I don't like being single

You Don’t Have to Like Being Single

In Relationships, Single by Debra Fileta67 Comments

Let me just put this out there: most singles are NOT content.

According to a recent survey I took of over 500 singles, 59% of them report NOT feeling content in their current relationship status (or lack thereof).

“How do I get over my discontent with singleness?”

This is a question I often receive as I travel for speaking engagements or in my inbox as I check my emails. The difficulties of dealing with singleness impact different people in different ways, but the idea of being “discontent” with your lack of relationship status is a common emotion at some point along the road .

Before I answer this important question, let me first address those of you who see singleness as a gift to be enjoyed, and a season to be savored, and a time to be cherished…the other “41%”. Good for you.

I say that with just a tiny hint of sarcasm – and probably a little bit of envy- because contentment during singleness was always a personal struggle of mine. But for the most part, I really am thrilled for your contentment. I wish I could have owned that type of contentment in that stage of my life.

I look at men and women like you and I am truly inspired that, by God’s grace, you have received eyes that are able to see past you relationship status and enjoy the life that you’ve been given.  Like a very deliberately placed sign in my office reminds me, “Life is not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have”.   I seem to need that reminder often.

Thank God for your contentment during this season, and continue to live your life here and now.

Now, for the latter group.  This is the group I would have been a part of during my time as a single woman.  The 59%. If the myth were true that “God only blesses you with a spouse when you learn to be content in your singleness” (on the top of the list of annoying things single people hear), than Lord knows I wouldn’t have ever gotten married, because frankly, I was not okay with a lifetime of singleness.  I wanted so badly to be married!

As I look back in hindsight, there was nothing wrong with that longing for marriage. So many people guilted me for having that longing, instead of allowing me to simply own it.

[Read more about the things no one else tells you about dating.]

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And even now, as a married woman, I still believe with my whole heart that that longing was so very good.  It was part of God’s design and a sign that I longed for a deep and intimate connection with another human being. I was made for it by a God who made me for relationships.

But for so long, because of the mixed messages I received from people around me, I was secretly ashamed of that longing.  I talked myself into believing that it was wrong; that I was weak, and that it was a sign that I just wasn’t as close to God as I should be.  Maybe I didn’t love Him enough.  Maybe I didn’t trust Him enough. Maybe I needed to be a “better Christian”.

Looking back, those were all lies from the pit of hell.  Lies that were meant to guilt me, to shame me, and to keep me paralyzed.  Lies that were bent on destroying me and keeping me still.  Lies that were intended to prevent me from living my life. And at times, they did just that.

What I wish someone would have told me then, is that you don’t have to “like” being single. 

And you know what else? It’s okay to have a constant longing for marriage because you were made in the image of a God who understands because He is longing for connection with YOU.  It is a struggle that we are allowed to have, and one that can draw us even closer to a God who longs to connect with us through it.

I don’t believe that the condition of our heart should EVER be measured by our emotional struggles, but rather, by what we do through those times of struggle.  Feelings of discontent, loneliness, and depression through singleness don’t mean that we have been defeated.  They simply mean that we are human.

But ceasing to live our lives because of those feelings…that is a sign that we have allowed the enemy to paralyze us and keep us from moving forward. It’s okay to struggle through singleness, but it’s not okay to stop living life because of it.  It’s okay to be discontent through singleness, but it’s not okay to let that discontentment rob us of our very lives.

There is a huge difference between a struggle and a stronghold.

A stronghold is when we’ve allowed our relationship status to define us, instead of the very God who made us to be defined by Him. There’s a huge difference there, and the two should never be lumped in the same category.

So for those of you who have been struggling with being single, look around and ask yourself- are you still living?  Are you still dreaming?  Are you still hoping?  Are you still trusting and believing? Are you still moving forward in the abundant life that God has called you to live (whether or not you always love that life), or have you been paralyzed by your fear?

Is singleness a part of your struggle, or has it become a stronghold?  The answer to that question will either free you from guilt and shame, or challenge you to begin the pursuit of healing: by redefining your identity and rethinking your purpose.

No matter where you are in your struggle, you have the opportunity to live life and to live it well.  May God give you the strength to do so, even through the struggle.

