There’s this running joke in my family about my love life. Not a joke necessarily, but it seems that almost every time I talk with my parents or to cousins that I haven’t talked to in a while or other relatives, at some point in the conversation I get hit with: “so who’s the boyfriend?” Sometimes I stare blankly at them and then burst into laughter. Sometimes I say some smart comment like: “Jesus.” Sometimes I roll my eyes playfully and say there is no one. Sometimes I also get annoyed because there’s so much more to my life than my love interest, but at the end of the day, I know that they ask because they want to see me happy and building my little life with the one God has set aside for me.
That being said, I absolutely love this period of singleness with which God has graced me. Let me repeat that. I LOVE being single. I am 22 and have never been in a serious relationship, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am and never have been ashamed of this. These are not the thoughts of some desperate girl comforting herself with nice sentiments. This is a fact. I absolutely love being single. Nor are these the thoughts of a bitter woman scorned one too many times by men who still have some growing up to do. I’ve had my share of heart aches and tears, but I still believe in love and happily ever after.
What I mean to say is, there is grace here in this time of my life, more than I recognize and more than I can understand with this little human brain of mine. Although grace is defined in a various ways, I mean to say that right now as a young single woman, I have a unique opportunity to love and serve my neighbors and to be in communion with God in a way that just isn’t possible otherwise.
I love my singleness for many different reasons. Practically speaking, my time isn’t tied up to another. Although I have responsibilities to my family and to my community, I am free to spend my time how I wish for the most part. For example, my work schedule keeps me fairly busy, but this Lent I made a commitment to attend daily mass every day, and I plan on continuing that, even after Easter. To attend daily mass is something my mother did in her 20s, and I’ve always dreamed of doing the same since I was little girl. Now I get to do that. I have the freedom to spend my time with my friends and family and build those relationships, without worry that I’m neglecting my significant other. Also, I can bum it out for days on end without worrying that my physical appearance is unattractive to my crush. Eventually, I get my act together because societal standards and whatnot.
But more importantly, being single allows me the gift of getting to know who I am, defining who I want to be, and falling in love with both of those women, flaws and all. This is not to say that can’t be done when you’re taken. Plenty of women do it. I just mean that you have so much more time and energy to devote to that singular and pivotal task as a single woman. Furthermore, this is THE perfect time to do so because (at least for me) when I meet my future husband (if that is in fact my vocation) I want to be at a spiritual and emotional state that allows me to love him completely and selflessly with all of my being, holding nothing back. I can’t do that if I still struggle with loving myself. So, in this period of singleness, I love the time I spend getting to know all of my little quirks and my strengths and my weaknesses. I love getting to spend time with family and friends and getting to know all of their little quirks and their strengths and weaknesses (and obsessing about how amazing they all are).
Above all, I love being single because I’ve realized that I am fulfilled, WITHOUT a romantic interest in my life. I have a good job that keeps me busy. I participate in activities that cultivate my God-given skills and talents. I have family that love me and support me. I have friends that can send me into laughing fits for hours and that I can call on day or night when I’m struggle busing. I belong to a community that I can joyfully serve. My cup is overflowing with blessings. My heart is full of joy. My soul is at peace and content. See the thing is, our society does a great job of lying to everyone and saying that romantic relationships are necessary in order to be happy and fulfilled. Movies, TV shows, and ads paint the tale that romantic relationships are the pinnacle of all relationships. But it is a LIE. Fulfillment comes when we recognize our purpose and love and serve those around us. Happiness comes when we choose to be positive and hold on to hope even in the face of the storms of our lives. Joy comes when we maintain balance in our lives and choose to be grateful. Peace comes when we remember that all of our sorrows are temporary and that one day we all have a shot at tasting the sweet miracles of heaven. All of this we are able to do with or without a romantic interest in our lives. Having that special someone isn’t a necessity that will ruin our lives if we don’t have it, it’s the cherry on top of an already fulfilled and happy life.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a romantic at heart, so of course every now and again I wish there was someone special with whom I could share all of my joys and sorrows. Of course I have those days when I think about why it didn’t work out with so and so and get sad about it. Of course, I send texts to my friends, half joking, half serious saying things like #foreveralone and #singleforlife. But in the words of one of my favorite artists, Tori Kelly, “I’d love to have a soulmate, and God will give him to me someday. But I know it’ll be worth the wait.” I may be ready for that long-term serious relationship and want it, but I just have to be patient. I just have to let God write the epic love story He’s been drafting before I was even conceived. Because my God wants nothing but the best for His children. He gives them the cherry, the whip cream, the chocolate syrup, AND the sprinkles on top.
It is in this time that my heart is the most open for God to shape and mold me into the Proverbs 31 woman He longs for me to be, into the saintly woman He has called me to be. And what a gift it is! I praise God that I get to have it. I don’t know how long this period will last, but I am honestly in no rush to see it end. I love my singleness. I love the freedom of growing into a woman of whom I can be proud, into the woman who exemplifies the virtues that my parents have spent my entire life instilling in me, into the woman whom my future husband will someday vow to love and cherish for the rest of his days (again, if that is my vocation).
So, to all of my single ladies, embrace this time. Cherish it. Enjoy it. For when the time comes, God will send that beautiful man that will like it and boldly put a ring on it.