About halfway through my freshman year of college, I broke up with my boyfriend of two and a half years. That’s a long story for a future post…. but for now, I want to focus on how to embrace singleness. Especially after ending a long-term relationship.
If you are just out of a relationship and trying to heal from heartbreak, or you’ve been single for a decade and can’t understand why Mr. Right hasn’t come knocking on your door…. this post is for you. I hope to highlight why singleness is important, what I learned from it, and how it prepared me for my husband.
First, I want to give you some background on my story, before I share my advice with all you single beauties out there!
In high school, I was not the girl who, “always had a boyfriend.” I started dating my first boyfriend at the end of my sophomore year, and I think we high fived more than we hugged. I broke up with him because he wanted to hang out more… and I wanted to spend time with my friends, family, and teammates.
I didn’t like feeling obligated.
I was not heartbroken in the slightest after I broke up with him. In fact, I was probably more relieved… I was excited to have my life back, and not have to report to anyone.
Dating was fun, I liked learning to drive stick shift, free ice cream, going to the fair and watching movies, but beyond that I didn’t really see the point…
All relationships are either moving towards or away from marriage.
This may be a surprise to some of you (or confirm your suspicion….), but I was a tomboy in high school.
I dressed like one, acted like one, competed like one, and dated like one.
I was that girl that “didn’t care.” I was not emotional, not sensitive, and could care less about celebrity gossip and who kissed who last weekend.
I had an amazing group of best friends (who are still my best friends), but I also spent a lot of time being the only girl in a group of guys.
When I started dating my only serious boyfriend before Jeremy, I began to embrace my feminism, but only a little. I started to wear sundress, but I still accessorized them with baseball hats and vans….
When I went off to college, I started to learn more about God’s heart regarding dating, relationships, marriage and sex. My parents didn’t teach my much about this stuff, but the pastor of my church spoke to this topic extensively. He wrote a book on it called, “Loveology” which I highly recommend if your single, dating, engaged, or married! It’s incredible.
Shortly after reading this book, I felt a strong sense that I needed to break up with my current boyfriend. We had been dating for over two and a half years, and although I really liked him, I just knew he wasn’t my husband (Again, long story I will post about in the future possibly).
After we broke-up, I was heartbroken…. but I let the heartbreak make me hard.
I built walls around my heart to protect it from getting punctured again. I took the verse, “guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life,”(Proverbs 4:23) wayyyyy to literally, and out of context.
I took pride in my singleness… but to a fault. I was hyper individualistic, uninviting, cold, intimidating, and probably came across as a piece of work to any guy that looked my way…
I tell you all this so that you have a better idea of who Audrey was before Jeremy, and so that you can clearly see the change that occurred during my necessary season of singleness.
After the breakup:
After the breakup, I told myself that I was not going to communicate with my ex-boyfriend at all for at least 6 months. I knew that I needed a clean break in order for me to heal and move on. I had watched so many of my friends break up with their boyfriends and then get back together over and over again… They would break up, bu then they would still talk, hang out, and make-out. I didn’t want to fall into that, so I completely prevented the temptation (side note for those of you that don’t know me well, I also am a little bit of an extremist;)).
Post break up, God pressed on my heart to intentionally commit to a season of singleness. I knew (hoped) it wouldn’t be forever, but I wanted to allow God to prepare me for the man He had for me.
I wanted to be more concerned with becoming the right woman, than finding the right man.
Culture has made singleness sometimes feel like a disease.
Maybe you feel like there is something seriously wrong with you because you aren’t dating or in a relationship.
Or maybe you are totally content being single, but everyone around you is offering unsolicited dating advice, and you constantly feel like someone’s project.
Be patient. Don’t settle. Wait.
The man God has for you is a warrior poet. Strong, but gentle. Confident, but humble. Tough, but romantic.
He is worth preparing for.
Here are a few reasons why I would encourage every young woman to commit to a season of singleness:
Singleness teaches you to love yourself before you love someone else – You have to love yourself first! So many women I know look to men for affirmation. When they don’t find it from men, they buy into the lies of inadequacy that singleness presents. Don’t do that! Find the lie that you are believing about yourself, and replace it with a truth. You are good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, and smart enough. God created you in His image, beautiful and pure. He delights in you, but you must learn to delight in yourself before allowing someone else to.