 Is your love-life feeling stagnant? Are you ready for something new in your relationship status? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you don’t want to miss this life-changing course: Click below to learn more and from now until January 1 receive 40% off by using CODE: JUMP2018

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Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. Her newest book, Choosing Marriage, is set to be released in May 2018! You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!

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67 Comments on "You Don’t Have to Like Being Single"

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Allison
Guest

But what should I do when I’m really so lonely and miserable being single? I know get involved in serving others, read the Bible, pray, build friendships, etc. But none of those things take away the ache when I’m crying myself to sleep…alone…again. I want to be okay with being single but can’t imagine things going on this way.

godsbabygirl
Guest
How well I know the pain you are going through, Allison. I, too, feel this way a lot of the time. Going to church on Sundays is a great help, except when it’s time to go home and there are happy families and couples deciding on what kind of fun afternoon they are going to do together. Yes, we both know it’s important to get involved, get out there and meet people, join this club, do this activity, yada, yada, yada. Sometimes these things do cost money and some activities are very far away. I also feel “conspicuous and the… Read more »
Allison
Guest

Thank you, dear sister

Lee Winters III
Guest

If I’m not truly living, then I am merely waiting to die……….

I was NOT restored for the sake of the latter!!!

godsbabygirl
Guest

Sometimes I feel like this too, that it would be far better to go and be with my Lord than “hang around here” waiting for life to happen, but God has great plans for each of us, whatever they are!

Sheryl Hogle
Guest

I am not able to get your link to work so I can subscribe to your email list 🙁

Sarah
Guest

Loved this Debra! Thank you! 🙂

Krystal
Guest

Thank you for this! I appreciate your honesty for so many reasons. It seems like a lot of married people forget they were ever single and what it was like before they found their mate. So often I’m told to “delight myself in the Lord and he will give me the desires of my heart”. As great as that Scripture is, it’s a bit hurtful to receive that advice. As though I’m not already seeking the Lord or what I’m doing isn’t enough. I really really appreciate this. You have definitely encouraged me this morning 🙂

Sophie
Guest

I guess it depends on what one considers not living life…I still do the things I’d do even if I were in a relationship. And I’d do more, if it weren’t for the fact that I don’t have the resources. I’d do some things solo (sadly, I don’t really have friends, just acquaintances), like traveling, music and art lessons, screenwriting workshops, healthy cooking lessons…there is so much I want to learn and do but everything comes at a price.

Jindrich
Guest

Thanks for this article. I am glad that I am not only one in the world who thinks that wanting a relationship is not “too needy”, as people around me are telling me.

But where are all those single girls who see it same way? 🙂

godsbabygirl
Guest

Here is one who sees it the same way.

Judy
Guest
I love the distinction between a stronghold and struggle. I have experienced singleness as a stronghold. The longing felt like an unexpected punch in the stomach, and suddenly I was gripped with fear. The fear perpetuated my desperate need to control, so I would spend hours on the websites, searching for the one until I finally became fed up with these fits and starts. By God’s grace, I have moved from the stronghold to the struggle. I have not given up my dream for a godly husband. I still search the dating websites, but the desire for a mate no… Read more »
Rosalyn Chalk
Guest

Judy…..

The statement you made ” I asked God to quiet the longing” just blessed my soul!!! The longing may be there but it doesn’t have to be so loud that it drowns out God’s voice of comfort and peace.

Thank you my dear sister

Charity
Guest
Debra, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I have needed to hear these words for so long. For so many years I have struggled with the tension between not liking singleness and trying to be content. I thought the 2 couldn’t exist based on messages around me. The bottom line is I DON’T like being single, but I have always tried to make the most of it. But I always thought that in order to be truly content I had to like being single and that will never happen for me because I so deeply want to be… Read more »
Abi
Guest
I’m so thankful for this article. I always hear people say that it’s when you stop looking that find your mate. But I can’t help but look, which then makes me feel like if thats the case then I’ll never get married. And you know, for the most part, I’m pretty content with my life. But then there are moments when I do feel lonely, and when I’m really longing to meet my future husband. And when I start to feel like that, I start to think well maybe I’m not really content, and if I’m not really content then… Read more »
Naticka
Guest

Thank you so much for this! It was truly a comfort (and reminder) to my soul today. I haven’t stopped living, and I still have hope, but some days, I don’t like being single and I hate when others attempt to make me feel guilty for feeling that way.

