people who aren’t in the same place don’t fully understand. So here is a small taste of my single life—small taste of it all.
I have a screenshot of a text message from one of my close friends. It says, “You are more than enough. Date or no date.” I had just finished telling this friend that I was mad at myself for thinking I needed to bring a date to a holiday party where I’d be the only single person. The friends who were throwing the holiday party never told me I needed to bring someone and have actually never put any kind of pressure on me like that. So why was that my initial reaction?
Without meaning to, culture and people can be unaware of the message they are sending to their single friends and family (I’m sure single people like me do the same to your walk of life. I’m sorry if I am oblivious to my words).
Here are some things that I am journeying through or have journeyed through:
- Just because someone is single, does not mean that their time is less valuable. Yes, while singles may not have a spouse or kids to come home to every day, that does not mean that their time is not valuable. Every person's time is valuable and should not be taken advantage of or taken for granted. Now, single friends, we have been given the ability to have more flexible schedules, and I think we should use our time well. We can have our fun and serve the Church too along the way. Single friends, embrace your flexibility with your schedule. And Church, don’t mistreat that flexibility. Find the balance. Trust me, I know it is easy to land on one side or the other of that serving spectrum. If either side gets carried away, the singles in the Church are going to be more bitter and burnt than the coffee at the gas station down the street.
- I’ve felt left out at times. I know doing life with people that are in different seasons is weird sometimes, but can I have an honest moment with you? Doing life with people is important. Married friends—embrace the single people in your lives and invite them over or out for a meal. Don’t wait until they are dating somebody to do that. Ask them to join you and your spouse and maybe even the kids. Some of my favorite times with friends over the last year have been when I am third or fifth wheeling it with my married people friends. And truth be told, I don't feel like an extra wheel crashing the party when that happens. A few Friday nights ago I went out to dinner with two couple friends and it was great. I wasn’t crashing a double date and they never intentionally or unintentionally made me feel that way. It blessed my soul immensely. Girls’ nights are great and needed, but please, married friends reach out to a single friend. I guarantee it has the potential to bless their life in such a huge way that you will probably never fully comprehend. Let your single friends KNOW that they are valued, with or without a date.
- Don’t feel sorry for me—help me embrace my singleness. Sure, I would like to get married one day, but in the meantime I am not miserable. I actually really enjoy being single. I really love my life. There are things that I can do and ways I can spend my time that wouldn’t happen if I were married and/or had kids. Help the singles in your life embrace their season of life. Part of embracing their life and loving them well means avoiding some (or all) of the following sentences:
- "So and so is single too. Y'all should date."
- "Don't you want to get married?"
- You're lucky you just have you to worry about."
- "It will happen one day."
Avoiding phrases like that will help me and probably the rest of your single friends love this season of life a little more. We should be reminded that we are loved the same regardless of whether we have a ring on our finger or not. As I said in a blog that I wrote last year, "If I can best execute Kingdom work as a single lady, then bring it on.” Yes. Still true.
I think by default as humans we tend to gravitate toward people who are similar to us—whether that be personality, life experiences, or seasons of life that we have in common. Commonality draws us together. I believe with my whole heart that we should do life with as many different kinds of people as possible. Doing life with people who are not like us helps shed light on the bigger picture and can enrich our lives in ways we could never comprehend. So single friends, do you only have friends who are single? Married friends, do you only have friends who are married? Married with kids friends, do you only have friends who are married with kids? You see where I am going with this. Shake things up, reach out to people who have different lives than you and love each other well.