25 Things Married People Would Go Back and Tell Themselves

In Advice and Encouragement, Marriage, Single by Debra Fileta14 Comments

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As I was watching Back to the Future, Part II for about the 573rd time over the weekend, I started to wonder — what would a future-married-version-of-me say to the present-single-version-of-me? 

Unfortunately, we can’t just jump into Doc Brown’s time-traveling DeLorean, go 30 years into the future and ask ourselves for some advice (And considering that might cause a paradox that could ultimately unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum, it might not be a good idea anyway).

So I did the next best thing: I asked a bunch of married people what they would tell their single selves if they could travel back in time and give themselves one piece of advice. 

I asked married people from a wide variety of vocations and backgrounds, ranging from pastors and teachers to firefighters and career advisors. Some of them have been married for decades, others for just a few months.

But they all have this in common — they honor God and their spouses in their marriages and they have a positive impact on the people they come in contact with. They have the kind of marriages I hope to one day be in.

We often look at singleness as this desert that we need to escape from as soon as possible, and that finding ‘The One’ is the water that will quench our thirsts, solve all of our problems and give us the happy ending that cues the credits.

The truth is that mindset wastes precious time during our single years. I burned some valuable time in the past playing the woe-is-me-for-being-alone game instead of using that time to get to know myself better, build character, serve others and learn from people who have been there and done that. 

So without further ado, here are 25 things the married people I spoke with would go back and say to themselves when they were single:

  1. “Listen to God. Listen to others. You don’t know everything.”
  2. “Don’t think so much about yourself.”
  3.  “If someone cannot see your value, move on. And don’t question why they couldn’t see your value. It was just not meant to be. God has something better for you!”
  4. “Take your time, don’t rush things.”
  5. “If you have a bad feeling about something or someone, don’t pursue it.” 
  6. “Don’t think you can get physical in a relationship without getting emotionally attached.”
  7. “Stop trying to change the person you plan on marrying or dating.”
  8. Understand that when you get involved physically in a relationship, you give away a piece of your heart. If you really want to be a man of God, keep moving forward in your relationship with Christ and once in a while pop your head up and see who’s with you. Don’t try so hard to make things happen.”
  9. “Don’t define yourself by what the world says, but by what God says about you and begin praying for your future spouse now.
  10. “You are worth more than you think you are.”
  11. “Be more content while being single. I think for too long you’ve been looking for someone else to be happy with. Not to mention that for too long you were looking for the ‘right person’ in the wrong places.
  12. “Understand that success is fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.”
  13. “Don’t let things distract you from what you put your mind to. Finish what you start.”
  14. “When you date somebody, that’s when you should keep your eyes open — looking for things about that person that you like and don’t like. Be willing to talk things out while you’re dating, learning how to communicate and address issues during the dating stage before you get married.”
  15. “Get plugged into a church and serve others.”
  16. “Don’t marry someone who doesn’t share your faith and values.”
  17. Don’t worry about the future and enjoy singleness because it is unique and there are so many benefits to that season.There are many benefits to marriage, but you will miss some of the benefits of being single.”
  18. “Give your life to seeking God and doing His work in the world around you.”
  19. Enjoy the flexibility of single life. Don’t be so desperate to find somebody that you compromise too much.”
  20. “Don’t get so hung up on looks. Everybody gets older but personalities rarely change. Find someone you love to spend time with, not just someone you like to look at.
  21. Let God guide you, don’t try and guide God. Stop fighting tooth-and-nail for your own will instead of God’s will; it will only lead to frustration, bitterness and pain.”
  22. “Go take Financial Peace University and get your finances in order now. Don’t have any credit cards and no matter what, don’t go into a single penny of debt. Start investing in your future immediately by saving money every month and by opening a money market account. Put something into it from every paycheck. Even if its just $50. Be ruthless and stick with it!”
  23. “Hang around the right crowd, people that will help lead you to success.”
  24. “Slow it down, youngin’! Life is so fragile, and time so valuable. Don’t always be in such a rush to get to the next level. Enjoy where God has you now. There is purpose in the life you live now. Take time to nurture your relationships and plan your future accomplishments. It’s not about how many steps you take. It is the quality of each step you take that makes the difference. Contentment is only found in Christ.”
  25. “Stop looking for the right person and start working on becoming the right person.

Comment below: If you’re married, what would you go back and say to your single self? If you’re single, who in your life can you look up to for valuable advice?

Joel Delgado is a writer, sports fan and coffee enthusiast living in Miami, FL. He is a staff writer at Florida International University and blogs about faith, life and more at JoelDelgado.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JoelMDelgado.

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14 Comments on "25 Things Married People Would Go Back and Tell Themselves"

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Matt
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Bonus points for the “Back To The Future” reference.

Joel Delgado
Guest

Best movie trilogy of all time! 😉

Kat
Guest

Great article!

Jess
Guest

The one thing I would tell my single self is to not be afraid and trust God in your dating relationships. When dating my now-husband I was so fearful about messing up our relationship and not doing it right that I turned into a real stickler and would nit-pick at every single mistake he made. Thankfully he is a gracious and loving man and stuck with me in those moments, but it’s definitely something I wish I would have trusted God more in those moments. It would have saved us both a lot of hurt and frustrations.

Jenae
Guest
I can second this! My now husband was my first and only boyfriend. I was so uptight the first time we dated (at age 24) that we broke up after only 3 months. It took over a year for God to loosen me up and get us back together. We both learned a lot and changed a lot through our experiences, but yes, it came with a lot of heartache and frustration. The more I relaxed and accepted the gift God was giving me in my boyfriend/husband, the more we enjoyed it. Not that there are boundaries to set and… Read more »
Hannah
Guest

Loved it!! ;))

Shay Johnson
Guest

All those are good one’s. Thanks for sharing this, Debra. God bless!

Tom A
Guest
There are two things I’d like my future self to say to me: 1) Don’t worry, there’s hope. It’ll be a long time, but you’ll find someone. 2) Don’t stress so much about finding someone. Most of the time circumstances are out of your control anyway. And when things do happen, they’ll play out naturally. The first one is, I think, the type of advice we all want, though it’s not reality, and probably not best for us. Most of the time in a story, the most important part isn’t the payoff at the end, but the character development/transformation that… Read more »
Luke Urban
Guest

Really great article for me! Thank you!

Priscilla
Guest

I have been reading your pieces. Its wonderful and i have been sending it to my single friends. GOD is Good All The Time. Blessings.

Francisca
Guest

If I had my time again I wouldn’t rushed to get married. But I did and trying to make thing’s work out. Yes god’s looking after us. So don’t rush get to no eacher frist.

Claire Bijou
Guest

Thank you that was a great article.

Mitch
Guest
What I would tell my single self: 1. Your mother is really messed up. Stop taking her “advice” and listen to God more. 2. Learn how to ask really beautiful women out on dates and expect to be rejected. Once you have been rejected a few times by the really hot ones, you will have a much thicker skin and it will be easier to ask the above average looking women out. Your increased confidence will make success more likely. 3. Date different women. Don’t get “one-itis.” Save that for later, after you develop the necessary confidence. 4. Some people… Read more »
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