Amanda Kipfer
Guest
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for writing this!! This particular Valentine’s Day was especially hard for me because my parents and my siblings all had a great day with their significant others, and I stayed home. I tried to connect with a few of my single girlfriends, but they already had plans, so I was stuck at home. I have struggled with the contentment of my singleness and I am definitely not “in love” with being single. If being married meant I just had to pay X amount of money to have it, I would have poured… Read more »
Leti
Guest
This year, God blessed me with a wonderful Valentine’s Day! No, I am not in a relationship. But God has taught me two important lessons recently. First, God gave me a deep longing for a marriage that will glorify Him; but He will never be glorified in a blessing that we value more than closeness with Him. Second, offering up my desire for marriage to Him (if He should not will it) does not mean giving up on the possibility of marriage and becoming a schlumpy old-maid. That would be failure to trust that He could provide a mate for… Read more »
Jasmine Ruigrok
Guest
Love this so much, Debra! Sometimes the first step towards feeling okay about being single, is coming to the realization that it’s okay to not feel okay about being single! (riddle me that) Aloneness tends to compound problems, because we feel as if we are the only ones who struggle with a certain issue, when the reality is far from that. Reading this and reading the comments has been so encouraging, just seeing that my struggles are natural, and can be used of God, so long as I don’t allow them to become strongholds. Another thing that I like to… Read more »
Kim
Guest

OH, this was soooo needed. I’ve been having so much guilt over not liking my single status. I keep thinking I’m just not “wired” to be single. I need that connection. Thank you for validating me.
Again, you ROCK!

alli
Guest
there was a SEASON when I enjoyed my singleness ALL I wanted was to go on the mission field I had just gotten saved for real and I was happy. that season is OVER. now it just sucks. it really does. I have alternated with maybe it sucks bc im not SUPPOSED to be single, and this is NOT Gods will but a result of disobedience and sin. which I think it is..but then there the other thing God just may NOT fix it. there were ppl who didnt marry in the bible bc of the sins of the ppl…the… Read more »
David
Guest
Greetings from California. This post made more sense than most other things I’ve read on this subject for years…it’s right on!! I’m now 50, and been single for life with a couple of matrimonial near-misses in my late 20’s. I’ve always wondered ‘what if…’. One thing I remember most, is that my friends who married young, did so because they were not satisfied with the single life. Anytime someone told me I had to be that or nothing would happen, I quite honestly dismissed them mentally as either condescending or an idiot. I also found the church singles ministries had… Read more »
Jayla
Guest

Thanks for sharing David and God bless you. That’s a wonderful outlook on life that you have. I truly respect and admire that.

Sara
Guest
Thank you for this article Debbie! I do have one question though. I have just started a bible school with students from all over the world. And I have gone from not meeting any Christian guys at all to seeing them every day. And the overload of guys (and their cute too) makes it so hard to focus on there reason I actually went to bible school in the first place, to get to know more about God and His calling for my life. I have just been in school for a month or so, but I have already developed… Read more »
RealTruth
Guest

Really sucks for us men too.

Greg
Guest

“Why am I still single?” is as simple to answer as “How do I trust God?”

Reiby
Guest

Thank you for the article Debbie. It’s so true but hard to implement to daily life. But I do believe that God’s timing is the best.

Katrina Bowles
Guest

Thank you so much! Debra for sharing your heart! Also for not forgetting your pain during singleness! So many married couples forget the days of being single! God gives us examples of how to do all things, but when we forget the devil can cause much pain to others!

