When You’re Single and Waiting

For those of you who are waiting for your big love, I have to tell you that your life is never going to be the same. And you’re probably thinking, that’s what I want, I am tired of being alone, I am tired of the single life. I was there, I felt the same way. It felt like it would never end. But when it happened, it was like a flash flood. Everything changed. I was so used to my solitude, to my schedule, to my way of doing things when I wanted to do them. But when a girl comes along, much of that goes out the proverbial window. You have to die to yourself, and die to how you want to spend your day, every day. Possibly for the rest of your life. Donald Miller, in “Blue Like Jazz,” writes that he wants a girlfriend in his life, but only wants her to come over every few days, when he feels like shaving. I really liked the way he put that.

When you are in a relationship, you no longer have unlimited, uninterrupted time to focus on yourself. To focus on your education, on professional aspirations, on the hobbies and talents you want to develop.

You will want to spend time with her. A lot of time. Sometimes all the time. But there will also be times when you will want to work on yourself…you will want to spend time doing the things that make your heart come alive. I have realized that spending my time wisely while I was single was the best possible thing I could do. Because honestly, when you are in a relationship, you no longer have unlimited, uninterrupted time to focus on yourself. To focus on your education, on professional aspirations, on the hobbies and talents you want to develop. You don’t even have the same amount of time as before to focus on hanging out with friends, investing in others, serving in various roles at church or in the community. Having a significant other given to you by God is the most wonderful thing in the world, but no one really tells you how drastically things have to change. Paul alludes to it somewhat in the Bible when he talks about the benefits of being single, but I feel that the real essence of his words are missed in our world where everyone and everything is screaming at you (especially in the Christian church) that you need to be in a relationship, that you need to find someone, that you need to get married. It is just what you are (apparently) supposed to do.

Often we think when they come along, it’ll provide us with the inspiration we need to do what we know we should do – get that degree, obtain a better job, lose weight, travel, serve, whatever. When she comes along, you do get inspired.

So the natural tendency is to spend our life waiting for the one, just biding our time until it happens. Often we think when they come along, it’ll provide us with the inspiration we need to do what we know we should do – get that degree, obtain a better job, lose weight, travel, serve, whatever. When she comes along, you do get inspired. But even if she is the most perfect girl in the world, the inspiration will not last. It will not carry you through all of your goals. It will help, but its influence will fade over time. Usually to the point where the external motivation which used to come from her just doesn’t do anything for you anymore because you are weighed down with the realities, complexities, and difficulties of life.

Unless you have something inside of you that drives you to accomplish your goals, they are likely not going to happen long-term. And that something inside of you can’t be mustered out of nowhere. Rather, it typically comes from practice and from the formulation of good habits over months and years. The months and years of your solitude and singleness.

After my girlfriend came along, I was so thankful that I had already done the hard work of schooling and preparing myself for my career. And even though it was miserably difficult along the way, I was so thankful that He had pounded on me in the crucible so that I would be ready for when it (her) happened. And, honestly, I am thankful now that my big love hadn’t come along sooner. Because I needed those years so badly. Heck, even now I’m like, gaaahhhh, I need more time to try and get prepared and try to become more amazing so that I can be the very best for you (and our future kids) at all times!!! I don’t tell her that, I just think it in my mind. But, then I realize that I will always be growing and developing and the Lord mercifully pulls scales off of my eyes in increments so that I not completely overwhelmed and discouraged by the truth – the truth that I have such a long way to go and will never actually “arrive” where my idealism would want me to be. And she likes me for how I am now, and not for what I’m going to be. And I like her for how she is now, and now for what she’s going to be.

Everyone just needs to realize that life really does have seasons, and we have to fully live in our current season without pining too much for the next season to come along.

I absolutely love being in this relationship with my girlfriend. Everyone just needs to realize that life really does have seasons, and we have to fully live in our current season without pining too much for the next season to come along. Every day is precious, and every day can be used exactly for what He would want you to use it for – if we just keep remembering that He knows our heart’s desires and He is doing some neat, promise-fulfilling stuff in the background that will come together suddenly. Remember, our God is a God of “suddenly.” Think about His words in Isaiah 47:3 – “I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.” I also love Habakkuk 1:5, where the prophet is crying out to God to move, to answer his prayer and come through with his miracle, to which the Lord finally responds: “Look at the nations and watch–and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told!”

I believe that those who wait on the Lord and continue to intentionally and purposefully prepare themselves for their future mate while single will be able to marvel at how He will come through amazingly and all of a sudden. I wish we had a 100 year season for being single, another 100 year season for being married, another 100 year season for having and raising kids, and then a final 100 year season for winding down. That would rule and I don’t think I want any more years (but maybe I would). But life here on earth is a vapor. And I know is that we have to make the absolute most of the season in which we find ourselves – today. And do the same thing tomorrow.

I wish we had a 100 year season for being single, another 100 year season for being married, another 100 year season for having and raising kids, and then a final 100 year season for winding down.

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • “I don’t tell her that, I just think it in my mind.”

    🙂 Now I know.

    I like you.

    Happy Valentine’s day to the best boyfriend and best friend in the entire world.

  • Hi Sameer,

    Once again, another wonderfully insightful post. I must add a bit of congratulations on your latest post as it has a bit more Scripture in it (always a plus). However, once again, I must add a bit of counter-commentary to your proposition regarding “waiting for the one.” I touched on this earlier regarding the period of singleness that most young professionals and young believers go through in their 20’s and 30’s. The fact of the matter is, as clearly stated in Scripture, not all were meant to be married, ie, in an intimate relationship with someone. I have to reiterate this because, as you alluded to earlier, the church and many members in the local community continually harass and belittle young men who are not in committed relationships. I think this is a grave sin and a serious shortcoming on behalf of those who portend to care about young men’s spiritual health. There are numerous great men, both in the scientific and spiritual spheres of influence that have gone on to do and see great things without the aid or companionship of a “significant other”.

    The level of importance that people give to “preparing oneself for the one” is a bit graven and unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that no one is perfect and that no one will be perfect for another. Two wrongs or imperfections do NOT make a right. The only portion of the equation that we should be concerned about is keeping God numero uno and leaving all else by the wayside. It’s not about a “work in progress” in preparation for the right person to meet you. This isn’t a Disney movie, Sameer. This is reality. With a statistic of 50% divorce rate in this country it’s a flip of a coin whether or not things end up going “peachy keen” or not. If we are with God, we will eventually come to know whether or not there is someone out there for us. For many of us, more than just a few, a far brighter blessing might be on the horizon in the form of solitude and singlehood for His sake in which our lives are lived unencumbered and completely free to serve God and reach heights of success that we normally couldn’t with a long-term relationship. It is time we put aside such childish notions and moved on with our life. Waiting for the one can lead to a lot of missed opportunities and if you keep second guessing yourself, you will never get anywhere. If there is a vacation or trip that you would like to go on, do it, regardless whether someone joins you or not. If there is a career opportunity that is open, seize it! Let only God be your deterrent should He deem it unworthy for you to take upon such pursuits. For those of us who have come to terms with reality and faced the truth, we realize that solitude is an eternal destiny and it is worth the sacrifice for the freedom and independence one enjoys. Perhaps it is time we prepared for greater things, such as His Empire that he was establish here on Earth. Once again, Earth will enjoy true peace and justice…not this blasphemy called the American legal system.

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