Disclaimer: I'll be honest, I really tossed and turned about writing this post at the risk of being too open with my personal thoughts. After getting feedback from readers, I've realized that this is a conversation that people actually want to have, but never want to initiate. Given that I can make the level of discomfort in a room go from 0 to 100 real quick, I felt it was my personal duty to address this topic (that was a joke, get used to my self-depreciating humour). Now that I've got that out of the way, let's talk.
P.S. Grab a hot drink and get cozy, this is going to be a long one.
It's about that time of year when Dollarama is stocked to the brim with Valentine's Day paraphernalia, and if you're a female, like myself, you'll likely do one of the following: 1. Get excited about your Valentine's date with your significant other, or, 2. Proceed to over-fill your shopping cart with enough chocolate to feed a small country, which you'll eat by yourself (or with a few gal pals). In all seriousness, I can completely understand the frustration that a lot of single men and women go through during this time of year, but I challenge you to look at your relationship status from a different perspective. I'll be honest, for a long time I viewed singleness as a negative characteristic, but I'm now at a point in my life where I have come to fully appreciate the blessings of this specific season of life. I'm no love expert- especially considering that the extent of my love life involves harassing John Mayer via Twitter on a daily basis (again, self-depreciating humour)- but I have learned a few things about the blessings of singleness over the years, and I'm happy to share my conclusions with you all.
1. Singleness gives you the opportunity to strengthen your relationship with Jesus.
Time, and time again, I've been told that at no other point in your life will you have more time to dedicate to working on your relationship with God. Maintain a daily dialogue with Jesus and really listen for His voice. I was speaking to a friend a few months back, who expressed how truly thankful she was for the season of singleness that she went through prior to her current relationship. She stated that singleness gave her the opportunity to spend time with God through scripture, service, and meditation. She boldly stated that the relationship she formed with God in her singleness became the foundation for her current relationship. Towards the end of our conversation, she made the interesting conclusion that perhaps God held out on opening her eyes to that special person because there was still a lot of work that had to be done on her heart. What I've learned over the years in my walk with God is that He does this thing where He'll put me through the fire- call it the Refiner's Fire- before giving me the blessing. Maybe you're a little impatient? Perhaps you've got a short fuse? Or, maybe you've hardened your heart to others? Well, if that's the case, maybe God wants to turn you into a more patient, calm, welcoming person so that you're ready for whatever blessing he has in store for you- relationship or, otherwise. He has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). With that said, don't embark on strengthening your relationship with God with the expectation that in doing so, He'll give you a significant other. Strengthen your relationship with God simply because regardless of your relationship status, He is the only thing that will ever fill that void in your heart. And not only fill the void, but transform your heart completely.
2. "Be the person the person you're looking for is looking for."
I first heard this phrase a couple of months back while listening to Fr. Anthony Messeh's podcast series entitled, Real Talk: Adventures in Love, Sex, and Dating, and it really struck a chord with me. You want a kind, motivated, Jesus-loving dude? Well then, be the girl version of that. The idea is quite simple: the Law of Attraction. You are what you attract. During his sermon, Fr. Anthony told an anecdote about a good Christian girl, who went off to college and decided to "let her hair down," so to speak. She loosened her morals, started going to parties, experimented with boys, and put God on the back burner. When college was over, she moved back home, and one day, decided to attend a friend's party. At the party, she met a guy who was, simply put, the ultimate package: he loved God, was kind, smart, funny, good-looking, etc. After the party, she rushed home to tell her mom about this amazing guy that she had met. Upon listening to her daughter, the mother was silent for a few moments, then looked up at her daughter and said, "Honey, a guy like that isn't looking for a girl like you." Ouch. Wake. Up. Call. But realistically, how selfish is it of anyone to expect to land their ideal significant other without being proactive about his/her own life? On that note, don't expect a relationship to be the magical solution to your life. A relationship will not solve your problems. Be proactive about your life and face your problems head on. And listen to Fr. Anthony's Real Talk: Adventures in Love, Sex, and Dating podcast series, I promise you won't regret it.
3. Don't be cynical; understand what a real and healthy relationship looks like.
In a time when divorce rates only seem to be rising, it's easy to be cynical about the idea of love, relationships, and marriage. But don't be. Don't fall victim to the idea that real love is not out there. And by real love, I definitely do not mean Disney fairytale love, because that probably isn't out there. I mean a Ruth and Boaz kinda' love; an Ayesha and Steph Curry kinda' love (okay, maybe a Steph-Ayesha type of love is pushing it, but I won't deny #goals). Funny story, I actually met Ayesha Curry, and within a few seconds of our encounter, said something along the lines of "Asjdhfsj...Oh my gosh...sjdfhjskd...love you, you're awesome...and I love that your marriage with Steph is so godly..." Face-palm, I know. I'll gladly take the L on that one. I guess what I mean to say is, know what a real and healthy relationship looks like and set that standard for yourself and future significant other. Maybe for you that looks like your parents' marriage, or your friends' marriage. However, understand that every relationship is different in its own way and that your future relationship cannot mirror that of someone else. It is unfair to you and your future significant other to expect to be carbon copies of Ayesha and Steph Curry. My underlying point here is never, ever lower your standards (unless they're astronomically unachievable). It is not too much to ask for a Jesus-loving dude who embodies your set of ideal characteristics in a future spouse. Don't lose hope. But please don't live your life bent on finding a significant other. It will happen when it happens. In Matthew 6:26, Jesus says, "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Let that sink in for a moment. The Lord makes provision even for the birds. How much more comforting is it then, to know that the One who cares for every aspect of His creation is also taking care of all of the small details of your life, including your love life. So, take heart, and enjoy this wild ride we call life.
With that said, congratulations if you've made it this far. Thanks for reading. Leave a comment in the comment bar at the bottom of the home page if you'd like to chat! Happy Valentine's Day, and enjoy the chocolate!