Would you believe me if I told you I haven’t been on a date in over 2 years?
Instagram: the platform of the century. Being a #typeA blogger who is constantly on Instagram, I notice a thing or two about the way the platform behaves, i.e., couple photos, dating photos, engagement photos, marriage photos, etc. The Instagram algorithm takes these photos, measures the way people interact with them, blows them up, the likes are #insane, and subconscious positive reinforcement tells us: (insert robotic voice) more more more, guys guys guys, must have boyfriend boyfriend boyfriend. Walking into a season of pumpkin patches, thanksgiving plans, and Christmas sweaters — single girls, don’t fret — I’m with you and this post is for you. Because when it comes to our photos, our daily to-do’s, my holiday plans, or who I’m texting right now – you betcha a beau/boyfran/SO is MIA, missing, gone and I am with you.
All my not-so-single ladies: I promise if I followed you, I would like all your couple photos *in a heartbeat* because they’re adorable and this post isn’t dedicated to bashing dating or marriage (gosh no way! marriage is a gift from God!), it’s to propel a message that society doesn’t usually propel and draw a boundary that’s keeping my single girls from attaining everyday peace. Here’s the lie: it’s that must-be-wifed-up-ASAP-in-your-20’s-or-post-college-otherwise-you-don’t-have-it-all-together, which is instilling and preaching a message of fear — possibly even making some girls stay with guys who aren’t the best thing for them. Causing single girls to search heavily through dating apps, swipe right, left, yada yada until you can barely keep your eyes open at night because you’re frustrated and just so…
All my single ladies: this post is written to encourage you, lift you up, and keep you in a state of praise (instead of a grass-is-greener-victim-spirit), because guess what: you’re in a good place. I’ve been single for over two years, not one date, nada nothing. And let me tell you something, with hard work, community, self-awareness, and *a whole lot of Jesus* – I’ve found the sweet spot. Singleness is so. much. fun. and good for your soul, but it has to be done right. Here’s how:
- Align your focus: Fixating on what you don’t have is never fun. The grass-is-greener mentality blends up one big mess of jealousy, obsessiveness, and takes the cake for stealing your peace. SO let’s flip this – view your situation as – you have been given the gift of a season of singleness to find *you* *right now*. Your person is going to be so thankful you went through that time of self-searching and got all your “stuff” figured out before you gave it over to them. (ha!)
- Tailor your time: If we spend our time and energy focusing on finding that special someone, there’s no time or energy left for us. When I first was newly single, I thought I had to be on dating apps and go to the bars because that’s what single girls had to do. Plain and simple … it didn’t work … and truthfully it’s not where I wanted to spend my time. I’ve now learned I prefer going to bed earlier so I can have early morning quiet times, get-togethers with friends that end with dinner and don’t last the whole night, watching Netflix with Chloe and cuddling up with a candle nearby. I prefer these things, and I’m rewarding myself by sticking to what I want to do – not what the magazines tell me to do.
- Find besties who are in the same place: There is nothing harder than listening to your BFF talk about boyfriend drama (all day long) when you’re still #single. Find friends who are in the same place as you. One of my best friends and I cook dinner weeknights, go on bike rides on the trail, take work-out classes, keep busy via healthy ways and there are no boys invited. Good company always helps steer away the lonely jitters; but make sure you find friends who are encouraging a healthy lifestyle, not one that tears you down.
- People can sense confidence – own it: Know your worth. Know your strength. For me – as a Christian – this has been a spiritual journey. Finding my identity in nothing but Jesus is a truthfully daunting and difficult task, but relieves stress and the pressure of secular society telling us our identity is in who’s holding my hand, what my job is, what I look like, or how many followers I have. Once people (and guys) can sense that confidence in who you are, they’ll pick it up on it instantly. Hint hint: confidence is attractive. Spend your single time striving towards confidence (however you may find it), then wear it everywhere you go!
- May the force be with you: I think it took me 25 years to realize I can’t force anything in life. When you are forcing things that aren’t meant to be – life is just plain difficult, nothing’s going right, you’re getting all frustrated, there’s no peace, you have this crappy gut feeling, maybe you’re not sleeping well, dreaming weird things. You know how it goes. Don’t force something that just simply isn’t meant to be. Let the force be with you not against you. Pray about it, write about it, or get counsel from a friend. The goal in this situation is to go with the peace. Not against it.
- # Treat Yo’ Self : Honestly though, you’d be spending money on a boyfriend anyway (l-o-l). Treat yourself, girlfriend. A pumpkin candle, a delicious cookie once in awhile (in my case gluten free), a really cute new pair of shoes. You deserve it. In the words of Justin Beiber (but in a much nicer way), love yourself.
- Don’t play the comparison game: Your co-worker’s, best friend’s, sister’s timeline isn’t your own. It’s just not. Comparing myself to others’ timelines has been an issue in the past and it was time to just let it go. Think of it this way: you’re figuring out a lot more about yourself than they are – so give yourself a big pat on the back. I feel like the idea of comparison can put some girls in that I’m-going-to-end-up-lonely-forever-must-date-the-first-male-I-see-on-Bumble mindset and it’s hard to pull yourself out of it. You’re on a one-lane track. It’s yours. Allow your single life to preach a message to other girls, and find your peace in where you are–and let it shine, girlies.
- Hobbies are totally underrated: I feel like I never hear about hobbies anymore. Was that like a little kid thing? For me – one of my most soothing hobbies is writing, but I also enjoy work-out classes, biking (although I don’t even own a bike, ha), getting out and doing things. Getting a breath of fresh air or simply turning off the smart phone is underrated and it does help. It does!
- There is such a thing as the perfect timing: I know you hear this all the time, you’re Aunt Bertha saying “It’ll happen when you least expect it!” or “It’ll happen when you’re happy with you!” or “Just wait on God’s timing!” I’m not here to preach as your aunt Bertha, but I am here to second the idea that there is peace in trusting the process and trusting the timing of your life milestones. Fixing, controlling, planning … those words are just plain exhausting. Words like – being, trusting, waiting have a more soothing and calming effect. Don’t you agree? Trust, wait, and be still and wait for that perfect timing.
- Throw your hair back: And just simply enjoy your life, as it is now! Honestly, I don’t know why being single has such a bad connotation and why southern culture (in particular) wants us married so quickly. In my case, these past two years has been some of the most fun, exciting, stress-free years of my life. Girls, girls, girls. Use this time wisely – you have the of your w-h-o-l-e life to be with your soulmate, (that’s a longgg time). Live it up and enjoy it while you can.
At this point in my life, my daily joy, peace, and walk is not associated with a guy and there is a lot of freedom in that. However, everyone’s journey is different and mine is subject to change! What is your story? What are your tips for living a fun and single life? Would love to hear from you! XOXO