Six Secrets to Being Single

The Secrets to Being Single (and Happy)
“I would much
rather be single and lonely than married and lonely.”
 “Never take your eye of the mission for the
“Don’t be so
consumed with finding the one; rather, become the one.”
It’s no secret that I’m 29 and single.  But maybe not everyone knows that my
singleness has spanned all 29 years. 
That’s right.  Boyfriendless for.
29. years.  I mean, we are not counting a
two week fifth grade relationship that ended because he gave me a ring and my
mom told me to give it back and that I couldn’t have a boyfriend at that age,
right?  Although I’ve never been in a
long term relationship, I have been proposed to countless times while in Swazi.  But those aren’t moments of flattery.  Those are mostly times of disgust at the men
who have the audacity to say things like, “Hey baby, you could be on a
movie.  Let’s go to my place and make a
movie together.”  (This is an exact quote
from a man at that car parts shop on Friday.) Where have all the good guys
It’s also no secret that singleness can suck
sometimes.  Especially when you watch all
five of your college besties get married, and now you’re the only one left and
you can’t participate in couples bible studies or marriage-life talks or
getting preggers.  (Well…)  I mean, no matter how spiritually sound you
are, it’s extremely hard to be left out, feel alone, and worst of all feel
unworthy because your best friends were chosen and you weren’t.  While that’s sometimes true, maybe not everyone
knows that singleness is actually one of the greatest blessings in life!  Oh, yes, indeed, you can be happy, fulfilled,
confident, and loved even when you’re single.
At the college where I teach, the theme for one week of
chapel was singleness.  A married staff
member approached me and asked, “How do you do it?  How do you stay so strong?  Do you have any advice to share with others
about singleness?” 
As I shared some thoughts with him, I felt God telling me
that He’s not done with my singleness yet, and that there are so many others
who need to know these truths about the importance of singleness.  I’m not an expert, I didn’t do any research, I’m
not perfect, and I still struggle, but from my personal experience, here is my
Six Secrets of Being Single:
  Singleness is sometimes despairingly
lonely.  But then again, so is marriage.  One day, after sharing my struggles of
loneliness to my married friend, she responded gently to me, “Kate, I’d much
rather be single and lonely than married and lonely.  Loneliness is not a result of being
single.  Loneliness is a result of being
empty, and that happens in marriages, too.” 
She was right.  Marriage or a
relationship is NOT a cure for loneliness. 
If you have the mentality that marriage will solve your problems, that a
spouse will validate your worth, or that marrying your best friend will
eliminate that aching loneliness, then your marriage will be dangerously at
risk for failure.  Know this: it’s okay
to be lonely!  Indeed, I would much
rather be alone and lonely than living with a man whom I love and still feel
that disabling loneliness.  The secret is not eliminating loneliness,
it’s learning how to be lonely…and still be okay.
  How can you work through
your loneliness?  Loneliness is a result of being empty. 
So, be filled.  (Easier said
than done, right?) Society will tell you many, many Eden-apple-attractive lies
to cure this emptiness.  Sex is one of
these lies. Sex cannot fill you.  In
fact, the act is the complete opposite. 
It is meant to give yourself away, to have two become one.  It’s mixing Sprite and Fruit Punch, poured
from two different glasses into one.  How
can you mix if you’re empty?  Furthermore,
if you keep giving yourself away, keep mixing with other liquids, what will you
have left?  What will you have to offer
your husband or wife other than an empty, used cup?  Sex in its fullness cannot be an act of
self-fulfillment.  Sure, it satisfies, as
it’s meant to be pleasurable and enjoyed in the context of marriage, but
satisfaction lasts only as long as one night’s change of sheets. Know this: being
filled does not mean engaging in sexual pleasures.  It means something so much deeper,
long-lasting.  The secret to singleness is about finding yourself, not giving it away.
 How can you find yourself
if you’re always in a relationship? 
Instead of becoming who you’re meant to be, you become who he wants you
to be.  If you’re going from relationship
to relationship, addicted to the feeling of being needed and wanted, how will
you ever know what you’re worth?  Worth
is not defined by the number of flowers he gives or the dates you go on or the
flattering things he says about you. 
Worth is defined in moments of solitude—with no one around, no
compliments hanging over you, no arm to cling to.  Do you know you’re still valued even
then?  But how can you know your value if
you don’t know who created it?  If you
don’t know you’re Creator, how will you know who you’re meant to be?  If you don’t know who you’re meant to be, you
should not be in a relationship at all.  Singleness
is a unique experience in life that builds strength, wisdom, and worth.  It is the time of undivided attention from
the Lord and undivided loyalties to the Lord. 
In Scripture, Paul wishes more people would remain single like him: “An
unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the
Lord.  But a married man is concerned
about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests
are divided…I’m saying this not to restrict you, but that you may live in a
right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” (1 Cor 7:32-35).  Furthermore, if we are constantly in
relationships, there is only one form of love we are really experiencing.  But in my singleness, I have experienced love
in so many different capacities that I have no need for romantic love.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a “hopeless
romantic” and my movie collection is full of chick flicks because yes, I want
it, I desire it, I sometimes crave it, but never have I needed it.  Because God’s love is SO LARGE that it goes
beyond the love of a man.  If you want to find yourself, find God’s
love without attachment to romances.
Find a
new perspective.
 As a teenager, I
begged God numerous times for a boyfriend. 
I grew depressed when He didn’t answer. 
“If you’re a God of love, why don’t I feel loved?  I just want to be loved, is that too much to
