Single But Not Alone
Updated: Sep 12, 2019
Single & Loving It
There's a point in our lives (after we have gone through journeys of healing from our past) where being single is our jam!
We get to explore our options. We get to focus on new hobbies or our career.
We get to spend more time with the kid(s), have fun with our girlfriends,
figure out what we like and want vs. what we don't like and want in relationships.
And we tend to be less apologetic or concerned about our preferences being too high because we recognize how much of "a catch" we are. Or at least, we don't allow the opinion of others to get in the way of experiencing our "freedom".
Freedom as in:
"I don't have to check in with my honey/baby/boo/bae (pick your genre of endearing terms).
"I can work late with no suspicions about my reasons for working late".
" I can chat and stay up with my girls for as long as my body can handle it and not be reminded that I'm in a relationship".
"I can be as dolled up or as chill (i.e. I don't have to be hang-out-ready) as I want to be."
"I can have the 'My rules. My way. Period.' attitude and alleviate frustration from having to consider another perspective." (some call this controlling...don't get me started) and the list goes on.
*BUT* if we don't check one other thing though while we are enjoying these moments (I'll get to that), our singleness can quickly turn into the "how did I get here?" when friendships change or fail, social events fade, responsibilities spike, and relationship prospects are slim. Then, instead of valuing and being grateful for the period of being single, we begin to view our singleness as an "in between relationships" period instead of the refining process that it is.
Single & What’s Next?
What is this "thing" that we need to pay attention to? I will call this thing my "Single's Purpose Principle" (SPP). If you know what your SPP is before you begin exploring your singleness, you will have a tool/ weapon to pull you out of those moments of loneliness and sadness that inevitably pops up through the storms of life and you won't need to become dependent upon your girlfriends, your mom, grandma, sisters or kid(s) when you become frustrated with your relationship status. In fact, I believe, your SPP is one of the first things you need to contemplate prior to ending a relationship and certainly, what you need to know before you begin a new relationship with that special someone (I mean they must be special! The boundaries in relationship topic is a whole nother' discussion).
In short, the Single's Purpose Principle is being grounded in who you are. It's knowing that singleness is a gift and a blessing. It is being very clear that while you're single you still have a responsibility to invest time in creating meaningful experiences and connections with people that will help you mature and grow as a woman as well as enable you to share your gifts with others. It is knowing that you were created in God's image and that you are inferior to no one. It is being aware that God is using you to do something great for his glory in spite of, your flaws. It is knowing that healthy boundaries need to be established in order to protect your mind, heart, body, and soul. It is recognizing that you are able to play roles that a married woman can no longer do, and that marriage should be something desired not envied and you walk patiently towards it. You fully embrace the fact that just because your single, it doesn't mean you are alone. Let's dig in.
I want to walk you through three scenarios as it relates to the impacts we likely experience depending on when you use or develop our SPP. The SPP is unique to each individual. Not everyone will develop their SPP at the same time. Some people develop their SPP after ending a relationship, after beginning a new relationship or before a relationship begins.
Scenario 1: Here's one visual...
Ending a relationship >>>> SPP >>>>New Relationship
This scenario implies that you didn't have an SPP before you were in a relationship and typically in these types of relationships it's easy to be defined by your partner, to overly compromise, to fall victim to narcissism, different forms of abuse, etc. No judgement here sisters here. I think many of us can relate to this. The beautiful thing about SPP is that it is never too late to begin developing it. You have the authority to redesign your reality at any time.
Scenario 2: Here's another visual:
New Relationship >>>>SPP >>>> Ending Relationship
This situation can start off well (After all, most relationship start off good) and in some cases stay well but you increase the risk of your partner not recognizing who you are any longer because you begin to view Singleness and marriage as gifts from God and walk with a different confidence and begin creating new boundaries your partner never had to honor before ( i.e. it seem like you're flipping the script or being dramatic). Ultimately, these relationships hurt deeply because your growth doesn't take away from the beauty of your partner, or make your special someone wrong for wanting things to go back to the way things were, when you both were seemingly on the same page, and it doesn't make them a bad person even though it can feel that way.
Then there is scenario 3:
SPP >>>>New Relationship or Ending Relationship
In this dynamic, you walk into a relationship knowing who you are and what you value (i.e. your identity is rooted in God). You are not ashamed of your flaws and you are intentionally working to change them; so, they can't be used against you. You have an understanding of what is “compromisable” for you and what is “uncompromisable”. You respect and appreciate when others do the same so rejection doesn't overwhelm you. You have boundaries in place to support you in making decisions that will honor the vision that you have for your life and when you fall short (which we all do) ... you lean into your faith and are open to forgive and to be forgiven. With the SPP, if you take an intentional risk, you are at least clear on the consequences and are grounded mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually because you have built a solid support system that will hold you accountable even if you don't like it. Their love, honesty, trustworthiness and authenticity help to secure you through the risks.
Single & Loved
Additionally, when SPP comes first you study marriage and singleness and embrace that they both are intentional decisions. You accept that neither of these positions represent who you are. They instead reflect your role and what you do. So, in the event a relationship ends you can part ways and focus on what worked and didn't work vs. attacking the character of your partner or being a victim of the relationship beyond its ending. You enjoy what God is doing in your life and how He is using you to bless others. You are confident that when marriage approaches for you, it will be equally rewarding and challenging.
Which scenario fits where you are right now and where are you at in developing your SPP? Do you feel alone and single? Do you know what you want? Are you working on your faith walk? There are so many questions to consider but exploring them with an open mind and vetting your experiences through wise counsel are well worth the peace you will receive when you take the time to dig into the answers.
The stigmas of singleness don’t have to be our reality and we can instead get to a place where we can "school" (educate) others on the beauty of what singleness offers. We can hold our head high and know that we are loved and cherished by God and our singleness is a refinement process that enables us to get to the best version of ourselves before we try to give ourselves to someone else.
Born Jewel Brown is an Ohio native and lives in Columbus. She is a mother of 4 unique, amazing children that she birthed and another 3 powerful, beautiful "bonus" babies that she loves on. Their ages range from 5-19 years. She is a follower of Christ/Christian, prayer warrior, educated, Black/African American, woman, professional, poet, mentor, leader of a group of amazing single moms, and so much more. She has been married, divorced, sadly single, peacefully single, in love-hurt -and in love again, healed, delivered, far away from Christ, on fire for Him, and the list continues. Through her blog site healingthroughthehurt.org (coming soon), Born hopes to inspire others to explore healing as an "awaited journey" rather than an impossible feat.