Now, I am the first person to admit that being single and a young adult in today’s modern age is no easy feat. Especially with the almost never-ending parade of couples posing in front of Christmas trees, kissing around you on New Years, or just writing unbearable captions on Instagram. It can be enough to make anyone feel insecure, especially women like myself who find themselves single as they head into the New Year.
I admit that I have fallen into the trap of self-pity during the holiday and winter seasons before, thinking something is wrong with me for being alone while so many people around me on social media seem to be declaring that they have found their soul mate. I have fallen into the thinking that my year won’t be deemed successful unless I find someone to bring home to my family or spend the holidays with this time next year.
But friends, it’s time to stop hating our singleness, to stop comparing ourselves to every touched up and perfectly captioned photo on the internet, and to make goals for the New Year that matter much more than how many dates we can go on.
In today’s article, I want to help you take a break from the monotony of couples pictures, engagement announcements, and tell you some hard truths about singleness in our modern age. Are you ready to stop complaining about your lack of fortune or binging another rom-com on Netflix? Good, let’s get started.
If You Act Like a Spinster, People Will Treat you Like a Spinster
Sadly, I think that one of the biggest fears that young women, older women, and women of frankly every age face, is the fear of being what is considered a spinster. This is a woman who is typically older who has never been married and has no children. We normally imagine her as a wrinkly, not attractive older woman, who most likely has a mole on the side of her lip or some other unseemly blemish that makes you smile without showing your teeth when you see her.
She may have a lazy eye. She wears too much overwhelming perfume. And all the other old women in the congregation steer clear of her. Sure, there is always someone like Pam who tries to befriend the spinster, or the spinster still attends the church she grew up in so she can sit with her family every week. I know that in my church congregation, there were several women I considered spinsters, who still went to church with their older mother. I was horrified at the thought of that becoming me. However, I just want to say that my mother is fantastic and would be a very good church going companion.
I have found in recent years as I have reached the age that people are getting married, in serious relationships, or want to be, that the fear of becoming a quote on quote spinster, has reached astronomical levels.
But the real concern for you shouldn’t be becoming old and unmarried. In the Bible, Paul praises people that can be single, Jesus talks about how what the world views as status and praiseworthy aren’t important to Him. We as women are called by God to do extraordinary tasks that aren’t only able to be completed if we are married.
So though society places enormous pressure on getting married and pumping out 2.5 kids, God has never put that kind of pressure on his children. But out of this fear of singleness that women have created, I think a new monster has been allowed to be born; she is the young adult spinster.
That is the friend or person at church that we all know. The girl who is constantly bemoaning her singleness, crying woe is me on Facebook about her singleness, and even if you don’t really know her, will inform you of how she didn’t go on a date last year and that there are no single men around.
Friends, don’t become the young adult spinster. Try hard not to be the girl who chooses only to see one side of her singleness. Don’t succumb to being cranky, to cursing your friends who are in relationships, to letting bitterness and envy eat away at your heart until there is nothing left to tempt people to be your friends much less a man.
If you act like something is wrong with you because you are single, people will start to see that you’re single because something is wrong with you. But, if you act like you are beautiful, talented, smart, the daughter of the King which you are, people won’t remember that you are single.
They won’t tell people who ask about you that you’re single, they’ll tell people what a great friend you are, how you’re funny, and how you’re hardworking. They will want to set you up with the people they know who are single because they can see the amazing qualities you have because you show them off.
And yes, there is most definitely a time and place that you can be sad about being single. There are plenty of nights you are welcome to cry yourself to sleep. You are allowed to talk and ask for prayer from close friends to help spur you to grow to be content in singleness. And if you need to talk about the unfairness of that mean girl from high school or college getting engaged, call your mother and talk your heart out. But what you are not allowed to do is let your singleness be the only thing that defines you.
So, this year, instead of being the Debby Downer of singleness, put your identity in Christ and Him alone. Not in how many matches you get on online dating, how many of your friends are engaged when you aren’t, or if you find someone this year at all. Put your identity in the One who created you and cares for you. The One who knows what you need and what you don’t need. The One who understands that you are feeling painfully alone at times in your singleness. But don’t let yourself become a young adult spinster, don’t continue to allow this epidemic to spread.
Put Yourself Out There
I have a real problem with single women complaining about being single but doing absolutely nothing to change that. They are the type of women who are content waiting in their homes and are certain that God will bring them their husband on a silver platter when the time is right. And I am not saying that there isn’t a tremendous amount of God’s hand in the person you end of marrying. But, we can’t just be passive if we are looking to go on dates or find someone to be our boyfriends. We have to do our part so that God can do His.
That might mean that you join a small group that is mixed, or you join a rec league at the Y, or you do online dating. If you aren’t meeting available single men somewhere in your life, then you are going to be alone. That is not meant to be harsh; it’s just a fact. If all you do is sit at home and watch TV, the only guy who could be your husband is the Fed-ex or pizza guy.
I know that this is a flaw I want to work on this year as well. Sometimes I can hide behind the thought of online dating instead of just going up to people at my young adult group and talking to them. Not to say that you should be throwing yourself at any boy that is single and breathing at your church, but, we need to stop being so afraid to approach men. And we need to go up to men, with nothing in our hearts but the desire to find a new friend or work on communicating with the opposite sex better.
We need to get used to talking to more men and having guy friends. To not treat every interaction we have with a person of the opposite sex in the church as a signed contract of marriage. You can talk to guys, not want to date them, and still have them benefit your life. Single women need guy friends. They are the ones who can give you advice, can introduce you to other guys, and add a lot of depth to your relationships when you are still waiting to get married.
I know that many people will say you’ll either marry your guy friends or stop talking to them when you get married. That’s not wrong thinking. Not that you can’t continue to have friendships with the opposite sex when you’re in relationships or married, but it’s not the same. You can’t just go out with Joe to a movie or get pizza when you have a boyfriend. But, guy friendships can teach you so much about life and about the opposite sex. They can help to fill that hole of singleness so that you don’t become the young adult spinster.
So, this year, I am encouraging myself especially, and others, to just go up and talk to actual men. I promise you they aren’t going to think you’re weird or something is wrong with you. Act confident, not like you’re a burden, and people are going to like talking to you, I promise. Find ways to expose yourself to actual single men, and who knows? You might meet someone.
Trust Who God Created You To Be
You need to get to a point where you believe that nothing is wrong with you if you’re single. Try to get to a place this year where you can be happy for those around you in relationships and who are engaged because you genuinely love them and love yourself. An excellent tip to remember is, just because someone is getting into a relationship, doesn’t mean they got into a relationship instead of you.
There are still plenty of great Godly men out there. I definitely have to remind myself of this when someone online asks me if I want to be their friends with benefits, but I assure you it’s true. You are a great, great creation. God has plans, and goals, and purposes for your life. You were not an accident. Just because that boy you like at church hasn’t noticed you, doesn’t mean that you are unworthy of being noticed. You are.
I hope that this article has encouraged you to let go of the stigma and inner judgment that comes with being single, and can permit you to embrace your singleness this coming year. To throw yourself into different activities you want to try. To make and commit to finishing those hard goals you’ve always wanted. To do the hard work of growing in your faith, and other relationships.
Embrace this season, because one day, maybe sooner than you think, it’s going to be over. And you might look back and wonder, did I miss out on truly living out my single life well?