alli
Guest

thank u

alli
Guest
telling someone they shouldnt desire marriage and just hush and be content is like telling an amputee not to desire to walk. If you are born without legs or lose then to desire to walk and run is a basic, natural normal desire. Your heart doesnt Ask if this is a possibility, it just desires to live normally. So your circumstances are hard and make marriage difficult or an impossibility. Guess what your heart doesnt know that. You have a terminal illness and marriage may not be realistic, guess what tell u heart that..im sure your heart will agree how… Read more »
Lynnette
Guest
Thank you!!!! Somebody once said there’s comfort in numbers… And the bible also says that there is safety in a multitude of counselors (Proverbs 11:14). Today I attest to this, as I have always felt “alone” in my discontentment and also very guilty for that matter. Thank God that there is no temptation/trial that is uncommon on earth…and God has indeed made a way for me to be encouraged through Debra and the other readers. Thanks again. Bless you and I pray that this particular desire will be met for all us soon and until then, His grace is sufficient… Read more »
Abigail
Guest
I am so sick of seeing couples, or hearing of women complain of their men when they don’t do this or that for them, while I’m just over here thinking “at least you have someone who is with you”. Honestly, I can’t stand being single anymore (yes I think I am becoming bitter over this) but I played by the ‘rules’/’guidelines’ while all of my friends and relatives went off and have already found themselves someone. I honestly am just tired of trying to stay positive about being single. It’s not that I haven’t put myself out there, but time… Read more »
anon
Guest
i hated being single for a long time. but the older i got and the more unlikely it became the less i am worrying about it. Mainly because my hearts desire was to have a young family and at 41 the likelihood of that happening is slim. The dream was to marry a college sweetheart etc now i try match.com and meet divorced me who’ve lived most of there lives already and it seems like plan C. I dont want to be negative nelly but I kind of want Gods best and being an old bride I don’t know it… Read more »
Lisa
Guest

Love this!! Wow. I really felt like you were reading my heart. LOL! You described all my issues/ feelings, love the post, thanks for writing it, it definitely helped. Blessings!

T
Guest
Thank you. It’s very frustrating to be criticized for not being content, even when it comes from another single person, as if we’re not allowed to experience the typical ups and downs of human life. Another comment I frequently hear is that if we serve others who are less fortunate, we will forget about our own problems. While I agree that we should be serving others, I have not found that it lessens my desire for marriage or discontentment with being single, when I am feeling discontent which is not all of the time. Some of the times I feel… Read more »
Marlene
Guest

I appreciate this article and the topic so much! Thank you for the clarification and the affirmation. God bless you!

Luke Urban
Guest

Thanks for this Debra. Honestly, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum of being content in singleness and then really struggling with singleness when a relationship doesn’t work out. How do you always stay content no matter the circumstance?

shay Johnson
Guest
Debra, thank you for this, you basically just said, all what i am feeling, it’s as if me saying, finally, someone knows what i’m going through. As if god knew at the perfect time, when i read this, he knows. Thank you so much for clarifying that it’s okay to not like being single, and just because we still are don’t feel like maybe i need to love god more, or i’m doing something wrong, and the enemy will try to mix that up, too. It’s like a constant back and forth battle, i deal with everyday, specially at night,… Read more »
Rick
Guest

I’m now at an age where I have to conclude it’s my fate to go through life without a partner. I can only conclude that God decided I am damaged in some way. I think there are a lot of things I could bring to a relationship, but for various reasons I’ve always found the ‘dating thing’ very difficult and at my age, well into my 50s, there aren’t a lot of single women around

I’ve prayed about this often but those prayers have gone unanswered.

But how am I supposed to love a God who considers me damaged goods?

Sarah
Guest
Oh, Rick! Just because you haven’t had your prayer for marriage answered (with a yes) does NOT mean God considers you (or any of us) damaged goods! God loves you SO much! He formed you before you were born, redeemed you (Isaiah 44:21-24), and, contrary to what we might think on our bad days, He has a plan for you! Oh, if we could only grasp the fullness of His love for us! I think our desire for earthly love would pale in comparison. I don’t comment much here, but I couldn’t just read past your comment…I guess because I’ve… Read more »
jessy
Guest
Sarah I feel exactly the way you do. I have a family member (pray for her please ) who has allowed bitterness to take root. She no longer goes to church and has said she no longer believes in God. This is someone saved from teens and walking closely with God, a great evangelist. I feel so angry that the devil seems to be winning in this situation. There is something I would like to say. Bitterness does not just happen (as I have told her). That same scripture, Hebrews 12:14 tells us to pursue holiness. We cannot make this… Read more »
Sarah
Guest

Thanks for sharing, Jessy. I will pray for your family member! After months of processing and observing the root of bitterness in my life and in others, I decided to share my journey on my blog in hopes that it will help someone else. I know links aren’t allowed, but I’m going to try to link it to my name/picture. Blessings!

