For years, I was an incredibly sad single, sad about singleness, and broken from love denied.
I hated the thought of being single, but I was also trying to cope with the emotions from an unrequited love. Unrequited love is when you love someone, but they don't reciprocate the love and in my case, when he did attempt to reciprocate, I was bitter and burnt out.
Yes, it was messy.
Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck, full of a mixture of anger, distrust, lust, sadness and an insatiable hunger for love.
The last thing I needed was a date.
Who said rebounding is a good idea? It's absolutely not, especially if you desire to be in a healthy relationship, someday.
Instead of taking time to get engaged with me, I rebounded for years.
Some of my actions were self-sabotaging, and distanced me from my long-standing goal of marriage. The dating process and the meaningless encounters with men, who I didn't really like, only confused me more. Looking back, I did so many foolish things that I didn't have to do, all to fill a void, to feel pleasure and to "find" a new love match.
If you can relate to me at all, feeling like you and singleness are having a tug-of-war, instead of harmony, I urge you to pause long enough to evaluate --what's the source of your angst?
Do you need time to process a breakup?
Are you dealing with feelings of emptiness and looking for a man (savior) to rescue you? Maybe you've been single so long, you have no idea where to begin?
I was thinking about some of the things I did to self-sabotage, things that can get in our way as single women of faith, things that could be agitating your season of singleness versus making it go well. These five points could be the beginning of a new way of seeing yourself and singleness.
5 Self-Sabotaging Behaviors Single Women (of Faith) Should Stop Doing Now
1. Stop bashing being single. Singleness is a beautiful season, and God says "for everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1)." And, this means, for everything there is a purpose. Whether you can receive this or not, your singleness serves a purpose. For instance, if you constantly complain about your status or how horrible men are, you miss the beauty in the season you're in, trying to get to the next season.
Remember: Your life is a walking billboard and if it’s love you seek then walk out what it means to love. Love yourself and love others, as a single woman.
2. Stop pretending like you don’t care about being single. You might not lose sleep over it, but if it nags you privately, you most certainly care about being single and it’s okay! Instead of brushing it off like it doesn’t matter to you, or distracting yourself with some new "big project," try admitting to yourself and God your true desires. There's freedom in telling the truth (John 8:32), and you'll be giving God the thumbs up to work things out on your behalf.
3. Stop dwelling on the past and holding grudges. Dwelling was where I lived for so many years, and guess what? There's no life there. It literally sucks the light and life out of you. I would replay sad story, after sad story and it was sad. I got good at retelling others how my ex hurt and offended me. If you find yourself stuck on replay, ask God to help you stop. It will take time for you to heal, but don't stop asking, praying and forgiving until you're no longer dwelling, and the grudge is gone.
4. Stop idolizing couples and marriage. It’s cool to admire those who have healthy, loving relationships, but to be too focused on another's yard, takes precious time away from your own garden. In addition, God is adamantly against idolatry. How many times did God instruct Moses to warn the Israelites about idolizing other gods (prior to them entering the promise land)? If you're not careful, marriage can become your god, causing you to seek it as your savior and not God.
God will be the one sustaining you and your future spouse through, "for better or worse," keep God first (Matthew 6:33).
5. Stop overvaluing being coupled and devaluing singleness. Singleness can be a profitable time to become the one for the one, if you let it. Becoming “the one” isn’t about perfection or checking off a to do list. It’s really about self-engagement and maximizing the treasure and talents God's gifted you, while you're single. This process is cyclical and fruitful. It involves strengthening your relationship with God, so you can strengthen your relationship with yourself and eventually be a place of peace for your future love, your future spouse.
Did any of these points serve as confirmation for you? What are you ready to stop or start doing now? I want to know, comment below.
If you enjoyed this post, you'll love A Guidebook on Dating + Singleness for the Modern Woman of Faith Who Desires Love. Click here to download the first chapter for free!
Tiffany Wilson, M.Div aka @tiffytalks
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[Published via Original Website February 15, 2014. Edited, August 30, 2018]