Guest post by Coleen York
"I began to realize my “need” for a relationship had a lot to do with how I viewed singleness in general. "
For more years than I care to admit, I jumped from one relationship to the (often unstable) next relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I had morals and standards, but I just really didn’t like being by myself. It was boredom…or so I told myself. Although in the moment I tried not to analyze what was driving this need within me.
In hindsight I realize it was a whole lot more than boredom that motivated my serial dating years.
It had a lot to do with my need for outside affection and affirmation. Peel back even more layers, and I began to realize my “need” for a relationship had a lot to do with how I viewed singleness in general.
Image via: A Well Traveled Woman
"Singleness is not a condition. It isn’t a disease. It is not an ailment that requires an immediate remedy or fix (or fix-up in this case)."
In times of singleness I would look at my dating friends with envy. I wanted a relationship that worked. I wanted the cute guy to look at ME that way. I wanted to be pursued. I wanted my friends to stop trying to fix me up with their leftover friends. I didn’t understand why it just wasn’t happening for me.
I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. Before we even realize what we are doing, we begin to inwardly examine every detail about ourselves in order to determine the cause of our singleness.
"I wanted a relationship that worked. I wanted the cute guy to look at ME that way. I wanted to be pursued. "
What is wrong with me? Is it my hair? Am I too loud? Too smart? Is my body not the right shape? Do I smell? Am I too funny? Not funny enough? Not spiritual enough? Why am I so blooming awkward?!
We begin to view singleness as some kind of disorder that we need to cure.
But here’s the thing we often forget… Singleness is not a condition. It isn’t a disease. It is not an ailment that requires an immediate remedy or fix (or fix-up in this case). Being single is NOT a problem. Nor does being single mean that there is a problem with YOU.
"You just need to trust that God’s perspective is so much larger than what you can see from your own little window."
If you are single you do not need fixed or cured. You do not need any of your well-meaning friends to set you up with their third cousin’s friend that goes to med-school (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the point is you don’t NEED it).
The fact is, being single is not an epidemic or a plague. It does not mean that there is something heinously wrong with you. God allows periods of singleness in our lives for many reasons. In fact, in the Bible Paul even refers to singleness as a gift (1 Cor 7:7).
Maybe God wants to protect your heart from the wrong guy who would break it. Perhaps God wants you to spend time SOLELY seeking Him and what he has for you without any distractions. Maybe your man of God that will one day sweep you off your feet is doing missions work in Africa, or maybe God is not yet done preparing and shaping his heart to be ready for YOU. It could be that if you met your “someone” right now that you both would not be in a place where the relationship would work. There are thousands of potential reasons you could be single and none of them are because you have a bad haircut or didn’t wear your retainer after you got your braces off. You don’t need to analyze it. You just need to trust that God’s perspective is so much larger than what you can see from your own little window.
The last thing that God wants is for you to look at singleness as a curse or an excuse to feel bad about yourself. We all have bad days and yeah, every now and again throw yourself a pity party if you need. But do not take this time for granted. God has a very specific purpose with specific tasks for you during this season of your life and you’ll miss it if you’re constantly trying to fast-forward. Whether single, married, dating, divorced, wherever you find yourself, God’s plans are infinitely bigger and grander than you could have ever possibly dreamed for yourself. And you don’t need a relationship for those plans to unfold or take place.
In every season ask the Creator of your heart what He is trying to teach you during this time. Embrace the place and the pace God has given you. There’s no specific formula and God is so creative that He isn’t going to write you the same exact story as someone else. So, dear one, try not to compare your era of singleness to another’s time of relationship.
God loves you. The individual you are. Not the couple you might be part of one day. He lovesYOU, in this moment and forever after.
Coleen York is an ardent Jesus follower and writer (and she sometimes fancies herself a part-time comedienne). She is passionate about ministering to the hearts of women by showing them their true worth and identity in Christ alone. This passion led her to found She Has Worth, a website designed to reinforce the worth and beauty God has given each and every woman, regardless of her past or relationship status.