What "Single Ladies" never told me.
It seems like every time I write about my singleness the floodgates open up. People call me. People text me. They leave an absurd amount of comments on Instagram. For a long time I felt like God was poking me, pushing me to write about the topic, but I always refused. I’ve been fine to write about anything else but I’ve never written more than a few lines on my own singleness.
The thing is, I’m not single. Not anymore. For a while I thought God was going to keep me single until I finally wrote about it. I thought he was waiting to use me to be some single girl vessel to the masses and then, when I finally broke the silence about my lack of plus ones at weddings, he would bless me with some handsomely rugged man.
That’s a problem for a lot of us: we think God is some cruel scientist who has hid our cheese at the end of a maze. We think God is withholding until we learn “x” amount of lessons. We think he will eventually have good for us when we finally get our stuff together.
I am 4 four months into a relationship. It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend. I think I’ve only told Lane once how much I hate this holiday because I told my last boyfriend so many times that he took to an anti-Valentine’s Day screamo concert featuring angry feminists singing Alanis Morrisette. We broke up the following day.
I don’t actually hate Valentine’s Day. I just didn’t like a holiday that seemed reserved for couples, no matter how much you emphasize the “love is for everyone” juju feelings. I know how hard that holiday can be for people. This post is for the single people. It’s all the words I should have said months ago and just wasn’t brave enough to do so.
Here it goes. Love is not a club. Entering a relationship isn’t the same as wristbands showing up at your doorstep the week before you head to Disney World. Finding a person who fits you and refines you, all at the same time, isn’t a race. You are forever a process. Thank God, you are forever a process. And, whether you like it or not, your singleness is a part of that process.
Don’t believe the lie that a person will complete you. A person can never complete you. They will add onto you. They will show you reality. They will push you out of your comfort zone but they will never complete you. If you are looking for completion in the form of two blue eyes, it isn’t waiting for you there. Go look elsewhere.
Someone-- no matter how good-looking they will be when they finally come along-- is not going to step out and live your life for you. Your singleness ending won’t mean the improvement process will cease too. No, it will only get harder.
So if you want a damn adventure then you must pack the bag and go. Buy your own coffee. Make your own playlists. Plan your own road trips. See the things you want to see just for the simple fact that they matter enough to you. A match on Tinder will not live your dreams for you. Your singleness is not an accident. Your singleness is not God’s blindspot.
Before you can be sure of another person you must be sure of yourself. I cannot say this enough. You must be willing to bet on yourself. This does not mean you have to be perfect or anywhere near it. But it does mean this: a partnership with someone else is not going to fix all the cravings inside of you to be better. You’ll still want to be better. You can always be better, but are you enough? There’s a difference between being better and being enough.
You are allowed to be bitter. You are allowed to be sad. You are allowed to be all of these things but it does not necessarily mean that they’re the best feelings for you to harbor. Bitterness is an ugly thing. It makes time to root itself and even more time to pull up those roots. Even when someone walks into your life, that bitterness won’t completely go away. It will simply get placed somewhere else.
You’ll meet someone one day. You might meet several of them. You might fall in love and break up and fall in love and leave. It might be a few good tries before you find someone who makes you want to stay in the mess of your unity. That’s okay. Don’t let your heart freeze up. Don’t let your jadedness be the thing that makes you believe there are no good ones out there. Don’t give God every shred of you and neglect to give him this. Give him your hurt and give him your worry. You don’t need to sugarcoat the truth. He’s God, he can handle the moments when you feel like your life is the ongoing, never-ending sequel to 27 Dresses.
Just stay honest. Stay open to a love that might not be what you expected. Stay real with your people. Find new people if your people don’t let you be real.
Say yes to awkward first dates when they come along, even if you don’t know for certain if they’re “the one.” I don’t think “the one” is a feeling that tramples over you like a Pitbull. The one is just a person, like you. They will be imperfect and salty. They will let you down and forget important dates. They will burn the toast and they will sing out of tune sometimes. The one is just a person in your life who gets your extra portions of grace. The one is just a person who gets the majority of your texts, tears, and prayers. They pick you. You pick them. It’s like picking your kickball team every morning when you wake up: you pick them, even when they have a bum ankle.
Love is not a club, it’s a choice. Love is not running for presidency just because you have a need to win. Love isn’t getting every vote. Love is being a candidate. It is a long stretch of victories and defeats. You keep running hard. You keep running fast. And one day you crash into someone who sees you and they see your issues like you always hoped your issues would be seen: as their own.