My family has always been very concerned about me being happy in life. So, whether I like it or not, they can be counted on to give me advice and attempt to help me with dating. A close relative even went so far as to try to set me up with a customer they met at work. While working with this customer, they showed him a picture of me, passed on my contact info, then proceeded to take his picture and information and sent it to me via text. Ugh! I was so embarrassed.
I truly look forward to dating and eventually getting married, but I think there are some myths about being single that need to be addressed. I may be single, but my life and happiness do not need to be on hold or dependent on my dating status.
1. You will be happier if you are in a dating relationship
I have often thought that if I just had a boyfriend then I would be happy because then someone would value and love me. The truth is that while being in a relationship is great, it won’t solve all your problems. Real relationships have ups and downs; if you rely on a person to make you happy all the time you’ll be in trouble.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 23:37-38 NIV
I’ve learned that being in a relationship isn’t what I should rely on to give me value or make me happy. From this Scripture, God wants us to focus on two things: loving him, and loving other people. These two things really encourage my faith and help me feel happy. Because God always cares about what I feel, I can be real with him and deal with my emotions with him. Then I am freed up to invest in encouraging friendships and be available to serve and give to others.
2. You are ‘behind’ if you are not part of a pair
After so many years of celebrating life’s great happenings with others, I can struggle watching my friends move on with their lives, with a husband and kids. Though I may be happy for them, it can be painful when I feel like God has a plan for everyone’s life but mine.
Recently, married friends of mine went on a trip as couples to celebrate a friend’s birthday and I wasn’t able to participate because I’m not married. After praying I realized that this was in no way a reflection of God’s plan for my life. I cannot compare my life circumstances to my friends or family. I am not “behind” in life, I am exactly where God wants me for my life’s plan. God meets my needs according to his will and plan for me. He is helping me to learn to persevere and be patient for his vision, plan and blessings.
These verses help me believe and trust in God’s plan more than my own:
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 NIV
As for God, His way is blameless. The word of the Lord is tested [it is perfect, it is faultless]; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30 (AMP)
3. You must be lonely without a significant other
Webster’s dictionary defines lonely as: being without company; cut off from others.
I get lonely when I choose to isolate myself and don’t want to be known. I can make choices to push God and others away, then wonder why I am alone. This has nothing to do with my dating ‘status.’
I have to be honest and aware of my thoughts and emotions or I easily get sucked into sorrow and self-pity. However, when I choose to pray and focus on God’s Word it helps me to build my relationship with God and remember that he is the best friend I could ever have. I don’t ever have to be lonely.
To be close to others I need to choose to enjoy my relationship with God first so my heart is available to invest in relationships and care about others.
14 Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Try taking some of these actions to overcome the myths you may have in your head about being in a relationship:
- Read the book of Ruth. What qualities did she learn while being “single” that God took notice of and helped her be a loyal friend to Naomi? Who has God put in your life that he wants you to invest in and serve? What are ways you can grow and invest in your in your relationship with God?
- What convictions is God trying to help you develop now while you are single that will help you be to open to vision and plan he has for your life?
- Do something special every weekend in your relationship with God that makes you feel close or connected with him. (Go on a hike with God, go on a beach walk with God, etc.)