National Hug a Single Day

In Advice and Encouragement, Single by Debra Fileta6 Comments

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 Life21 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!

Comments

  1. A dear friend just sent me virtual red hearts and flowers. I sent him a virtual hug back. That is probably all that either of us will have, but it means a lot and tears to my eyes.

  2. As a single woman, I can totally identify with this and say that yes, going months without a hug or any other physical touch except the occasional handshake when formally meeting a stranger is very often the norm. I’ll even admit to being startled if I get a quick hug from a friend because I’ve kind of forgotten what a hug feels like. I think that the human need for non-sexual touch is often overlooked in society in general and in the church. If you’re married or in a relationship, please know that even a nice churchy side hug or a squeeze on the shoulder can mean a lot to a single person.

  3. Debra, you spoke what i am exactly feeling, i’m only fortunate to have kind words, a hug or see my family now and then, people no longer see occasions as before in the past, it’s just another day, and they say, i’ll be glad when we go back to work, people are so cruel to each other, backstabbers, friends face to face, but join in the gossip and ruin people’s reputation, just cause jealously, etc, and they don’t know what’s going on.

    You said it right. Thank you, debra for reconzining. Happy valentine’s day to you and your family. God bless!

  4. Oh Debra, You Have No Clue Of How Many Times I’ve Been Severely Broken Hearted My Whole Entire Life! But I’ve Got Great Choices To Live For. I Know There’s A Sweet Special Lady Out There Just For Me.

  5. This is so true for me. I was recently sick and when I came back to work, a co-worker lightly touched me on my elbow and I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I had been touched before that. I definitely go days and weeks without touch. If babies and old people need touch in order to survive, I’m sure the rest of us need it to thrive. I like what you’re calling this – National Hug a Single Day because it’s exactly what many of us need and it’s free and doesn’t take up a lot of time or resources. If non-single people are looking for specific ways to support single people in your life, please add this to the top of your list.

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