In 2015, I attended six weddings. So many of my best friends from many different walks of life invited me to join them to celebrate their marriages, and I was honored to be a part of each special day. But inevitably, weddings can bring up insecurities in our own lives especially if we are single. As we watch yet another friend walk down the aisle, we wonder if it will ever be our turn.
That one thought opens the door to many other insecurities. Why is no one interested in me? Why do all of my friends have a boyfriend or fiancé, or a date, and I don’t? What am I doing wrong?
A few months ago, I was having dinner with my best friend, who also got married this past year, and we were talking about my very quiet love life. She said something to me which was the most helpful thing anyone has said to me since I have been single. When she was single, she wondered if something was wrong with her, if there was a reason no one seemed to be interested in her. Then she looked me in the eye and said: “Amanda, I just want you to know, there is nothing wrong with you.”
That was when I realized what a crazy insecurity and lie I let creep into my life. I thought my status as a single woman spoke something about my worth, that something was wrong with me. But having a good friend, who was once in my shoes, speak truth at that lie gave me incredible freedom.
So much of the advice I received about being single was well meaning, but when you are truly feeling low about your relationship status, you don’t need another tip on how to wait better or how to enjoy being single, you need someone to speak into your life and remind you of your worth.
There are so many reasons why someone might be single. For me, I had the incredible opportunity to travel the world and really get to know myself before starting a relationship. I also had the chance to let God deep into my heart, to areas that could have been destructive to a relationship later in life. I have enjoyed being single. But there are times when I have been incredibly lonely.
The crazy thing is sometimes as soon as we get into a relationship we forget what it feels like to be single. So, when we are around our single friends, instead of really listening to them and showing compassion, we give them a quick, one day it will be your turn, encouragement. Which is really not that encouraging when you are battling loneliness.
I have been single for a while, so I started to collect a list of things people said to me that were life giving. I hope this list will encourage you if you are single and will give you something to say to encourage your single friends if you are not.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. –Psalm 139:14
There is nothing wrong with you. This does not mean that you are perfect or that there are not areas in your life that God needs to work on. I sure know I am not perfect. But believing that I am not smart enough, pretty enough, interesting enough, (fill in the blank) to be in a relationship is not helpful or true.
You are so valuable. People mean well, but when you are asked over and over why you are single, it makes you question your value. I did not want another person to ask me why I couldn’t just find a nice guy to date, I wanted someone to remind me that I was valuable to them as a friend. That regardless of my relationship status, I was worth something.
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. –Romans 12:4-5
You need community. I am a big fan of community. It is so important to have a group of people who encourage and challenge you. I was listening to a podcast recently where the pastor said that single people need more community than married people. This made so much sense. When you are single, you crave community. Married couples still need this, but they also have that one person they are always with to encourage and challenge them. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have a strong Christian community while you are single.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. –Ephesians 4:31-32
Don’t let bitterness reign. Bitterness is a danger of walking through a long season of singleness. We begin to wonder where our relationship is and tap our watches at God to indicate that now would be a great time to bring Mr. Right by. After you watch friend after friend walk down the aisle, and you are still sitting on the sidelines, bitterness can begin to creep in. But don’t let it, start a journal of things you are thankful for in this season. Really invest in the people around you and make the most of the season you are walking in!
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. –1 Peter 5:7
It is ok to feel lonely. There are days of being single where I feel totally 100 percent happy about life and passionate and fulfilled. The days where I cherish having so much time to myself and time to invest in the areas of my life that are important to me. But there are days I feel loneliness so strongly I fear it will swallow me. And I always felt guilty. A little like my loneliness was me doubting God. Doubting that one day He will bring someone into my life. I want you to know: it is ok to feel lonely. Sometimes being single is really, really hard, and that is ok. God is big enough to handle our loneliness. and more than that, He wants to be with us in the loneliness. He cares for each and every area of our lives. So share with the Lord your feelings of loneliness, talk to Him about it, and let Him speak to you about your worth.
What is some great advice you received if you are single?
What other ways would you suggest to encourage single friends in their worth?
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