ask?”  As a new adult transitioning into
college life, I still continued to complain to God about my singleness and I
cried that He, again, wasn’t answering my plea for prince charming.  I was crippled by the moment, unable to
acknowledge that God sees far more than me. 
My perspective is so limited.  Just
the other week, as I was praying in chapel about singleness and a future
husband, two words stamped themselves clearly in my mind: Vantage Point.  It reminded me of a Ferris wheel.  I imagined a scene at a carnival and Jesus
took me on a Ferris wheel ride. I sat with him as we made our way to the top of
the Ferris wheel where the ride stopped. 
At the very top, at the incredible vantage point, I gained a whole new
perspective.  I could see the entire
carnival grounds.  As the scenes
continued to play out in my mind, God revealed to me that from the ground
below, I can’t see very well.  I can only
see the moment before me, and life from that view is crippling.  For instance, if there was a missing girl and
I was asked to find her, I’d have to cover the entire carnival grounds over and
over and over again trying to find her. 
But from the top of the Ferris wheel, finding her would be much
easier.  Likewise, if I were trying to
find a husband, my search might take forever; whereas, if I refocused my
attention instead on Jesus, I’d see from a whole new perspective.  I recently listened to the old country song from
Garth Brooks that says, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.  Just remember when you’re talking to the Man
upstairs.  Just because He may not
answer, doesn’t mean he don’t care.  One
of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”  The
secret to being single is to stop being crippled by the moment—whether the
tempting pleasures or the impending hopelessness of ever being in love—and start
viewing life from a vantage point.  
all, a better perspective undoubtedly gives us better purpose.      
 When I was 26, Fr. Joe, my
spiritual mentor from college said, “Mary-Kate, don’t take your eyes off the mission
for the man.” I have never forgotten that. 
I’ve been tempted many times, and even recently, thinking that there is
no way a man in his right mind would come join my life the way it is now.  But I cannot forsake my purpose.  It fits into the Ferris wheel story as
well.  Imagine trying to find your single
soulmate at a carnival with hundreds of thousands of people.  If you searched for this one person, you’d
spend no time on rides, no time playing games, no time eating the funnel cake,
and certainly no time helping others. 
All your time would be spent with your eye on the man and you’d miss out
on so much.  But now imagine your focus
is not on the man, it’s on the mission.  A
four-year-old girl goes missing and you decide to help find her. Pursuing the
mission takes you to many places and you come across many different
people.  And eventually you find the
girl!  But guess what?  So did someone else—a stunning man who was
also joined the task of finding this four-year-old.  Only because you both pursued the mission,
did you end up finding each other.  But
what if he had taken his eyes off the mission for another woman who caught his
eye?  What if you had taken your eye off
the mission for a man that beckoned your attention?  Whenever I get frustrated with singleness, I
remember where it has taken me and I remember God’s perspective.  I smile and thank God for unanswered
prayers.  I would not trade my mission
for anything.  Furthering his lesson on
purpose, my spiritual mentor also gave me advice about motherhood.  He said, “There’s motherhood like this,” and
he cupped his hands together as if holding something precious in his hands, “where
you build a family and have an impact on your children for generation after
generation.  Or there’s motherhood like
this,” and he stretched out his hands above his head, palms facing me, as if
anointing a whole multitude before him. 
“This motherhood you may not have children of your own, but you are mothering
and leading multitudes of people at once.” 
I asked, “Which one is better?” 
He smiled, “Neither one is better than the other.  Both have impacts that are far reaching.  It’s
simply about the will of God.  If you are
in the will of God, you will have purpose that is immeasurable.”
the one.
  I was told once by the only
man I’ve ever truly loved, “I’m not ready to be in a relationship because I
have too many bad things I need to work on. 
I can’t bring you into this mess yet.” 
It was hard to hear but it was true. 
I came to find out later that his “mess” revolved around his inability
to be with just one woman.  Praise God he
loved me enough to not allow me to enter fully into a relationship with him,
even when I didn’t understand it in the moment. 
Praise God that when the time came and I was about to give this man my
heart, God revealed the truth to me.  My
prayer for a husband has always been constant, but I always end it with this, “But
Lord you have my heart.  I am yours.  I want You to give my heart away to the right
man, not me.”  Marriage is not a time to
fix each other.  Relationships can’t heal
our faults.  Only God can.  The best advice I’ve received about being
single is this, “It’s not about finding the one, it’s about becoming the
one.”  I’ve learned so much about how
much I need God to fix me.  I’ve learned
so much about myself—who I’m not and who I want to be.  The
secret to singleness is to stop focusing on “finding the one,” and make yourself
ready when the time is right: become the one. 

Recent Comments

  • Imaltdedition1981

    Monday, 21 Mar, 2016

    You always post such wonderful thoughts, I especially found this one helpful. Thanks MK love ya lady and miss you!

  • Peg Martin

    Wednesday, 13 Apr, 2016

    Wow, Kate, this is sooo beautiful. You need to add this to your book.
    Love you. I am always learning things from you and your faithfulness. Thank you for sharing.

  • Wayne

    Thursday, 27 May, 2021

    An amazing post with great tips as always. Anyone will find your post useful. Keep up the good work.
    Check my book,“The Two Sides of Being Single: A Biblical Perspective is a book that is dedicated to single Christians who are either desiring to maintain a single Christian life or who are seeking God to bless them with a husband or a wife.



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