Growing up, I considered people in their twenties to be lightyears older than I was. It seemed like those years were so far out of reach at the time. As I planned out my future through the Sim’s game, I concluded that I would be married by 26 with three kids, four ponies, and a healthy amount of cheat codes that would get me through all of life’s obstacles. Let’s face it, I didn’t have the most common sense growing up… I mean, I wanted to name my first-born “Shockey” for God’s sake.
Well, my 8th birthday turned into 9 and my 15th into 22. Needless to say, the plan that I envisioned for myself did not turn out the way I thought it would. At age 25, I can’t imagine getting married anytime soon, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be ready for children, and ponies scare the f*ck out of me.
It took me a while to be happy on my own and love being single. Since my parents have been married for 28 years, it was only natural that I considered “singleness” as a problem. It has such a negative connotation surrounding it and I never really understood why.
Society has clouded our minds with the “American dream” of a white picket fence and a doting husband. I have always longed for that special someone but when I really thought about, the idea of marriage scared the everliving shit out of me. To be honest, it still does… Call it commitment-phobia, but you have to admit, being with one person for the rest of your life is terrifying.
Until recently, I was addicted to the attention I got from men. I thought that my self-worth relied on how many guys’ numbers I got at the bar or how many compliments I could get in one day. At night, I would get lonely and think “damn I wish I had a boyfriend” and then immediately spiral towards shame, thinking “God, I am so desperate.” It was a never ending cycle. When I finally DID get a boyfriend though, I felt more alone than ever. I realized that I have been telling myself “If you just get into a relationship, you will be happy.” Come to find out, that is not the least bit true.
I’ve grown so much in recent months and perhaps the best life lesson I have taken away from it all is learning to love being single. My single life is such a special chapter in my earth story. I have so much freedom to do whatever the hell I want that it takes my breath away sometimes.
My church has taught me that there are endless opportunities as single men and women to serve God’s kingdom. Paul even refers to singleness in the bible as a gift. This blew my mind at first because the Catholic church always seemed to glorify marriage while I was growing up. I thought that marriage was the “right” and “pure” thing to do.
But once I marinated on Paul’s words, I realized that if I was in a relationship, I wouldn’t have the time to attend First Friday bonfires or volunteer for the 7pm service or attend life group and bible study every week. I wouldn’t have made the most amazing friends that truly want to walk with Jesus and make the world a better place. I wouldn’t be able to travel the world and experience God’s glorious creations.
Instead, I would be so focused on what my SO was doing or what he REALLY thinks of me or if we’re going to end up together. With God, I get constant reassurance that I can forever trust in Him. I know that He will always return my calls. He will never cancel our plans. He will always love me with His whole heart. I don’t question his ingenuity one bit.
Sure, I get lonely sometimes but I know that it’s only temporary. Whenever my inner voice starts to speak up, I realize that it is Satan’s way of saying “You’re nothing without a man.” I then look to God and I know that I’m never alone. When I find myself hoping for a boyfriend, I can hear Him whispering in my ear “not yet.” His plan will not always play out in the way that I want but it will certainly give me what I need.
We have such a long time to find a spouse, so we shouldn’t waste our days dreaming about that perfect someone. Use your singleness as a time to explore the world, create amazing memories with friends and family, and learn new things. Think about it this way: once you’re married, that’s it. Say goodbye to all of that precious free time you once had. You don’t want to find yourself resenting your husband or wife for “not being able to backpack Europe” or “forcing me to eat a vegan diet.”
Take my word for it and learn to love being single. Meet as many people as you can, learn a new language, pack up and move to Australia for a few years. Live out your wildest and craziest dreams while you have the chance.
Check out my recent article on Why You Should Join a Church in Your Twenties!