Tsalo
Guest
Great article Deb, thank you! @ Rick, God will never consider you damaged goods. He has sent his only son to die on the cross for us, that’s how much he loves each one of us, because we are all sinners and we all live by Grace. So therefore you cannot be the only one singled out as damaged goods or be amongst the people who are classified as damaged goods. Yes sometimes we pray for things and answers don’t come or they delay, but that does not mean he loves us any less. I feel your pain and understand… Read more »
Angela Thompson
Guest

So good to know that there are other women who go on the emotional rollercoaster that I do often and that it’s ok to not like being single at times or even being a little discontent. My life is very full but that longing for a husband is very strong, it had become an idol and so I’m taking a break from dating to re-focus so my identity and security doesn’t hinge on it and I can enjoy this time now.

Louise
Guest
Wow this is encouraging. And helpful to read others comments. We are not alone in this struggle. The only reason I can think of as to why god makes some of us wait so long is to shape our character, produce patience and preserverence. Ive been single 8 months and I can honestly say through the struggles have become so much closer to God & feel in a better place, and have been able to encourage others. I thought I had met ‘the one’ I loved him with all my heart he is lovely & a man of god. I… Read more »
Chris
Guest
Im 56 yr old man now,,,,I was in an very abusive marriage with a “christian wife”,for 28 years until it became unbearable I became very depressed,even suicidal I enede up commmiting adultery She divorced me,tried to cut our children out of my life and every other form of manipulation and hurt I found another “christian woman”,,she seemed so completely opposite we did things Gods way,we abstained from sex or living together But we obviously talked about our needs and desires,,well I did,,,I was open and honest about who I am,what I need from marriage,and what I have to give,need to… Read more »
Sophia Anderson
Guest
Chris………I hear you and feel your pain. I was involved with an emotionally abusive “”Christian man”” for 18 years. We never married, but we did live together. (I was young and immature when I got involved with him) I ended the relationship when I caught him cheating on me numerous times. I gave him endless chances, but eventually saw he was never going to stop his filthy ways. Here I am now, a woman in my 40’s and have never been married, never had children, never really had a chance to do any of that. I often feel I am… Read more »
Ben
Guest
Well unfortunately it is the women of today that have really changed since the old days when love really did come very easy to find back then for the men that were really looking for it. Most men never had a problem with meeting women since it was a very different time years ago since many women in those days were really looking to find a good man as well. Unfortunately today is a very completely different story which the women of today are really to blame since they have become so very greedy, selfish, spoiled, very picky and money… Read more »
Serenity Lopez
Guest
Ben……..You men are not as innocent as you claim. I agree that many women have turned bad, but much of the blame also goes to you men who make them that way. Many men cannot keep their penises in their pouch, and are ready to whip it out every time they see a scrawny woman with fake, silicone breasts. You can’t expect a woman like that to behave like Mother Theresa. You men need to stop expecting royal, godly behavior from women who look and act like trash. Try going for more of a down to earth kind of woman.… Read more »
Dee
Guest
I am surprised Debra would allow a comment like this but, hey her site her business. If I were a man looking for a woman, I would not be taking advise from you. Basically you are saying look for the less attractive because she has been overlooked and because of that, what, that would make her more worthy than say…someone who takes pride in the way she looks. I have always taken care of the myself and I will not be ashamed of that. I wear makeup and I keep my hair/clothes stylish because I like to and I will… Read more »
Sophia Anderson
Guest
Dee……….I did not say anything wrong. Also, I never said for Ben to go for sloppy women who do not care about their appearances. I simply instructed him to go for the quiet, overlooked ones. And I never said they were more worthy than any other who feels overlooked. You say you are outgoing. Good for you! Did I say that was wrong? No, I did not. Did I say it was wrong to take care of yourself? No, I did not. There is a huge difference between taking care of one self and going overboard and looking like a… Read more »
Eider de Mello
Guest

Thanks for these clear insights. I do have a small bit of hope still after giving my heart to her so intensely and having the rejection come through a torturous silence. I am learn the depths of myself, the red flags once ignored shall be carefully studied.

Shay Johnson
Guest

God bless Debra, i needed to hear this. Thank you. god bless you.

Joel Horst
Guest

Thanks so much for sharing this, Debra. So often we think that if we can just find the “right” path that God has for us, everything will be perfect and we’ll feel great. Thanks so much for reminding us that it’s okay to not enjoy singleness, or at least to wish we could be married. That has definitely been a guilt trip that I have believed as well: “If I could just trust God enough, I’d be happy with singleness. Maybe not.

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