Starting in fifth or sixth grade, the formerly tom-boyish and oblivious me became concerned with a concept that had, until then, only been considered in passing: relationships. In my family, we have an established ‘dating age’ of sixteen, and because of my incredibly close and respectful relationship with my parents, I held up that age and didn’t enter into any official relationships behind their backs. I did, however, have ‘special friends’ (the title we gave guys with whom I had mutual interest). My parents knew of all of these relationships, and we kept an open dialogue about them.
I am incredibly grateful for that established dating age, because without it, I would have most likely entered into several relationships that would only result in me being hurt in ways that obviously could be avoided. And I am also incredibly grateful for my parents’ willingness to allow me to have ‘special friends,’ because I have been able to experience and learn about relationships without the pain.
But since that year when I first became aware of relationships, and thus began to desire one, it has been a thought that constantly sits in my mind, entertained when I’m bored in class or listening to love songs or watching movies. It is hard to live in the culture we do and not regularly wish for a relationship. We’re constantly given the message that unless we are in a relationship, we are either inadequate, or missing out on something.
This message, and my own desire for deep emotional connections with others, has led me to focus far too much on relationships, and in doing so, I have lost my sense of self. And beyond that, I’ve lost my sense of God. When I am in a relationship, I am devoted to building and maintaining close emotional connections with that person. I invest my time, my thoughts, and my heart into that person, and in that process, my identity becomes rooted in them.
Following the end of one of these almost-relationships, I told myself and others that I would focus on becoming who I am as an individual, and developing emotional connections with God, before I attempted to start any other relationship. I had grand plans to walk down this path of complete singleness with joy, learning to love myself completely, and developing a connection with God that I crave with people.
But before I knew it, I found myself dreaming of my next crush. Maybe I would bump into him in Barnes and Noble, and we would strike up conversation about all our favorite books, and that would lead to a beautiful and fulfilling relationship. Or maybe he’d move into the neighborhood this summer, and our perfect relationship would just unfold itself from there. I would be ashamed to count up the minutes I’ve spent creating (mostly unlikely) ways I could meet him.
I have neglected my joyful walk through singleness by closing my eyes and imagining how great a relationship will be. I have subconsciously fed myself the lie that singleness is not enough, that being alone with God is not enough. I have created this place in my mind in which life is better when I have a boyfriend. And because of that, I am still forgetting who I am and whose I am.
When I meet The One, I want to be the woman God has created me to be, the spouse he needs me to be, and the individual I want to be. I cannot be that if I am invested in another person, or the idea of another person, to the point where I am distracted from who I am as an individual, and who God has created me to be.
I have wanted to start a blog for months, but didn’t because of a lack of purpose and theme. This realization gave me both of those things. So now begins my journey of becoming who I was created to be, and for now I will do it single.