Some of us are so focused on rejecting our singleness that we neglect to enjoy the very reasons that make being single stupendous! Just like we, singles, envy married couples, they envy us as well. Not because they aren’t happy, but because there are certain privileges to being single that are revoked or severely diminished during marriage. Singleness is an intentional time- it’s about realizing that your present decisions affect your future relationship (don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to tell your future spouse about) but at the same time taking advantage of your freedom to be carefree and adventurous! Here are 3 things that most people regret not taking advantage of during singleness.
1. Dealing and Healing
Single or not, no one can be truly happy if they are broken or wounded. Use this time to unpack your hurt from your last relationship as well as the relationships before, not just from an ex but hurt caused by family, friends, and others that may have left a scar. A lot of people believe that being in a relationship will ease or even eliminate the pain of their past, but once people get married it becomes all too obvious that relationships actually expose our “untreated” issues. If you’ve ever witnessed a divorce, this can play out in some really ugly and damaging ways. So before you bump into Mr. or Mrs. Right, take advantage of this time deal with our hurt and heal from it so that you can present yourself as a whole, complete individual that doesn’t need someone to fill a void or fix what’s broken (so not sexy).
So what does it look like to “get whole”?
Start by spending some time in reflection. Get in a quiet, calm place to just sit in silence with your thoughts and allow them to speak to you. And I highly suggest that you right down all the things that come to your mind during this time. If doing this scares the eyebrows off of your face, then that’s an indication that is probably long overdue! A wise woman once said, “Time does not heal all wounds, it buries them.” The longer you fail to tend to these wounds, the harder it’s going to be to dig them up because that thing WILL grow some roots and hang back in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to jump out of you like the Boogie Man and scare people away. *long blink*
Now I’m a FIRM believer that attempting to get whole without God is an automatic FAIL. The more you learn about Him, the more you will be able to learn about you. And I can tell you that from personal experience!
2. Discovering/ Re-discovering who you really are (and your purpose!)
A lot of us know who we want others to see us as, but I would dare to say that most people don’t really know who they actually are authentically. Sometimes when we are “all in” in a relationship, we can allow pieces of our authenticity to slip away from us, especially if that relationship doesn’t align with our purpose. And if you aren’t clear about the purpose for your life, you won’t be able to choose the right relationship to reflect that properly. There is no better time to discover (or refresh your memory about) how incredibly Amazing.org you are than when you are single! When we are single, we feel less restricted and pressured to portray our “best selves” and who we believe others expect us to be. Use your single time to be the you that you want to be apart from who your relationships expect (sometimes require you to be. Learn more about who you are, what you have a passion for, and what you wish to accomplish in life. Then set some big, risky goals that you may not have the freedom or courage to accomplish when you have a Bae or spouse to consider, such as starting a business, moving to a new city or state, or working abroad for a year.
3. Freedom to be Fun
This one of my FAVORITE things about being single, but sadly it is something that most people regret not taking advantage before they get married… using the freedom to get up and go whenever and where they want! A lot of people spend most of their singleness freaking out about being alone forever and they forget how to be fun and interesting. Some people literally get married and then realize that they’re boring or that there were things they wished they did while they had the chance. This one regret has broken up marriages, you guys: Don’t let it happen to you.
Your marriage should be full exchanging interesting stories about the adventures you’ve been on! And no, I’m not talking about the YOLO type of fun either. (Is that phase over in America yet? God, I hope so. It’s ruined enough lives!) I’m talking about the type of fun that adds to your substance. Like scuba diving in Mexico, or committing to a challenge where you do something new for 30 days straight, or taking yourself on a weekend stay-cation once a month to a nearby city just to read books and be alone with God, or going on a missions trip to another country, or starting a small business selling the jewelry you started making as a hobby. The list could go on and on!
And yes, you can do these things in a relationship and in a marriage, but relationships bring responsibility and if “life” gets in the way of you being able to do these things, you want to have a reservoir of memories to keep you sane, not regret and resentment because you never got to enjoy the joys of life. It doesn’t have to be big, extravagant (aka expensive), or flashy. Just be open to new things and explore! Besides, how do you expect to meet “the one” sitting at home crying (yet again) over The Notebook into a pint of Salted Caramel Talenti?? Get up, get cute (or handsome), and get your fun back!