Sometimes I will blog about my own singleness, but it’s not really my focus because I don’t believe I am defined by being single.
There’s so much more to me (and you) than a relationship status.
But we all know what’s day it is. Moreover, we know what day is coming up. It might be a day people dread or, if they are dating someone (or even just overly optimistic about life), they may be counting down the days. That’s right: President’s Day.
But don’t you wish more people celebrated President’s Day? Just me? Okay.
I was looking through my spam folder one day, and then I realized it looked like this:
Now I don’t really hold much value in what spam emails I receive, but I know how easy it is to find yourself longing to be a relationship when every store window is filled with hearts.
As I reflect on my past relationships, I am very grateful I am not still dating any of them. Not that they were bad guys—I still think they’re great and wish them all success and happiness. I don’t want to trip a single one of them and watch them hit their face.
Sometimes I think about who I dated and let out a laugh. I mean, I once dated someone who had no idea who John Wesley was. If that doesn’t make me reevaluate my choices, I don’t know what would.
I attend a Christian university, so a majority of people operate under the “ring by spring” philosophy. Sure, some people joke about it, but when I was an RA, I had a conversation with one of the girls on my hall and it went like this:
Me: What’s your major?
Me: Cool. What do you want to do with that? Teach?
Her: No, I’m really just here to find a husband.
Me: You know, you really didn’t need to spend $100,000 to do that.
Okay, so I maybe didn’t say the last part. But otherwise that’s a true conversation. This is real life. Also, you’d be happy to know she is dating someone.
When you attend a Christian university, people who find their success not in their degree, but whether or not they graduated with a ring on their finger are actually not rare.
Since I’m only twenty-one, I don’t bring a whole lot of life experience to the table, but I know I am not as naïve as I was when I was fourteen dating my first boyfriend. Do I have a lot still to learn? Yes. Will my heart get broken again? Possibly. But I know success is not found in having an engagement ring.
You see, our identity isn’t—can’t—be found in the acceptance of another person.
I am not saying there’s anything wrong with marrying young like a majority of my Christian university peers are doing. Of course, I’m not above throwing in there that our brains don’t fully form until we are twenty-five either, so there you have it.
Relationships are important, but all relationships are important—at this stage of life and every stage of life. I may not be dating anyone, but I have awesome friends. Two of my best friends are flying to Russia next week to serve and love on people. I have amazing friends. They aren’t perfect, but I love my friends. I’ve been fortunate enough to invest in some friendships more because I haven’t been involved in a dating relationship, and I’m so grateful for that.
I would be lying if I said it is always easy to be single, especially surrounded by Christian subculture. Sometimes I ask my roommate why no one can see how great of catch I am—I can make soup, clean and vacuum, and surely I could learn to cook a steak. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed I haven’t been on a date in over a year and half.
But that’s not all there is to me. Maybe this sounds like a personal pep talk for sad single people, but I have grown a lot through being single. Someday, I’ll be in a relationship, and I’ll continue to grow and learn. Right now, I know this is what season I am in.
I know it’s not my identity. People have value no matter what their marital status.
Let’s just keep loving each other and being the Church to one another.
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” – John 13:34-25
“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” – Colossians 3:12-17