Dear non-single people. Let me start off by saying: this post is ACTUALLY written for you (but if you’re single — keep reading)!!
But, I know what you’re thinking.
You’re not single and have never even heard of “National Hug a Single Day”. Well, neither have I.
But for a while now I’ve been tossing this idea around in the back of my mind, and today, I felt like it was time to do something about it.
For the past 3 years, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with singles thanks to my blog and book (PS. it’s on sale for $1.99 on Kindle for VDay for those who love a good deal!). And out of thousands of things I’ve learned along the way, one thing really stuck out to me.
A few years ago, one young woman emailed me that one of the hardest parts about being single is dealing with the “lack of touch” in the world around her. Particularly, dealing with this within the walls of the church. She said she felt like being single was almost like having some sort of a disease. There was just something awkward about interacting with a single woman, she said, especially when it came to the area of physical touch.
But the hardest part about her email was her telling me that it had been MONTHS since she’d been given a real hug. MONTHS.
Did you hear that, people? MONTHS.
As a married woman, I can’t even imagine going a day without being touched (by my husband and my kids….and in fact, sometimes maybe even TOO MUCH touch). And I think it’s SO easy for us to take for granted the gift of physical contact, that we fail to give it to those who might be needing it the most.
For this single woman, who lived alone, worked independently, and didn’t have close family around – touch was something she craved. And not in a sexual or creepy kind of way, but in a simple, “you are noticed” kind of way. Day after day, she came home to an empty apartment, after a long day of work, and the hard truth is this: the act of simple touch was something that wasn’t a part of her daily life.
An arm around her shoulder to show her she’s valuable.
A kind squeeze to communicate that she’s cared for.
A pat on the back to remind her that she’s loved.
And the thing is, this woman’s story is not unique. Ever since her email, I’ve heard from hundreds of others all saying the same thing in different ways. There is a desire for human contact that goes unmet.
And to be BLATANTLY honest Church, I believe that’s one of the reasons so many singles are having a hard time keeping “sexual boundaries” in their lives. They are CRAVING connection – physical and emotional – and not receiving much of it within the walls of their churches and communities.
It’s a reality, and one that I was completely unaware of until recently.
So, my simple suggestion is this: let’s put an emphasis on the need for healthy physical connection within the body of Christ.
I’m not saying we go new testament style and “greet one another with a holy kiss” (although in some cultures that’s the norm).
And I’m not saying we cross boundaries, or use this as an excuse to have inappropriate contact with the opposite sex.
But what I am saying that maybe it’s time to be more aware of the needs around us and learn to meet them in a tangible way.
Like a simple hug from one woman to another. Like a solid embrace from one Christian brother to another.
As the body of Christ, we need to be a community where people leave feeling more filled than they came.
And maybe that starts with a simple hug.
So, in honor of Valentine’s Day (and what some would call “singleness awareness day”), I declare it National Hug a Single Day, as we learn to step out of our comfort zones and practically connect with the people God has placed in our lives.
If you’re single and in need of some hope and encouragement this time of year, I challenge you to take inventory of the lies you might be believing about yourself, others, and God. Learn more by clicking the photo below. (Use special code VDay10 for the next 24 hours to get $10 toward this course!)
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!