Singleness develops a confidence that is not contingent on people or circumstances – Your confidence must stand alone. Singleness allows you to develop an unconditional confidence because you are not looking to on another human to build your confidence. Your confidence cannot be reliant on the grade you got on a test, how well you played in your soccer game, or who you are dating. It must come from within. Jeremy will say that the thing that attracted him to me the most before we were dating was my confidence. I knew who I was, and who I wanted to become. And that was 100% because of my season of singleness. I let Christ put my insecurities to sleep, so that Jeremy wouldn’t be left with the responsibility (Although now that I am married, I realize that God often uses Jeremy to continue building my confidence and tearing down my insecurities).
Singleness permits you to pursue passions and dreams that you may not be able to when your married – Study abroad, go on a mission trip, take that trip with your best friend, or move away! By not having a significant other to prioritize, we are freed up to prioritize our own passions and dreams! I am so thankful for the passions and dreams I was able to pursue because I was single. I became the team captain and best distance runner on my collegiate cross-country and track team, I helped fundraise for a new track, I lead a group of high school Young Life girls and watched them mature in their faith and in life, I raised chickens, I worked at the Olympic Trails for track and field, and I went to Minnesota for the summer to work at a camp with my best friend. These are just a few of the things I was able to do and pursue because my priorities where not split.
Singleness makes you available to spend quality time with your family and friends – The relationships you build with your friends, family, roommates, teammates, mentors and coaches will all help to prepare you for a marriage relationship. The people closest to you in your life help to refine you, let them! When you are constantly dating someone, it’s harder to make time for your friends and family, because you are preoccupied. I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have had the time and energy to dive deeper into relationships with my Young Life girls, teammates, roommates, ect. during my season of singleness. Those Monday night meetings with my college mentor, the 2 a.m. conversations with my roommates, and the holidays spent with my family helped shape me into a woman worth marrying.
Singleness motivates you to pray for your future husband – I have been praying for my husband since I was in the 7th grade. Not having any idea who he would be, what he would be like, or if I had already met him… I prayed for him. I also prayed that I would be ready for him when I met him. That I would be the woman God created me to be, and that I would bring out the best version of the man He created me to be with. During my intentional season of singleness, I was more motivated than ever to pray for my future husband. I prayed that the Lord would protect him from temptation and attack. I asked God to bless him with good friends and an encouraging family, to make him wise and strong, and to bless the work of his hands. I prayed that he would be a warrior poet. I prayed that he would be, “hot and holy,” as they say;) It love rereading the prayers I prayed for my husband, and being able to show them to Jeremy. Those prayers alone have increased my faith tremendously, because the Lord gave me abundantly more than I could ever have asked for or imagined in a husband.
Singleness matures your faith – I grew more than I ever have in my relationship with the Lord during that season of singleness. I spent so much time in God’s Word, with community, and in prayer. God pressed so many things on my heart during that season that required me to change. I truly believe those changes were preparing me for Jeremy. I became less “hard.” I let myself have emotions. I was ok with being “girly.” The Lord stripped away my prideful hyper individualist personality. He taught me how to depend on Him in all things, He let me experience trials and sufferings, and presented me with opportunities to become a servant. I think my first year of marriage would have been really really rough without going through those experiences when I was single.
Singleness allows you to be undividedly devoted to the Lord – The time you spend waiting and seeking God before meeting your spouse is more valuable than you realize. When you get married, your devotion is divided. Your focus cannot be on the Lord alone, because the Lord desires us to prioritize our spouses, and love and respect them. Easier said than done…. But before you are married, you can be undividedly devoted to the Lord. If he presses on your heart to do something, you can do it without consulting another person. That is both liberating and exciting! Embrace it.
Singleness prepares you for oneness – Becoming one with another human is what the wedding day symbolizes. It is what marriage is all about. But becoming one with someone else, is something that our flesh fights. We are innately selfish. Seeking our own desires and pursuits. We have preconceived notions for the way things should go and be. Marriage shakes all that up. It requires both parties to be willing to change. Singleness also requires you to be willing to change, which prepares you for oneness.
Are you single and searching? I would encourage you to stop searching for Mr. Right, and start seeking the Lord. Singleness allows you to be more concerned with becoming the right woman, than finding the right mane. Maybe you need to commit to a season of singles? If you are in college and currently single, just out of a relationship, or casually dating, I highly recommend it!
Listen to your favorite books on your phone with Audible!! Click below to sign up for your FREE 30 day trial!