As I’ve shared on TrueLoveDates.com before, I’ve been single my entire life so far. And while there are difficult days, there are definitely upsides to being single that can be overlooked. There’s no reason to be sitting around, watching the world pass us by just because we don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend at the moment. As for me, I’m learning to live life, no matter my relationship status. After polling my married friends and reflecting over my life, here are the top 10 things to do while you’re still single:
1) Travel as much as possible: You have the time now and no one else’s schedule to work around! Go for it. I’ve been fortunate enough to fly to visit college friends in Seattle and South Carolina, stand up in my friend’s wedding in Texas, go on summer camping trips and spontaneous day road trips, and even live in three different states in the past few years. Traveling gives you a chance to experience new things, gives you a sense of pride (the good kind) in your abilities to handle things on your own, and it’s just fun!
2) Go for any academic dreams you have: When I entered college, my plan was to find a guy there, get engaged, graduate, get married. Boom. Simple, right? Well, thankfully God had different plans because what I didn’t realize about myself back then was that I can be very easily distracted from a goal. Had I had a boyfriend, maybe I would’ve been too preoccupied to fully go after a dream I’d had since I was 8 years old — to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. I ended up graduating with my BA in print journalism in four years, and that’s an accomplishment I’ll have forever. And the best part is that it’s never too late to go back, get another degree, go for a Master’s, etc. So if you have an education dream, now is the time.
3) Save money: I’ll admit this is one I am still working on. But I’ve heard from quite a few of my married friends concerning this matter, and they all recommend building up your savings and paying off as many loans as possible now as opposed to later. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory why this is a good goal to have. Also, practice budgeting now (I’m preaching to the choir here) — it’ll be one less thing to adjust to in married life eventually.
4) Go on a mission trip: This one goes along with the travel point. I am going on my first mission trip as an adult this summer (I’ve previously gone on two when I was still in high school) and I’m very excited about taking such a big step in faith. Yes, it takes a lot of commitment now, but it’s something I wanted to do during my time of singleness because I’ve had several friends, most of whom are married with young kids, who tell me they’d love to go on one too but it’s not the right time in life for them currently. For me, it is, and it’s something I don’t want to waste.
5) Establish routines for whatever you’re passionate about–exercising, writing, reading, etc.: If you have something you’ve always wanted to pursue, be it a new hobby, sport, dream, so on, why not achieve it now? Don’t let it be that mystical thing that you’ll get around to “eventually.” Be brave…try something new today! Currently I’m going after my dream of being a runner. I’m in the midst of training for a 5K and I’m really happy that I’m finally doing it after making excuses while dreaming about it for years.
6) Enjoy time with friends: This one goes for time with both married and single friends. I treasure my relationships with my friends in both categories. Since I only have my schedule to consider right now, setting up times to grab coffee or go on weekend excursions is rather simple. Use this precious time with friends to the fullest — don’t let it slip by.
7) Get involved with church: Along with the time with friends, connecting at church is something that is much easier to commit to when you’re single. I’m currently helping out with my church’s children’s ministry and love that I can dedicate as much time to it as I do. I’m usually free for the extracurricular events outside of Sunday mornings, too, so I try to help out with those as often as possible. It can be easy to feel down about how open your schedule may seem without weekly romantic dates to go on, but it’s so fulfilling to use this season of life to invest in others.
8) Live with friends: Once you marry your future spouse, that’s the last roommate you’ll ever choose to live with. Kind of crazy to think about, huh? So if you’ve always thought it would be fun to be the Rachel to your friend’s Monica or the Chandler to your friend’s Joey (sorry, I couldn’t resist a Friends TV show reference), what better time than now? I had a roommate who became a friend during my time living in Texas, and now my sister and I share a place, which is great. We both know that we might not be roommates forever — although we do have a backup plan to become crazy cat ladies together if necessary (just kidding…we like dogs better) — so we’re enjoying all the Netflix marathons, meals together, and general silliness we’re having while living together currently.
9) Sleep: I mean, I know I probably don’t need to say much about this here! But I absolutely love getting a solid night’s rest now, something I know my friends with kids tell me to enjoy while I can.
10) Spend time with God: This one may seem obvious but it’s interesting how easily it can be overlooked, at least in my own life. I have tons of time to do all the things I mentioned above, but most important of all is to spend quality time with my Savior. Make it a part of your daily life now to read your Bible, pray, journal, and go to a Bible study. Don’t forget the One who loves you most of all. It’s a great, important thing to try to accomplish everything listed above, but if we miss this last point, our time without a significant other will have been without a real purpose.
So, go ahead, conquer this thing we call singleness, achieve your goals, and follow God above all. Because life doesn’t start when you’re married — life is happening now.
Molly Jasinski is passionate about a lot of things, including serving Jesus, helping with behind-the-scenes work on TrueLoveDates.com, spending time with family and friends, and cheering for the Green Bay Packers. You can follow her stream-of-consciousness thoughts on her personal blog or Twitter.