If you’ve been alive for more than ten…seconds, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Find someone who completes you.”
I understand the sentiment and I appreciate the ideology.
We all love the satisfying fit of one puzzle piece to another.
However, I think it might be counterintuitive and a little destructive to assume we are not already a whole person. You, in and of yourself, are already complete; already whole. You’ve got flaws and bumps and bruises, but you don’t need a person to complete you. That’s just foolishness.
And no, I’m also not here to give you the rote pep talk of, “Just keep holding on! It happens when you least expect it!” Because, as someone who didn’t have her first boyfriend until she was 26, I know being single can straight up suck.
And THAT is why I’m here; to tell you that being single doesn’t actually suck, or rather, doesn’t HAVE to suck. And that, while you’re waiting on the Lord to reveal your husband or wife, there are really beautiful things to experience on your own.
Yes, I know this sounds oversimplified but the introvert in me needs space occasionally, just to breathe and recharge. It is nice to just sit in the solace of silence. Excuse me while I bust into “Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel.
I’m a Croatian American and we LOVE cooking. It is the only love language that I am any good at. However, being single allows me the great opportunity to practice this skill. I’m the kind of person who is overly critical about her own work especially if someone else is supposed to enjoy it. Let me tell you what. The pressure of cooking for just myself instead of myself and someone I’m trying to love is way lower.
Number three is a little odd so stick with me. This sounds insane and, in fact, many people have told me I’m crazy because I enjoy this. It’s one of my favorite things to do because it allows me the liberty to do a couple of different things:
This was something I had to learn after my first real heartbreak. I had spent so much time relying on someone else to see and find my own value that by the time it was just me again, I didn’t know how to appreciate myself. In my singleness, I get to discover every single day – ON MY OWN – why I am enough. I learned things about myself I didn’t even know existed. I learned about a bunch of different things that I liked that I had no idea I even wanted to try. And I get to do that daily. Is it hard work? Yes. Does that mean I love it any less? No. Finding value in yourself on your own is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a single person.
This one I might get some kickback on and honestly? This is probably just for me. I’ve had to learn the hard way that I tend to put people on the back burner simply because I’m dating someone. I’m investing all of my time in one singular person. And then weeks later when I see a friend, I’m asking, “What’s new with you?” and it’s like I don’t even know them anymore. It’s a personal problem and I’m working on it. However, I find that I get to pour into my people a little harder as a single person. I get to show up way easier and way more simply because it’s just me. And really, anything short of a work commitment, I show up for them. Again, does being in a relationship change this for you? It might not! You might be the ultra-dedicated best friend 24/7 and I commend you for that. For me, it’s not so easy. I find that I love getting to use my time being single to love on my people.
Six kind of sounds like a self-help book and I promise I’m not trying to sound like a self-help guru. This is another thing I’ve had to discover outside the framework of somebody else. Being single allows me a unique perspective on myself and that is the fact that I’m not a great person sometimes. I mean who is really? We’re all human, we’ve all got flaws. This is not news. And when we’re alone with ourselves, we find that these flaws can make themselves rather pronounced. We might not have someone putting up with us on a day-to-day basis. I find that there are more moments in my single life to take deep breaths and really lay my flaws at the foot of the cross. I am devoid of distraction (sometimes) enough that I can really understand that I am capable of so much more than I allow myself to be. And again, that’s hard work. Doesn’t mean I love it any less.
As for number seven, this may be the most cliched thing I have ever written. I know, I know. I’m not an “influencer in the wild” or anything like that, I promise. Something that I have been clinging to in my youth (while it’s still hanging around) is the fact that if time and money allow, I can go anywhere I want to. Within legal bounds, of course. Not trying to get too crazy here. And does this kind of sound like the rebellious cry of, “I answer to no one”? A little bit. And I am fully aware of that. However, I am a firm believer in the idea that while you’re single, you should take advantages of opportunities you might not get later on. So, if that means you book a plane ticket overseas or you book an Airbnb just outside of town, I say travel as long, as far, and as much as you can.
Number eight is one of my favorites, but it is also one of the more challenging items on this list. I really love using this time to focus on my career and my goals. Again, this may be something that you and your partner rock at. You both might push each other to fulfill each other’s goals and I think that’s rad! My biggest issue when I was in a relationship was that MY goals and MY pursuits went by the wayside while I focused on OUR goals and OUR pursuits. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, without having to focus on those combined goals, I have the ability and the capacity to pour into what it is the Lord has called me to do as me. And in that, He gets to minister to me and maybe show me how one day my goals will marry (literally) with someone else’s goals. Quick sidenote: I think it’s awesome that we serve a God who is so versatile.
Número nueve marries really well with número quatro. I don’t know what this is like for men, so please forgive a woman’s perspective but I can only write what I know. That’s not to say men don’t struggle with this because I’m sure they do. All that said, allow me to proceed. And I separate this from number four to make sure it packs the punch I need it to. Because discovering that you are enough is a mountain to climb. And if that’s the mountain, this is one of switchbacks that leads to a cliff, where, if you’re not careful, you could fall off. My first real relationship started in the fall of 2019, right before a global pandemic. And I had built my self esteem up high and I was proud of the woman I was becoming and I was wild about me. So naturally I thought how cool it would be to share that with someone. And that relationship is where I found my beauty. Because finally, there was someone who saw me as beautiful and said it when he was thinking it. Then when that relationship dissolved, I had to figure out how to find myself beautiful again. And this is not to gain pity from you, but I struggled with it for a minute because if he wasn’t willing to stick around, then it meant that I failed to live up to his expectations. WRONG! *insert buzzer sound here* I really needed to find my beauty again. I needed to find what I found beautiful about me again. And let me tell you something. As hard as it was to look in the mirror and pick something every day that I loved about myself, it was worth it. Because once my mindset changed everything else did. And if you’re a man who struggles with this as well, there is no shame. It is an evil mindset that doesn’t discriminate.
I love that there is a man out there who I will get to come alongside of one day and fight battles with. I love laying my singleness at the foot of the cross and saying, “Lord, here I am. Meet me in this season and do what only You can.” Because I think we can get it in our minds that being single is a bad thing. We can hear, “We were designed for relationship” and take that to mean that we’re not good enough in our seasons of being single. I know I’ve done it. And maybe I’m the only one that has. Maybe you’ve read all the way to this point thinking, “Wow, this girl is struggling.” But maybe I’m not the only one who has struggled being single. And my hope and my prayer for these words on these pages is that you find hope and inspiration to be who you were created to be in every season of your life. I think you’re great! And I know you’re enough!
You are seen.
You are loved.
And you are incredible.
You got this!