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It was the worst moment of singleness I’ve ever experienced.
The Christian nonprofit I worked for was celebrating its bicentennial. A big celebration event was planned that would include guests from around the world. I was excited to go, but I wasn’t excited to go alone.
Employees of the organization were welcome to bring a plus-one to the event. Most of my colleagues were bringing their spouses. One colleague my age was bringing his fiancé. I didn’t have so much as a girlfriend to bring to this once in a lifetime event. That fact highlighted the painful reality of my persistent singleness. So with a mixture of excitement and reluctance, I donned my formal-wear and drove to the event alone.
I thought I would be okay, that I would make it through the event with no more than a feeling of disappointment. But when I arrived and saw all the beautiful couples happily enjoying the event together, it hit me hard. I fought to hold back the ache of unfulfilled longing that gripped me as I mingled. But eventually it was too much. A moment came when the grief of my singleness overwhelmed me. I felt like crying. I felt like throwing up. But there was nothing I could do. I was single, it hurt horribly, and there was nothing in that moment I could do to change that reality.
What do we do when being single hurts?
1 – Keep Breathing
Like me, you may sometimes find yourself in a moment when the grief of singleness is incredibly intense. It might be when you hear of a friend finding a boyfriend or girlfriend or when attending someone else’s wedding. Whenever you encounter a moment like this, keep breathing. Remember that the moment won’t last forever. You’re gonna survive! You might not be able to change the reality that, in that moment, you’re single, but you can survive that moment and go on to do the things that will help create a better ending.
The truth is that even though the pain of my worst moment of singleness was horrible, I survived. I’m still single, and I still dislike being single. But the sadness isn’t anywhere as bad as it was that night. So in the worst moments, keep breathing.
2 – Keep Going To God In Your Sadness
No, God can’t be your boyfriend or girlfriend, but it’s good for us to pour out our hearts to Him when being single makes us sad. In every grief of life, it’s right for us to go to the place of prayer and bring it to God. Bringing our sorrows to God helps us remember God’s goodness and faithfulness even in times of sorrow. Even if He doesn’t immediately change things, God is able to give us comfort and help in our sorrows. When we allow our sorrows to drive us to God, we’re able to take their grief and turn it into something that brings us closer to God.
Later that night at the bicentennial event, my feelings took a big turn for the better. The biggest change came when the discussion turned to how our organization was working to help people around the world find spiritual and emotional healing through God’s Word. The discussion reminded me of the incredible mercy, kindness, and comfort of God.
Remembering God’s goodness brought me joy that displaced my sorrow.
3 – Do Practical Things That Help Create A Better Ending
Sometimes we have to endure grief because we don’t have power to change what’s causing the grief. But at other times, we have power to do practical things that help us find a relationship. Several years ago, a mentor helped me realize that, even though I ached to find a romantic partner, I was completely passive about the desire. After realizing this, I decided to take practical steps to start dating. That change from passivity to action brought me incredible relief, even apart from finding a girlfriend. Taking action that works to create a better ending helps us continue to remain hopeful while single.
This might mean anything from working through emotional baggage that prevents us from engaging in a relationship to taking time to get out and meet other singles. So ask yourself, what are the practical things you can do that will help you enter the relationship you desire? Name particular, doable actions you can take that will help create a better ending to your story.
If you find it hard to figure out what actions you should take, talk with someone. Your pastor, priest, parents, a counselor, or a spiritual mentor might be able to provide insight into what actions are best for you to take in your unique story. Once you’ve decided what you need to do, do it!
Actions, not intentions, are what make a difference.
Justin Megna is a blogger and speaker on the subject of Christian romance and the creator of thatcrazychristianromance.com. He graduated from University of Valley Forge with a degree in Pastoral Ministry. He currently lives outside Philadelphia as he continues to take the adventures of life and love.
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