It was one of those nights I will remember my entire life.
All these years later I can close my eyes and effortlessly time travel back to that beautiful moment. The soft fibers of the red flannel blanket on my back, the smooth taste of an Izzy grapefruit soda on my tongue, the mesmerizing view of a million little skylights above as we laughed and laughed.
She was an incredible woman and she has had more influence on my life than maybe anyone else I’ve ever met. She taught me to value myself and to apologize. She looked deep into my eyes, saw every broken part of me and loved me anyway.
She taught me I was capable of love.
For a long time, I thought she was it, the one shot at marriage that I walked away from. This deep seeded pain was perpetuated by years of awkward set-ups, failed attempts at online dating, a constant FBI-like interrogation about my love life from anyone in my atmosphere.
It’s not something I’ve talked about much, but for many years being single cut deep. At least it used to.
You see, to most people you aren’t complete unless you have someone to complete you. You can’t live a happily ever after until you find your true love. If you’re single, clearly it’s because you’re not __________ (good-looking, funny, smart, outgoing, rich…) enough and if you’re not married by 27, there’s clearly something very, very wrong with you.
I don’t think those people mean to be a constant source of pressure, yet I can hardly make it a few days without someone asking, “So, what’s new in your love life?” which feels identical to, “when is your due date?”
… yup. super not pregnant.
yup. super nothing new.
The truth is I don’t want to read another single article about singleness. What more is there possibly to say?
Yet, I recently had a breakthrough. I realized what the struggle was really about. This world hates that you (and I) are single and here’s why:
1 – You won’t settle for a life that’s less than extraordinary.
or a marriage for that matter. In a culture with a divorce rate of 50%, it’s pretty freakin’ obvious that happily ever after doesn’t begin with “I do”. So many people settle for good enough but you don’t and that’s intimidating.
2 – You take your life seriously.
Maybe too seriously in their eyes. You make careful and thoughtful decisions. Discerning who to marry is one of the most important choices of your entire existence. It will shape who your kids become and how you spend every day of your precious time on this planet. The fact that you haven’t jumped in desperation shows you’re brave enough to wait through the unknown.
3 – You’re happy and confident with exactly who you are.
You’ve taken time figure out what makes you happy (see past post) and you could articulate that to your future spouse. You’re fiercely independent and don’t need anyone to take care of you. You’re excited to invite someone into your future, but a relationship isn’t a necessary part of your identity.
4 – You’re adventurous and chasing the life you always dreamed of.
You’re taking time before marriage to go back to school, to travel the world, to write a book, to work with homeless people, to enjoy being young, alive and free.
“For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (VOICE)
Today I encourage you stand tall and stop looking at your singleness as they do. Keep trusting God as you have been. Consider praying and writing a journal to your future spouse. Maybe head to the library and check out “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman or “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. Focus on getting yourself ready so when that inspiring person comes along you’ll be just as amazing as they are. Until love comes along, keep smiling, dreaming and changing the world just like you have been.
Oh by the way, I just had a date with an incredible girl. She’s intelligent, beautiful and ridiculously hilarious. Statistically, I know that it probably won’t work out. Yet, I’m not afraid of being vulnerable or letting someone in because I love my life and I love who I am. And that’s not something most people can understand. But you get it my single friend, and we’re in this together.