by Mandy Hale
Someone asked me the other day what I think are the biggest challenges that single people face. And in my opinion, the answer is simple: It’s the lies we tell ourselves (yes, I’m talking to myself here, too. See this for the proof). The constant broken record we have on repeat in our minds, all day long, as we search for a reasonable explanation for our seemingly endless singleness. Here are three lies we tell ourselves that are particularly hurtful and damaging to our spirits, our peace of mind, and our self-esteem:
- Thinking there’s something wrong with us because we’re still single.
There’s nothing wrong with us because we are still single. It is what it is. There’s no deep explanation here or hidden secret. We’re not concealing a hump on our backs or cloven hooves or a third eye (okay, well, hopefully we’re not. But even if we are, dang it, we’re still worthy of love!) Singleness is not a curse thrust upon us. It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s not an insult or a weapon to be hurled at us, as our society unfortunately often does (particularly when it comes to social media. You wouldn’t believe how many times people have disagreed with something I’ve tweeted or posted and have retaliated with “Oh, so THAT’S why you’re still single!” – in an effort to hurt me by using the area of my life in which they think I am the most vulnerable.) And you know what? Singleness IS an area of my life where I am vulnerable, because I don’t understand it. Not being coupled up at age 36 makes no sense to me, and sometimes it causes me great distress and worry and anxiety to consider the fact that I might never be coupled up. BUT…not being coupled up doesn’t mean that I am lacking, or deficient, or romantically challenged. It simply means that I haven’t found my person. (Or my “lobster,” as Phoebe Buffay would say.) We have to stop blaming ourselves and carrying around the weight of feeling broken and screwed up simply because we haven’t yet found love. It’s simply not true. Certainly we all have room for growth and are all flawed and imperfect in our own unique ways, but that is true for everyone who walks this planet…not just us single folks.
- Thinking that our lives don’t serve a purpose unless we’re in a relationship.
We matter. We MATTER. We have precious gifts to offer to the world that have nothing whatsoever to do with our relationship status. We might be SINGLE but we are NOT “singular” in any way. We are multi-dimensional, unique, talented, purposeful, meaningful people with hugely important lives and destinies. A relationship can certainly bring us great happiness and fulfillment and even new purpose and meaning…but we are here to bring those very things to the world around us, just as we are. And sometimes our unattached, unencumbered single lives can have even MORE purpose than our future married lives, because we are able to wholeheartedly and without distraction pursue our passions, our calling, our dreams. Our greater purpose. A relationship can someday ADD to that, but it cannot and will not ever define or replace your greater purpose. There is something you and only you are meant to do with your life that isn’t dependent upon a relationship to make it happen. Like I always say: You don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life.
- Thinking that we have to wait around for a relationship to realize our destiny.
It’s time to stop waiting and start LIVING. Yes, two people coming together is a beautiful thing…but so is one person standing boldly in their purpose. You don’t have to merely sit idly by and wait for the day that a prince comes riding up on his white horse and the two of you gallop off into the sunset of your destiny. Your destiny is in the here and NOW. God wants to do something powerful with you and for you and through you NOW. Today. This moment. Right now. I don’t know what it is, I can’t possibly tell you what your destiny on this planet is, but I CAN tell you that had I not made the choice to follow my passion and chase my dreams and pour my heart and soul into making the world around me a better place right where I was…you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now. I had to get past my singleness and decide that I had things to do with my life and I didn’t have time to wait around on a man to come along for me to do them. I hope with all my heart that someday someone will come along and join me in my journey, but I’m not going to hit the Pause button on my life until that happens. And you shouldn’t either. Do all the things you want to do with your life RIGHT NOW. Stop waiting. Because the truth is, a woman who creates a full, joyful, meaningful life for herself is a lot more appealing than a woman who waits around on a man to do it for her.
Annnnnnd a bonus lie that we need to stop telling ourselves is that we should have to wait for marriage or babies to celebrate ourselves! Our wild and beautiful journey should be celebrated NOW, in this moment.
This post originally appeared on the single woman, you can check out more from Mandy Hale here