Yeah, I know it’s been a while since I was last single.
But indulge me for a moment.
Today, I got thinking about my single days and the small gems of wisdom that kept me sane.
My single days
I wasn’t long in my single journey (and I mean the reeaaly single phase of shouldn’t-I-be-married-by-now!?) before I realized that a girl doesn’t need complications in her life.
I mean, my life felt complicated already; juggling family, career, ministry, friends, hormones.
I did not need men issues to complicate it further.
Now, no matter what the elitist, reformist, feminist, modern crop of thinkers have to say, a woman is a woman is a woman. We love and attach from the innermost part of our hearts.
When we like someone, we truly like someone. We don’t love from our heads; it’s not a logic thing. Extracting our clingy longing hearts from something we like is not easy. Getting over heartbreaks is messy.
As a single girl, I discovered (rather slowly) that it was good to keep a guard over my sneaky heart.
To lead it, to hide and cover it.
Because it had a a mind of its own. It was difficult to control. Especially when I liked someone.
More discoveries and thoughts on the single life
1. Shacking up with a man is extremely unintelligent.
You see, if you let him taste the goods before he buys them, he’ll never buy. Why go into all the trouble of ‘making it official’ when he already has you in his house, giving him the full service?
It’s a sad silly thought that moving in together will help a man make up his mind, that it’ll push him to marry you. It does not. And by the way, shacking-up doesn’t necessarily have to be the whole nine yards (living with him).
Shacking-up is really just giving too much too early.
If he’s yours, he’ll come after you. He’ll give you time, woo you. There shouldn’t be a mad dash to snag him and keep him. You will not need to chase him. You will not be calling him all the time, paying the restaurant bills, playing chaperon for his wandering eye.
The moment you sniff “bad seed”, you should be able to walk away and not hang around him, trying to fix him. Desperation leads to shacking-up – of the heart first, then of the body.
A whinny, clingy, annoying being – that’s always a spectacle.
It’s the opposite of patience, good sense, discipline, trust; these lie on the other side of shack-up. These virtues make a good girl of you. They are actually your best friend.
They make you see that you are priceless; and the day that you begin to treat yourself thus, men will have no choice but follow.
2. It’s important to have someone speak into your life.
The fact that you are single doesn’t mean you don’t need a family. It’s a tough revelation because singlehood equals freedom.
You decide what to eat, when to sleep, where to work, what career path to choose. Your time is yours. Your life is yours to live the way you like.
Having someone else guide and direct your life goes against the single grain (at least it did for me).
However single people do need someone else watching their ways, keeping them straight.
They need what I call grown-up-parenting; the kind of parents who might not tell you what time to get home but will ask you why you didn’t…because they know you know the curfews of life.
It’s a high form of accountability.
One of my biggest thrill (and non-thrill sometimes) as a single was “ practicing submission” on one of my single guy friends.
As mentioned, singlehood does come with a whole lot of independence; for me it was always a hallelujah moment when I could listen to a single man, actually agree with what he had to say and maybe even follow him.
I didn’t have many guy friends but the few that surrounded me showed me what a real man was all about. I had brothers. They protected me; I had good sense but i believe that their ring of protection did keep some seedy fellows out.
These guys treated me like a woman; thus I could never accept less from anyone else.
It is possible to keep platonic friendships. You just know where to go fishing for them. (Like my nephew says, you don’t go looking for grapes in a potato garden.) Mine were from church. We shared similar values, held same perspectives and views about life. You need to find your family.
3. It’s important to have a life.
It’s totally amazing how being busy and focused naturally separates the wheat and dirt.
What is yummy delicious to an idle mind and life, you barely give it a glance.
When you are full and overflowing, you can only attract a similar person.
It is okay to be choosy.
You don’t need to go out with anybody and everybody. People will have opinions about your standards and your focus. Just learn to allow people to keep their own opinions without having to defend your life.
People will always think what they want to think, ain’t nothing you can do about it. So live your life to the full. This is the time to go full throttle; school, career, friends, vacations, do it all.
Always stay full.
Full stomachs don’t eat just anything. But empty stomachs snack on everything on sight.
4. Singleness was not a rehearsal for marriage.
Biggest revelation I ever received in my single days was that ‘my single life was not a rehearsal for married life’.
Unlike the common message being thrown all over by well-meaning people, God was not preparing me for a marriage – that was NOT the reason I was still single.
He was preparing me for HIMSELF. Period.
He was making me more like him everyday; teaching me to trust Him with the seasons and timings of my life, teaching me new dimensions of surrender.
God is big, so huge, His plan for my life so big that bringing it down to ‘preparing me for marriage’ was just plain insulting.
I know people mean well but its time to wake up to the reality that a husband or wife, while being the biggest blessing ever, is not the ultimate reason for your existence.
The day you understand that is the day you get cured of marriage-iosis – a pretty infectious disease afflicting many single people.
5. Drop poisonous friendships.
The ones who are telling you to have a baby now cos your biological clock is ticking.
The ones who encourage you (on your dumb days) to go out with that questionable character from the office. The ones who don’t have their own lives together but want to direct yours.
Always make it your top priority to clarify why certain people are in your life; keep the ones that need your help, but carefully sort the ones who you cleave to.
You will always be an average of your five friends. You are not made of stone; the things that your friends value, they will eventually become valuable to you.
My biggest revelation yet?
That happy singles make happy marrieds.
Marriage doesn’t make you happier.
And ah yes, the most attractive people are the ones who look like they don’t need anybody to make them happy.